Sunday, May 21, 2006

06 Bay to Breakers-- Smacking tortillas

In the Guiness book of records for the highest number of participants in a footrace (110,000 in '86).
Will be 100 years old in 2012.
Many of the participants run the race in some really wierd costumes.

All attributes of the Bay to Breakers an annual race that toils its way from the bay (San Francisco's financial district) to the ocean accumulating 12kms along the way. It starts as irreverently as it finishes, with 100s of tortillas experiencing the exhiliration of flight for ephemeral few seconds before they lose the battle to gravity, smacking the about 40000 (this years approx count) unsuspecting participants. For the average runner in the midpack, the race starts very slowly and it takes about 10 minutes to reach the start, there is a little bit of loosening (I'm using that word very generously) as we start to jog and predictably bare our teeth and claws to a nearby camera crew.

The toughest part of the race is at around 2.5 miles when we approach the Hayes street hill, a 215 feet climb at a supposed 11% grade. I bravely ran up the hill all the way, atleast on paper- in reality, if a run can be compared to a lion's roar my climb was more like a kitten's meow. After that it was pretty much downhill (in altitude) to the finish, barring minor ups. At around the 4 mile mark we entered the beautiful Golden gate park (interesting trivia: The Golden gate park was carved out of hopeless and sand and shore dunes - source wikipedia). Running through the park surrounded by 1000s of costumed runners was pretty psychedelic. The numerous bands that dotted the course were fantastic and the weather was holding up pretty well. I ramped up to something near an 8 min/mile for the last big push and finished strong.

For the bean counters- my official numbers:
Gun time: 1:23
Rank: 5313
Chip time: 1:13 (my estimate- giving 10 minutes to get to the start).

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Manolog- Week 3

Weight: 157 lbs (sigh! no change)
Miles: 13 miles (3+4+6) Slacker!!!

Bit of a low week, had to skip a run to see if niggling pain in my right leg backs off. Has been better on/off after that.
Running Revolutions (@campbell) rocks. I went in for a pair of new shoes (my old one put up a fight and wanted to retire- No Pension!), they had me stand on a gizmo to see the shape of my foot and decide if I have high or low arch. After that the lady at the store asked me to roll up my pants- there were a few cute chicks and so I showed my rock solid calfs with glee :). After that she hung a bottle of beer in front of a treadmill and told me if I could reach it - I could down it (just kidding). Best thing was my legs were videotaped. Reviewing it was fun, my footstrike had definite pronation (wow! I didn't know that).

Next week I'm running the bay to breakers. One of my fellow runners at Sanjose fit asked me if I'm going dressed up as some kind of creature. I didn't think much about my reply and between hard breathing, I replied- "I'm going as myself".