The last time I did this run was in 2009, which was the first year I started running. It is a great local event but it seems like every year I'm just too busy to run it. It was a last minute decision to even run it, but I decided we had nothing going on that morning and I could use some practice with the 5k distance. Normally I run about 8 5k's a year and since I started focusing on triathlon I haven't gotten anywhere near that number this year.
It was a very cold morning but I knew I wouldn't want to run in long sleeves so I had stand around for about 45 minutes shivering and trying to stay warm prior to the 5k start. There were so many kids it was crazy. I tried to remind myself not to get frustrated and just have fun. I knew I would take the first half of the run slow as it's a gradual uphill until you hit the turn-around and then you get to enjoy the gradual downhill on the way back. There is no timing mat at the start of this race (see my boo-hoo face here) so I tried to get as close to the front as possible without being an asshole since I wouldn't be running a six minute mile. I hit the start button on my watch as soon as the horn sounded and I had no idea where the official start line was since it wasn't marked. I kept to the left side all of the run and carefully maneuvered around kids (I'm getting better at this). At one point a boy veered in front of me and his Mom told him to run a straight line, I wanted to hug her, but that would probably be inappropriate. A little further on there were three girls who were running three wide with a father behind them. He saw me coming and asked the girls to move over so I could pass. Score another point for the responsible parents teaching their kids excellent race manners!
I was never so happy to see the turn-around because that mean downhill! Not a huge downhill but just enough to to pick up the pace and make it feel not horrible. I focused on holding good running form and a steady pace. I was super stoked to be able to see the finish line as we made our way back down Mt. Diablo. I had a couple of options. One was to let my watch run until I hit the finish line, which would end up being long since I started my watch at the horn and not at a start line. The second option was to stop my watch at the 3.1 mark to see how well I ran the actual 5k distance. Knowing I was running some extra distance I stopped my watch at the 3.1 distance and continued to sprint to the finish line. The race clock said 30:20 as I crossed, my watch said 30:10 for the 3.1 distance. That was a nice surprise, my best 5k time is 30:10 from the Oakland Running Festival in March. Somehow my official race time is 30:28, not sure how they came up with the extra 8 seconds, but whatever. It was a very good run for me and I was very pleased.
Two more weeks and I get to run the Mermaid Run SF. It has been a long time since I have run this race without a group of mini-mermaids, so I'm looking forward to it!
3:58 course PR