Sunday morning we got an early start to make the hour drive to Half Moon Bay, CA. The race takes place as part of the city's annual Pumpkin Festival. There's a 5k, 10k, and kids' 1k. When we got there, it was foggy and cold, which is the norm for the coastal town.
We pre-registered, but it didn't make too much of a difference with such a small race. As my first non-runDisney race, I knew a lot would be different, but when we went to pick up our bibs, my husband noticed there wasn't a tracking chip on it. I panicked a bit- I was supposed to be running a sub-hr 10k for an official time! There was definitely a giant clock, so some sort of timing was going on.
The announcer invited all the 10k runners to come up to the start area (the 10k walkers would start a bit later). We all gathered around, but the only mention of any kind of pace/self-corraling was that the really fast runners should go to the front.
We were somewhere along the side of the pack when a guy pushed his jogging stroller right in front of me (and the couple standing beside me). Okay, I think it's great that you want to run with your kid. And I get that you're probably going to be running faster than me. But I don't understand why you push in front of other people AND your stroller is sideways and practically facing the wrong way! When the race starts, people are going to start moving and probably a lot faster than you can maneuver it to move forward. I really don't want to get trampled. Needless to say, we moved.
The race started and we headed out. I'll be the first one to admit that I let the adrenaline get the best of me at the start of a race. But it's never been an issue since runDisney races are always so crowded. You couldn't sprint even if you wanted to. But not here! We were off onto wide residential streets in a matter of moments and I was flying! Flying too fast though... We slowed down and settled into a nice pace.
The course took us onto a state park coastal trail, which had this old wooden bridge. At the start of the race, the announcer explained that they had had a little snafu with the park rangers. Due to the state of the bridge, there could only be 20 runners on the bridge at one moment. The course went across the bridge twice (once on the way to the turn around and once on the way back). The rangers could hold runners if there were too many and the runners coming back would have the right of way. The announcer said "so when you get to that bridge, you better sprint!"
Not only did I have to worry about a buffer for the start of the race (going off the official gun time, not when I personally crossed the start), but I was worried about being held at the bridge. Thankfully when we got there, they didn't hold us. But there were definitely more than 20 of us on it. The bridge was creaking and bouncing from all the people running. I took the announcer's words to heart and sprinted, but mostly because I wanted to get the heck off!
We reached the turn around a little after mile 4 and headed on back.
I was starting to slow down after mile 5. My body didn't take too well to how hard I pushed myself at the beginning. But I also knew this was the home stretch and I didn't have far to go. My husband really kept me going, saying how close we were. I'm so thankful to have him as a running buddy. :)
We passed the mile 6 marker and soon after I could see the finish line balloons. I could also see the giant time clock. My husband told me to go for it, so I sprinted to the finish. I saw the clock at 59:24, but I may have crossed the line a few seconds after. Later my husband said I really "pounced on it" towards the end. Can you blame me, I could see the seconds ticking away! Regardless of the exact time, I finished in under an hour and met my goal! Yay!
There were no finishers medals, but we got a t-shirt and pumpkin! Goes perfectly with the theme of the race. They're too small to carve, but I'm thinking about painting them.
The official results haven't been posted yet, but this is what my running app says:
I shaved 30 seconds off my 5k time and ~2 1/2 minutes off my 10k record.
I'm guessing that the official time I'll end up with will be around 59:30. According to the McMillan running calculator (some have suggested this is what runDisney uses for corral placement), a 59:30 10k works out to a 2:12 half. My best half is a 2:12 during a training run. This new official 10k time is just what I wanted. :)