Crystal and I were pleased that we had picked up all of our stuff yesterday including timing chip. Alice had to pick up her stuff this morning, but were arrived early enough that there really was not a line. Later on the line for the chip was enormous. While they did packet pick up all week long at their various store locations, yesterday at the Expo was the only day that you could actually pick-up your chip. It seemed like they could have used more volunteers for that line. It seemed like we would stood around forever, but the weather was surprisingly pleasant. There was no wind and not a drop of rain, and it was actually kind of warm. We all decided that jackets and sleeves were not a necessity. So we decided to gear check. I was a little bummed because I hadn't brought my i-phone holder, I was planning on keeping it in my jacket pocket since I was sure it was going to rain. I'm okay running without music but I did want to GPS the course, but in the end not overheating won out against the GPS.
I was excited about this race because it was at Crown Memorial Beach, which is where I scheduled the American Lung Association's 5k for the fall. Even though I am no longer working there and not in charge of the event, it was nice to see how another organization had the course set up, etc. When we lined up Mary Sue and I picked a spot not upfront but not int he back either. I was excited because it looked like we were starting on time, but than quickly realized we were doing wave starts. Which sucks when you are ready to go but knowing the course and how narrow the path would be for the return trip and knowing how many walkers there would be, I knew it was a good decision. I'm not sure which wave we were but I think maybe the 4th, we started somewhere around 10-12 minutes after the first wave.
Along the course it was evident what a good idea the wave start was, I passed a lot of people, I mean a lot of people. Which is always nice for the ego. While I had to do some speeding up and slowing down to pass walkers who were clearly in earlier waves than I had been, for the most part is wasn't too bad ( I won't mention the ladies who were walking 5 abreast). Other than than the passing I managed a pretty nice pace that felt comfortable and was pleased to be in short sleeves and still amazed that there was no wind. We all know that I love running or walking this path, and today was no exception. Since I didn't have GPS to determine where I was mile wise, I used my calorie counter and my knowledge of the area to figure out when I needed to step it up. I was getting tired but I heard someone say we had .30 to go, so I picked up a little and tried to focus on nice long strides. When I saw the mile 13 sign, I stepped it up more, I passed a few more people and as I was rounding the corner to a shoot, I got passed! Damn, I hadn't her coming up on me and honestly I didn't have any steam to push it more and try to catch her. I finished strong and am pleased with the nice run I had.
I have to say the run itself was much more well run than the Expo was. The post race area was really nice, lots of food and lots of vendors giving out some great SWAG! My only criticism would be that I hate races that don't have water at the finish line. MetroMint was giving out water but I had to ask someone where the water was and than make my way over to their tent. Their tent was the closest to the finish line, but we had to cut through the food line to get there. Would have been so much nicer if the MetroMint folks had just been at the finish line handing out water, especially since they had another booth in the vendor area.Other than that, it went very well and as someone who has managed events like this, they did a great job on sponsors and booths with give-a-ways. There was so much and it was all quality stuff and in addition the layout was really great. They had them set up in a huge semi-circle so that you could make your way down and no one booth seemed really crowded or too hard to get to.
Overall it was a great day and I would do this event again. This was the most expensive 5k I've done, but I got a nice technical tee, a finisher's medal and a champagne glass filled with chocolate and champagne! I'll give them time to work on their expo as they proved themselves with the event itself.
On a side note, a shout out to John Muir! I typically wear my John Muir Health hat if I think it's going to rain. While staged at the start line I had two women ask me if I was employee, I explained that I had volunteered and my sister-in-law was an ER Nurse on the Concord campus. They booth work at the Walnut Creek Campus, so it was cool to meet them and I got big thanks and they said how much they love the volunteers.
Unofficial time 34:15
|Alice, Crystal and Mere|
|Mary Sue and Mere representing SmoFit|