Cold and wet. I knew that I was going to have an experience as soon as I got 10 miles from home on the way to the 2016 ACT Today for Military Families 5k/10k Run and Festival. The clouds burst open and deposited liquid sunshine onto my van.
With windshield wipers beating back and fourth in time with my radio I drove the last 10 or so miles to the parking area for the race and decided that I would remain in my car until 7:00am; 30 minutes before the race start to keep from getting wet and colder than necessary from the now drizzle rather than rain.
7:00am: I did a warm up run to the restroom and then wandered over to the start line and waited for the line-up. When the racers were called to the start line I some how ended up much closer to the front than I had planed to be.
I had run this race before I sort of knew the course which starts out at Tecolote Shores Park and then out to Fiesta Island. The run is mostly flat and on asphalt roads and pathways and was what you would expect, except when we got out to Fiesta Island and then the path got a little slippery. The dust on the path mixed with the moisture caused the path to be just a tad slippy for most of the run on the island. Not so much that you would loose footing but you could feel a little slip as you pushed off your toes with each stride. It made for an interesting sensation.
They had placed mile markers on the course and each was off about .12 miles but the total distance still worked out to 6.2 at the end of the race. It just sort of screwed with your brain so I ignored the signs after the the first three.
Mile 1,5 I started with my happy running, I was in my grove at that point so stated cheering, joking and high fiving the other runners on the out and back section of the course. This is where another BAKER, yelled at me ‘Hay Baker!’ as he passed. There is a hairpin turn in mile 5 that go’s off the sidewalk and as I was coming around I hit the edge and tweaked my ankle, It didn’t bother me though until way later in the day after the race. I seem to always end-up rolling my ankles on hairpins, hmmm.
When I transition from my 4 to mile 5 I picked up my pace, mile 6 I drove it in to the 8’s and at the end at about .5 from the finish, burned off what I could with a sprint to the ended. I guess this didn’t play to well with the guy next to me because he made a comment about me passing him. I smiled and said “I wasn’t trying to race you, I was racing myself” which is really what I was doing and blasting any reserves I still had out. I’m sure though he’s relieved right now because he ‘beat’ me by .02 seconds LOL on the chip time.
I did not PR, You would think I would have but I was 1 minute off lasts years run; guess I just didn’t push hard enough. I shouldn’t have wore my watch and run this on instinct because I kept slowing my pace down in the first 3 miles based on what I was seeing for pace time on my watch.
There was plenty of food items for the runners after the race but I found COFFEE! I was so happy to find they were providing it; especially once I started to cool off. After grabbing coffee and a PowerBar I went back to the finish line and cheered the rest of the 5K and 10K runners coming in. It was great to see people and families smiling and happy as they came up to and crossed the finish line. After a while I wandered over to listen to the live band playing 60/70’s rock and told the lady next to me that it reminded me of my high school days only the grass wasn’t something I was standing on.
Near the Beer garden I spotted Mark Lawrence, ‘Big Mike’ from the show Chuck. Mark is a HUGE supporter of ACT and a wonderful person; I met him last year at the event as well. So I wandered of there and talked to him for quite along time. Interesting guy we traded favorite places to eat in San Francisco; cost of dry cleaning, the crazy cost of housing and several other random things. He had to go help present the running and fund raising awards so I thanked him for the conversation. After the awards and collecting my 1st place in my age group medal I found Mike and said good bye and headed back to the van for the drive home.
Yes I got first place in my age group and a most bodacious medal (dude,) had I not got first place I would have most definitely gotten second since there were only two of us in my age group. If that wasn’t weird enough the other guy in my age group bib number was 1012, mine was 1013; he was my exact age and shared my last name!
I enjoyed running this race; its a super mix of great people and I’m already looking forward to next years run; wish they would add loops and kick the run up to at least a half-marathon.