While we were on vacation, I had hopes of running some sort of race. Luckily I found a 5k in San Francisco and I jumped at the chance to run somewhere new. I didn’t have a goal for this race, I really just wanted to get some miles in and enjoy the new scenery.
Saturday morning, I woke up extra early due to the time chance. We got ready, packed up the car, and headed to the other side of the city. We got there about 45 minutes early, picked up my packet, and relaxed until the race started.
Pre race was well run, and I really appreciated that they had pace groups, those 10:00 and under, 11:00-13:00, followed by those with dogs and strollers. I lined up where I estimated the 8:30 pace would be. I didn’t want to go out too quick, so I figured I’d play it by ear.
We were off and I was excited to run. The map showed a loop around Chrissy Park and a second half lap to the finish. We started on a sand/gravel path and it felt wonderful on the legs. I settled into a nice pace of 8:30, making sure I didn’t go out too quick. The loop took us towards the Golden Gate Bridge and I couldn’t help but get distracted by the views.
We continued along and made our first turn down the side of the park. About a half mile in, my stomach started to grumble and I realized I was suddenly starving. I also noticed that even though the weather was cool, the fog brought a moist feeling with the air.
We came up to the first mile and I was feeling pretty confident in my pace. A short while later I passed Darren, who I’m sure was thrilled he got dragged to another race of mine.
We continued along with what felt like the longest stretch of pavement. I started to wear down, and my pace slowed a bit, but stayed around 8:45-8:50. The hunger feeling and humidity/moist air was really playing minds games on me, and I struggled to stay focused.
We made the turn heading to mile 2 and I knew I could handle another 9 minutes of running. This part of the course we ran along the beach, so we dodged sections of sand and gravel. We also passed the water stop, but no one stopped, which actually surprised me.
We approached the turn off for the final half mile, and everyone noticed a giant banner that had “finish” written across it. We were only at 2.7 so I was slightly concerned until we got closer and realized it was for another event. This threw a bunch of people off, most of them had given their final kick and had nothing left for the real finish.
We made another hairpin turn and I started picking people off, mostly those who had just pushed it at the fake finish. My pace started to pick up and I finally felt like I was running like I should. I made the final turn into the finish and gave a decent kick to cross the line of my first California 5k.
Last .14-8:49 pace
Overall I thought this was a fun race. I didn’t really have a plan, and knew that since I was on vacation, I wouldn’t be taking it too seriously. I didn’t have my best performance, but with traveling and enjoying vacation, it didn’t really bother me. I also checked my Garmin data after the race, and noticed that it was a gradual uphill the entire way, which is why I probably didn’t run as well as I thought I could.
After the race there were vendors, a kids run and a few more local events. I picked up my shirt, bag and medal post race and took a few more pictures before packing up and heading on our day trip to Muir Woods.
My favorite part of the race, and really the reason I signed up was the race swag. Not only did we get shirts with the Golden Gate Bridge printed on them, but we got matching bags and medals. A great race, a great location, and a fun way to enjoy vacation!