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).


Blogger Meera Manohar said...

I would have loved to be near the start and the finish when u did your 12K stint. But alas, the tortillas and the some 40000 odd 'vetti' runners didn't let me cross the street to the start line *LOL*

Very crisp and neatly written.

I will go and catch a place the previous night when the San Jose marathon comes along, akin to bus-la seat in Chennai *grin*

P.S: Some costumes, rather the lack of it were quite interesting 'LOL'

5/21/2006 10:15 PM  
Blogger Manohar said...

you mean -- u will put a kerchief to reserve a place ? :)

5/22/2006 4:58 PM  
Blogger Saumya said... should give some more coverage for the costumes ;)

Anyway: Good job to you and Sriks for taking part in a race that was so memorable. It is even better to pour over the papers next morning trying to find your names in the list.

5/24/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger Manohar said...

it is even more memorable when we buy the wrong newspaper :P

5/24/2006 4:12 PM  

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