What a great way to spend a Sunday morning. We headed out to the Santa Rita Jail and the Alameda County Sheriff's Training Facility. As we stood at the start line listening to instructions I got a little worried as I heard a lot of turn left, turn right, see where my hand is pointing. Um, no I can't see where you are pointing. Then I heard "there are deputies and flour marking the course", ok I should be ok. And then we were off.
Having the jogging stroller I had stayed in the back as i had only seen about 3 other strollers at this particular event and I didn't want to be in anyone's way. Of course as we took off and were all bunched up, I found it difficult to navigate the stroller and not give anyone a flat tire. We made our way through the gates and made our first left turn to run the path above the jail. I felt surprisingly good considering it was already warm at 8am. Sydney was her usual chatterbox, wanting to know why people had slowed to a walk. I told her they were resting and that it's ok to walk if you are tired. We made another left and turned down to run the path in front of the jail. We passed the 1 mile marker and I tried not to think about the fact that I still had 2.2 miles to go. At this point we were running into the sun and it was beating down on my face. I ran another quarter mile and prepped Sydney for the fact that I was going to walk for a little bit, she seemed ok with that. Once we got running back again we were approaching the split for the 5k/10k routes. We took a right and headed down to the next street where we approached the water station. Sydney was horrified that people were littering and throwing their water cups int he street. I explained that this was the only time that it was ok, because the volunteers would help clean up the cups. As we ran by a Deputy, he commented that getting a ride looked nice, I told him we were about to switch soon and Sydney was going to push me, Syd thought that was pretty funny. I was still feeling good, I was keeping up conversation with Sydney and to the Deputies along the course. We made a left to run down Arnold, at which point there would be a turn around. This was really the only part of the course where we experienced traffic that was being monitored by the deputies. I ran down to the turnaround, which was really tight and challenging with a stroller. Once I passed the turnaround and headed back up Arnold, I slowed to a walk again. I walked for just a brief time ans then started running to catch up to the runner in front of me. We were approaching the intersection and I figured it would be easier for the Deputy and traffic if we crossed it together. As the deputy halted traffic for us he said "you guys have the right of way", I smiled and said "thank you", to which Sydney belted out a huge "THANK YOU!" the Deputy seemed pretty pleased that he got such a huge thank you and said "you're welcome!". I pushed up the street and took another short walking break. I was pretty sure we were getting close, but wasn't really sure. I started up running again through what looked like a mile marker, but it was covered. I then saw what must have been the lead 10k runner being escorted by a motor officer. He looked strong, but i really had no idea where he was on his course. at this point I had slowed to a walk and I saw more volunteers at the corner where we would turn left. I knew the final part would be uphill and even though they were saying "you're almost there", I didn't believe them. Then I rounded the corner and saw the finish sign, so I started sprinting and yelled back "I had to see it to believe it!" There was a family cheering us on and laughing, I think Sydney must have looked super excited to cross the finish line. Then I heard "Here comes the first 10k runner!", i heard the sound of the motor officer behind me and laughed, wow the first 10k runner is coming in right behind me. At this point the clock was right under 35 minutes. I was thinking that the time had to be wrong, could that really be right? While I am caught up in all of my thoughts I see at the last minute the photographer and try to break out a smile for the camera. We pass through the chute which drastically narrows and I can barely fit the stroller through it and am trying not to run into the girl in front of me who is barely even walking after crossing the finish line. I wanted to yell "Come on, Move it!" but I bit my tongue. As we struggled through the cones, and I commented that the chute wasn't wide enough for us a nice Deputy moved the last cone so we could get through. And then we were done!
It was a great race and while pushing Sydney was hard work, she also distracted me and made the time go by fast. Sydney ran a 1/2 mile after the 5k and totally rocked it. I am super proud of my little girl. Official time 35:22