We woke up around 5am Sunday morning to get ready for the drive to Sonoma. Scott's Mom arrived at 6am to watch the girls for us, who much to my dismay were awake at 5:30 and 6:00 am. We made the drive to Sonoma and had planned on parking at the hotel and walking to the plaza, however after passing our hotel and not realizing it we found ourselves at the Plaza and found that there were no parking restrictions on Sunday's. We parked directly across the street from the Plaza and wandered over. We had received our bibs ad chips in the mail so we were all set. We got ready, stretched did a short jog and stretched some more. We made our way over to the start line and waited. I wanted to be sure to be at the start of the line, after the Devil Mountain Run and not crossing the start line until almost a minute into the race, I wasn't going to d that again and have an extra minute added to my race time, I need all of the help I can get! We had two 14 year old boys in front of us who were talking times I could only dream of. And at the last minute some parents through their young kids (probably around 10) in front of the crowd. Many of us wondered if this was a good idea. As we got the "Go" I got caught up with all of the front runners and the really fast take-off. Less than a block into the run I witnessed the first casualty (probably the one one) where a young boy was knocked down, I knew that throwing all of those kids in the front was a bad idea. Very quickly I realized I was nuts if I thought that I could keep up that pace, I used up a lot of energy at the start line, I guess I was afraid I might be trampled as well, but I knew there would be a lot of walkers and I didn't want to be behind them negotiating my way around them. I struggled trying to find a pace that was working for me. We quickly veered onto the bike path and after a short stretch on the bike path the course navigated back onto the streets. Up ahead there was a stop sign for vehicles and apparently a truck was pretty pissed off at having to wait for the runners. Thy promptly laid on the horn and burned rubber out of there. Which then prompted several runners ahead of me to yell obscenities. Would have been nice if we had some race officials or one of the motor officers at that point. As we moved into a residential neighborhood, we started a slow ascent (okay, I'm a fast and flat girl and was not ready for even this mild hill) this about killed me. Between my lungs and the side cramp I was developing I had to slow to walk and walked through the first water station. Why is at water stations people feel the need to jump right in front of you and stop for water??? Granted, I was only walking, but I was walking and grabbing and going. This is why I don't typically take water, but I did anyway. I started running again as we had a small downhill section where I thought I might gain some momentum. In my mind I kept thinking mile markers would be nice... I must be halfway right? I saw a second water station ahead and grabbed more water because it was a kids baseball team and they looked sad because most people weren't grabbing water. After that I slowed to walk again. What is wrong with me, it's only 2.2 miles and I just ran a 5k. Feeling like a slacker I noticed the photographer ahead, seeing as I am still bitter about no photo from my Devil Mountain Run's I started running and there were only a few people around me so I'm pretty sure he got a photo of me. After that I could see the finish line, although it still looked pretty darn far away. I thought about walking again, but there were some people this far out cheering out folks in, so I figured it wasn't an option when there were spectators that could see me to walk. I was starting to pass a Mom who was pushing a double stroller but both kids were walking (apparently they had cut through the course somewhere... why hadn't I thought of that?) Her son wanted to get back in the stroller but Mom said he could make it to the finish line, so I cheered him on and he started running. As I came into the final stretch I could see Scott who had finished about 8-9 minutes ahead of me, he was telling me to pick up the pace. I normally don't have much at the end of a run to sprint or pick up the pace. But there were these two kids in front of me who had been like me and walked/jogged much of the course. I was going to be damned if they beat me. Somewhere I dug down deep, I saw the clock was fast approaching 23 minutes and my goal had been a sub 23 minute run. I must of dug really deep, I don't think I have ever run that fast on pavement I ended up passing at least three people and came in at 23:01.
Maybe the battle helped me in pulling out that last sprint or maybe it was just pride that I wasn't going to let those teenagers beat me. It sure felt good afterwards. After Scott and I reconnected he mentioned that he thought he may have come in 2nd in his age division. We stuck around and watched people finish up the 2.2 miler and than cheered the 10k folks in. It was exciting to watch the top men and women come in, I was in utter amazement of their athleticism. Maybe one day I will be able to run a 10k. We enjoyed the post race food. Lots of fresh fruit and muffins, but the best part... baguette's and an array of jack cheese. Some of the best cheese I have ever had... yummy!
We stuck around for the awards since we thought Scott had gotten 2nd place. I was amazed at some of these kids. Scott laughed and said "yep, she passed me at the end and oh she passed in the beginning!" We talked about how Sydney will love to do that run when she is a little older. They did have a 5-7 age division, so maybe even next year. I had a sneaking suspicion that Scott may have gotten first place in his division after listening to some of the times in the other age groups. Sure enough, he was awarded first place. How exciting! I knew I should have grabbed the real camera, but all I had was the camera phone. At least I know there will be professional photos of him receiving the award.
After that we enjoyed a wonderful day and night in Sonoma complete with spa treatments and great food. I'm hoping we can make the Hit the Road Jack event an annual one, it was great fun and really well run. I would love to go back next year and shave some time off of my run.