" . . . that is the question."
How, oh how, does one explain the ING "Bay to Breakers" race to anyone who doesn't live here in the bay area? Firstly, it helps if you think of it as 4 or 5 races all using the same route at roughly the same time. lol. The course takes you from the eastern most part of the city (right by the bay) and travels 12K west to the Pacific ocean on the western side of SF (the breakers.) Most years there are 50,000 to 75,000 "runners (and I use the word kinda loosely)" who take part in the cross-city trek.
The first level of the race are the REAL runners (people who come in from all over the world) who sprint across the city in less than 40 minutes. There are also local athletes who are focused on 'run times' and 'pace' and tend to finish the 7.5-ish mile race in about an hour or so. And some people simply take advantage to the closed streets and take a walking tour through this beautiful city.
Then . . . trailing long afterwards . . . are the partiers. Serious partiers. There were still people wandering to the finish line HOURS after I had already completed the course. But, they were having a great time.
One should also understand that there are few events here in SF that don't involve people in elaborate costumes - and taking part in a 12K run is no exception. The great part was seeing people at the starting line in amazing costumes (i.e. a collection of girls dressed as Yellow Cabs (complete with street signs of the race route), several hardcore athletes in super-hero costumes, the GREAT guy dressed as a Monty Python knight complete with a squire following behind - clapping coconuts together) and then seeing them again at the beach at the finish line. lol.
Here are some highlights from my run -
"Team Koi Fitness" begins to assemble at the starting line - the 7:15am line-up time required coffee.
Here's the start of the "Hayes Street Hill." Amazingly, the crowd starts to thin out after this eight-block steep hill begins. lol.
I ran into friends along the route - just as we got to Golden Gate Park. Though I was focused on getting a good run time, I took a well-needed stop to pose for pictures. Seriously, it was gruesomely hot in San Francisco on Sunday. whew.
We decided to meet up mid-race - so here's some of the gang from bootcamp getting ready to attack the "HILL."
This might give you some idea of the number of people who took part in the race - or the race/run/walk/stroll/wander that is an important part of the event as well.
I finished the race in about 90 minutes. yay. I'll have my official time after the race results get posted on-line, but for my first time, I'm pretty happy with the outcome. and it gives me a goal to set for next year.
Here's a fun video of the race route . . . if you're curious -
I'll be back to the regularly scheduled design topics tomorrow. I'm thinking it's gonna be something kinda pale and calm . . . hmmmmmmm . . .