Monday, April 02, 2007


When I first looked at the coursemap for the race I wondered what the squiggly lines leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge (the meat of the course) really meant since there was no elevation chart to be found.

In the back of my mind I knew - squiggly lines in San Francisco can only mean one thing - hills.

But since there was no mention of hills anywhere in the race materials, I (irrationally) thought that "if they don't say there's hills, there must not BE any hills". I continued thinking this way, even though I've crossed the GGB no less than a thousand times in my life and know full well that pedestrians emerge onto the walkway from stairwells buried deep below the deck, and that these stairwells are at the tippy top of the Presidio. But still, this didn't enter my mind. All I could think was that no mention of hills meant no hills.


Leave it to San Francisco to turn one wavy line into a quarter mile long 45 degree incline. I'm sure you can imagine my horror when I turned the first corner of the race, after a nice flat start, to find all 1200 racers gunning up a curving incline toward the bridge, which was nowhere to be seen.

And, since I didn't want to lose pace with my friends, I kept up the same speed while traveling endlessly (or so it seemed) up this winding approach to the bridge even though I really, really didn't want to.

If one was to find a good side in all this (and I had to look hard), it made the trip across the bridge and back a total breeze. In fact, I picked up my pace during the second half of the traverse when I could take advantage of the slight decline as we closed in on Marin.

There were a few other unexpected special treats in store for me on this route, too. Like the deceiving "turnaround" at mile 5 that took us away from the main trail (I saw tears in a lot of eyes at this one) but then miraculously swung us back around only a few yards away. I think this was a last ditch effort by the USTAF to legitimize the course as a true 10K, but it was a move I would not suggest to anyone designing a course. Nothing pisses runners off more than being able to see the finish line and then being shooed down a route in another direction. The poor dude directing traffic at that particular corner was surely in mortal danger.

After the little turnaround, we encountered a little slice of heaven in the final mile - loose sand. Again, something I should have assumed would be present in the race, as we were running along the water, but since the race materials only warned against "stairs and trails" and not HILLS OR SAND, I didn't consider it a possibility. What I also didn't consider was the supreme suckiness of having to trod the final mile of the race through sand.

However, when I had the finish line in sight, heard the clanging of cow bells and the cheering of Bubba and all the spectators, I slapped on my best "I'm loving this, really! And I'm not even tired!" face and sped up to the best of my ability so that I could enter the gates with my dignity intact. Once across, I got my t-shirt, a bizarre pressie from Red Envelope, a Crunch bag filled with more randomness and a pancake breakfast that was only appealing in theory.

But I'd finished the race, running all the way- in just a shade under a decade too, alright! - and was happy to walk my jelly legs across the lumpy sea grass and plunk down with Bubba and my co-running friends to do a little patting of backs and hearty congratulating.

And then, the inevitable talk about our Next Race began.

We'll see. Perhaps this time I'll take the coursemap a little more seriously and actually go take a look at it before I assume things. Or, perhaps, they'll have their act together and provide an elevation chart. I'm just saying...

Anyway - at the end of the day:

10k Status: DONE


  1. Way to go! The next race sounds interesting!

  2. Really, just reading your account has made me so tired that I could cry. You should be so proud of yourself -- YAY!!

  3. Um, how much do you rock? YOU ROCK THE HOUSE! That is how much. :)

  4. Good Job Fin!!! That is awesome. Question for you...(I am toying with this idea still for my tri) did you run with a camelbak, or water belt? Were there hydration stations? I hate running with a camelbak, but I function soooo much better when I am drinking / running... (water that is) :)
    Just wanted to know your thoughts. By the way, I did my course, and yes, there were hills too, the bastards, they only said, "Oh yeah, they're just little rolling hills...." They sooo weren't...

  5. That's awesome girlie! You rock!!!!

  6. Congratulations! And you look like you hardly broke a sweat in the photo. That is such an achievement :)

  7. Awesome run. Congratulations. You rock! So when's the next race?

  8. favvvvulous! this is an awesome accomplishment. congrats chica. the race sounds like a real bastard though

  9. Congratulations! I'm sorry that you had a few bumps (hills) along the way, but you finished!!! What a great accomplishment. (I doubt I could run around the block without passing out.)

  10. I agree, you look well rested at the finish line! Impressive!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

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But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.