48F Scattered rain showers and wind
This was the 25th Anniversary of Kaiser Permanente SF 1/2 marathon. Even though the occasional rain and the wind made it difficult to run, this race had the largest turnout according to the race director (7,000 registered for 1/2 marathon and 3,000 for 5K).
In summary, it was a good race. The rain and headwind at the last 3 miles made it tough to keep a consistent pace, but the pack pulled me through and I was able to book it at the end to a satisfying finish.
My official time was 1:24:58. 28 seconds slower than my time last year (1:24:30), but considering the less than perfect weather condition and how good I felt about my run, this was a good race to begin the year (This was my first race of the year).
My unofficial time on my watch (there was no chip-timing available): 1:24:49
Just before I left Jorge's place around 6am. I have my tights on and rain jacket ready for a run in the rain.
Around 7am at Golden Gate Park. I got my new bib. The ground is still wet, but the rain had stopped, at least for the moment. Crowds gather to the start line.
They say the first mile is the easiest, but I had such a hard time running the first mile. I had to weave through a lot of runners for a good 3/4 mile before I could settle into my desired pace. I guess this is bound to happen when no one enforces runners to line up according to their speed. When I complained about this to Jorge, he said, "Oh yeah, I saw you pass me in the beginning." It turns out even my own friend Jorge was lined up in the front in the 5 min/mile area when he was actually running about 11 min/mile!
We ran around the Pan Handle, which is the thin strip at the east side of Golden Gate Park (course map). The runners were still bunched up in a big pack. There were few female runners around me. There was one woman in a white shirt behind me and a girl on the Impala Racing Team ahead of me whom I saw warming up earlier. I would see her again at the finish.
We went back to Golden Gate Park, run past the beautiful de Young Museum of Art back to the start line.
It's a gentle downhill on JFK Drive, but I had to be careful not to go too fast. You can get carried away and run too fast here and find yourself out of gas when you reach the Great Highway, which is what happened to me last year.
I exchanged few words with the lady in a white shirt about the weather. I heard her behind me until the Great Highway, but I didn't see her after that. A shirtless old guy came up behind us and took the charge downhill.
We passed the finish line on the other side of the road and ran down to the Great Highway. We would come up this hill again for the finish. I think all the runners around me passed the shirtless guy. Now we only had 6 more miles to go.
The Great Highway section of the course is a straight flat road that runs along the coast. We go about three miles out and back. I ran with three other guys, who all seemed to be local runners. I saw the first runner coming back from the other direction about 57min into the race. Getting close to the turnaround point, I recognized one Asian triathlete from San Jose coming back and on the other side. This lifted my spirit up as I finally found someone I knew in the race.
mile 11 - 12
When my small pack got to the turnaround point, one guy (I think his name was Mike) decided to pull away from the pack. I followed him, thinking I can keep up with him for the last 3 miles. He soon caught up with another guy and the three of us were running together. About a mile with this pack, we were catching up to the girl on the Impala team, but I couldn't keep up with them anymore. I decided to run at my pace for the last two miles. And then, it started raining. I thought I was overdressed with a beanie, tights, and my water/wind proof gloves, but it definitely helped against the rain and headwinds. I felt bad for the girl in front of me, since she was only wearing a singlet and shorts. Two guys came up behind me and passed me. I knew one was Japanese, because he was wearing this hideous looking yellow singlet that had the name of a prefecture in Japan. I wished he could've had a better choice of running gear as a fellow Japanese! At this time, I was switching places with this tall guy with a crew cut.
mile 13 and finish
When I saw the mile 12 mark, I switched my gear and started running a little faster. But so did the tall guy with a crew cut. He came ahead of me just before climbing the hill to the finish line. No worries, I've been saving my energy for the short climb to the finish. The hill is only about a quarter mile, but it feels like it goes on forever at this time in the race. Coming into the hill, I quickly overtook the guy with a crew cut. It wasn't easy, but I caught up to a young guy in red/black jacket, too. The next runner ahead of me was the girl on the Impala team. She was trying to catch up to another female runner ahead of her, but couldn't quite catch her. I couldn't catch up to her either, but I had a good sprint and a big smile on my face at the finish line, so I can't wait for the pictures to come out.
The results are on the following link:
I placed 93rd place overall.
I received the 25th anniversary medal, picked up the goodie bag, T-shirt, and my drop bag. I didn't find anybody I recognized, so I decided to wait for Jorge at mile 12. The rain had stopped for a moment, but by the time I got to the mile 12 marker, it started to rain again.
Here's a wet dog to prove it. I had put on my rain jacket, but my clothes still had not dried, so I was getting extremely cold. I checked my watch and realized I still had 30 more minutes before Jorge would arrive, so I took a shelter at a cafe on Judah Street and sipped on cafe au lait.
Jorge at mile 12 (I was actually running with him, because I was getting so cold. Is the guy next to Jorge running in his slippers or does he have a baggie for his shoes?)
Just 14 minutes later, it cleared up again. Just before the finish line.
Me and Jorge at the finish
Me and a cow. Can you see me squeezing her udder?
Tony at Home restaurant on Market St.
According to Tony, there was a "Brittany Spears sighting at ‘Home’ restaurant on Sunday...she was sitting behind Jorge and Toshi. Or was it just a trashy white girl with big sun glasses on a rainy day?! Food was ‘ok’ for me..but Jorge loved his steak and eggs fo sure!”
Jorge’s steak and eggs
Jorge's left little toe turned purple after the run.
After lunch, we went back to Jorge's condo and relaxed in the Jacuzzi and we left for San Jose to watch the Superbowl at Tony's place.
Of course, the sun comes out after the run.