The hardest part of this race was the 5 a.m. wake-up call. I am not our family's Morning Parent. I usually run at night, remember? But I did it! I leaped out of bed and started my preparations.
Most of them had been completed the night before (I am learning a little from reading these blogs :P like don't try to find safety pins when you are bleary-eyed and in a rush)... had pins on the number bib, made my little waterproof money and train ticket pouch out of ziploc baggie taped to the underside of the bib, tied the extra car key into my shoelaces (my friends with whom I ran had never seen this trick before and thought it was so rad... go figure), got my rain gear (Hefty bag) ready, set out the car key I would use first thing in the morning next to my wallet and clothes and shoes, and got my phone fully charged so that I could take awesome photos and videos for you all!
I left the house and drove to the train station (our subway system is called BART). I met up with some friends, and we headed into San Francisco. There weren't very many people on the train... I thought. But when we go off, it was a zoo!
The scene on the streets was similar to Halloween on Frat Row or New Year's Eve... total party atmosphere. It was freezing... for here... and definitely for May.
Of course, the portapotty lines were insane... and of course, I had to pee. I had to wait a long time... I always wind up in the slowest-moving line. Here are some of the colorful characters I met while waiting:
Then it was off to the corral, where I saw the homeless guy's namesake...
The corral was not as packed as I thought it would be...
Because I was in the wrong corral!
I hopped the fence, risking getting ejected from the race, just in time for the start! Whew!
It was curb-to-curb people for quite a while. It was hard to run without tripping... and even harder to take pictures while running without tripping! The Bare to Breakers people I saw at this point were pretty swift and kept disappearing in the crowd. Every picture I took at this point of these naked runners ended up completely obscured by other people in the mob. I did get a picture of this group of birds:
and I am convinced that the peacock visited my blog for the idea on how to make her costume!
Lots of people in tutus... male and female. Lots of guys running topless and lots of women running in wildly-colored tights and feather boas... it seemed so boring, so no pics of those people. Then...
My chance! They slipped right in front of me! (and I thought to myself, "am I that slow?")
Naked people running!
This was right before the Hayes Street Hill began, so the crowd was a little looser. They were right in front of me, going just about the same pace... and not exactly the motivational view one might think ;-) I felt a little awkward taking a picture when they were so close, but I also knew that it would be the only way to get a clear shot... so I hung back a little. Yes, I sacrificed pace so that I could get the nudie booty picture for YOU :) And here it is:
And these were the most photogenic butts I saw all day!
Then we hit the Hayes Street Hill...
and I gave you that piece of master cinematography yesterday ;-) Click here if you missed it or want to see it again. I ran up it, where I was seriously almost blinded by these chicks...
I never wanted to get around anyone so fast in my life... the reflection was killing me!
and over that honkin' hill...
and it was pretty much a downhill run from there on out. Here's where I started running... as best I could while still taking some pictures anyway!
I got to the hump in 27:37 (official chip time). My projected time was between 30 and 35... big spread because of the huge, 50,000-person crowd. The 3-mile mark was a little ways away... and I missed it. But right near it, Miss Centennial Bay to Breakers flew past me! That woman was booking in a ball gown, long gloves and a tiara!
The first marker I saw was for the 4-mile point in Golden Gate Park... right near the Conservatory of Flowers...
where I saw a businessman running in his suit...
and some Star Wars guys...
Luke Skywalker said he was getting tired, and Darth Vader said, "Just feel The Force, son. Feel The Force." I am not kidding. He said that.
Then Waldo ran past...
Right around here, my friend caught up to me! It is really a miracle that she found me... and so cool :) We ran the rest of the race together.
We passed the bison... yes, bison... in San Francisco...
Got some official pictures taken at the 6-mile mark. Smiling :)
Rounded the bend and there was the Pacific Ocean... the BREAKERS. Almost done.
My friend and I were running side-by-side and decided to cross the finish line holding hands, arms thrown up in the air triumphantly. Big smiles. Gun time finish of 1:16:07 but chip time was 1:10:13.
The official Hayes Hill time of 27:37 gave me a pace of 10:16.
I hit the 4-mile mark at 40:08 on my watch.
Ran a 9:18 for the next mile
followed by an 8:55
and an 8:37
with the last 0.46 miles being completed in 3:45.
Overall pace was 9:29.
Overall pace was 9:29.
I finished in the top 12% of all finishers and in the top 5% of all women and in my age group.
I did a-okay :) Very happy with this one!
And it was a BLAST!!!!
As we stood waiting in the freezing cold with the Pacific wind blowing on us, I had the opportunity to see the naked finishers. From the front. Here is what I noticed...
The vast majority of Bare to Breakers runners I saw were not Sports Illustrated swimsuit models or Calvin Klein underwear models... they were just regular, middle-aged people.
though it was interesting to see what sorts of "personal grooming" these folks chose for the big race...
And cold weather shrinkage is real.
And I am sure having been rigorously jostled didn't help.
What really struck me was how they all finished proud... not a one of them looked at all self-conscious about his or her "imperfect" body. At that moment, the idea shifted from comical to inspiring.
Weird, I know.
Then there was the shuttle ride back to the BART station...
We won't go there today... except to let you know that I saw Elvis!