Virginia talked me into doing this
race by saying "They have a special medal for everybody that did
40 miles of marathons with them." Turns out, back when I was
trying different things fresh out of college I did the 1984 run.
Finished the whole thing in 3 hours 56 minutes and 56 seconds. All
I had to do for the big status bling was do another half marathon.
The only problem was, the half marathon course time limit was
three and a half hours. My current half marathon record is
3:42ish. OMG! I'd have to do this one faster than I've done any
other half marathon this millennium. Succeeding would get me a
cool medal though...
Getting to the start was kind of
nerve wracking because the bus driver decided to get creative on
the directions. Then we got plugged up in traffic. The drivers
route intersected the first half of the marathon route, and the
street was so thick with people it seemed unlikely that we'd ever
move forward. The people on the bus had to decide what to do. Some
of us abandoned ship and decided to hoof it to the start (another
two miles away). The rest of us talked the driver into going back
to the suggested route. We got to the start about the time wave
seven was hitting the course. Didn't take long to drop off our
bags with the UPS bag check and go to the bathroom. It was chilly
so Virginia and I left with the next wave instead of waiting our
turn. Nobody tried to stop us, it was an honor system situation.
At first I just focused on getting
my butt moving. Coming out of the chute felt a lot like being a
cow on a cattle drive. That "I'm cold" feeling was gone in a
quarter mile. After a while I looked up and realized "this context
is so beautiful I should take a picture."
Here and there along the way there
were well wishers enjoying the parade.
After a while we started seeing
large numbers of other runners going the other way. It was kind of
fun to look for familiar faces to cheer on.
If you touched the blue star I want
to give you an encouraging attaboy like the ones I was hearing as
my fellow runners tapped it.
It was still early enough that
Haight St. was a sleepy place.
There were enough water stations on
the map that I didn't carry a water bottle. That worked out okay,
every time we passed a water station I had a couple of the cups
they were handing out. The only problem was the free water had an
awful metallic taste. Made it though the event just fine on it
anyhow. Thank you water stations!
Two miles to go. My legs were
already tired. Virginia gave me my split and I knew I'd have to
put some catchup on it to get a personal record.
The samba band showed my feet a
By this time we were quite a bit
warmer. Seeing the bay right there was great.
There were a group of comedians
cheering us on around here. The first one had a sign that said
"RUN FASTER! THE ZOMBIES ARE GAINING ON YOU!" Maybe ten yards
later another one had a sign that said "THE END IS NEAR!" I don't
know if it was my fear of zombies or my internal zombie that does
what he's told, but my feet were inspired enough to turn it up.
Didn't pull out my camera again until after it was over.
In the post run beer garden we posed
for a group shot with Virginia's running club. Special thanks to
Virgina's friend Randy for giving us a ride back to Mountain View.
Virginia and I went out for lunch to The Habit in Sunnyvale.
Yumm! That place is a special occasion grade hamburger joint.