So it was that I slept in a bit and took my time getting ready to head out to the race for the 11 AM Half start. Which was a good thing since Mrs Notthat and I had spent the night before at the Palo Alto Moonlight Run, and getting up early after that was not going to happen.
When we ran this race last year, at a more traditional start time, it was foggy and cold.
|A typical view during this race in 2014.|
|Last minute instructions, mostly along the lines of "think snow!"|
We started with a long uphill, mostly exposed climb.
|"Go Sirhc! Not your real name!"|
Above was the moment that made this whole race worth it - there was a family out hiking the trails, and this little girl whipped out a camera that was almost identical to mine, and took a picture of me! She even did that before I whipped my camera out! How cool is that!
Even better, one of my FB friends knew her dad, and through the magic of FB, I got to get a copy of the picture she took of me:
|For the record, I did not trip over that large rock in front of me. But it was close.|
After another climb or two, and some nice shady stretches, I hit the first aid station, at about mile 5. They were fantastic, and had ice to help get things back under control.
The clear skies meant there were a lot of nice views. (That's looking towards the bay with the East Bay hills in the background.)
|The turnaround on the out-and-back, and the second aid station. With ice! The volunteer had to carry all that water and ice out there on his bike. Yikes!|
|"Which way do I go?" Up the hill. Of course. Ugh. This was at the end of the out-and-back.|
At least the trail kept it interesting while I spiraled down to despair. (These really are great trails - some are pretty technical and fun, while others are pretty smooth and fast. Most were single-track-ish. Lots of rocks.)
Eventually I made it down to Horseshoe Lake, which meant I was only about a mile from the finish. It was really warm out by this point, and that "No Swimming" sign nearly got ignored.
|The last, cruel climb to the finish.|
I finally got to the top of that hill, and saw that finish chute. Note the guy with the camera - here's the shot he got of me:
|"Seriously? I'm not done yet?" (This pose cost me a sub-four hour finish though - my finish time was 4:00:03. Sheesh.)|
I don't think I've ever gotten an icy sponge bath at the end of a race. This was amazing!
|The face of a guy that was REALLY happy to be done.|
|Asset "drink no evil," Ydnar "eat no evil," and, well, RJ (not their real names).|
This race is a blast! It's fairly old school - no medals or shirts - but this year we got a great hat (last year was a handy buff), and the trails are a blast with a well-marked course. The volunteers were all amazing, making sure all us runners had a great race.
Thank you Stevens Creek Striders for all you do to put on this race!
That's it - move along…
PS: You can see more of my pictures here.
PPS: I never answered the question posed by the title - would sleeping in improve my stride. I was about 45 minutes slower this year compared to last year. I put a lot of that blame on the heat, although some blame also has fall on my current fitness and that Mrs Notthat was not here this year, so I didn't have her to chase.