Race day, Sunday, 7 Dec....Also the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, so if you didn't pause to remember those who lost their lives that day, with the consequence of the US being inexorably pulled into World War II, well, I got nothing for ya.
My day started with a 0445 wake-up and a hilarious wake-up of my buddy Adrian, who, after I too cheerily popped into his room at 0450, promptly went back to sleep, only to have me act as a snooze button five minutes later (no, don't turn on the light...). I made last additions to the race bag (extra socks, pants, bibs, and water) and donned my race gear, with a last minute debate on whether to go tank or t-shirt.
Next was coffee, a banana and gingerbread (not my normal pre-race carb by pretty much my standard December breakfast fare) and a quick jaunt north past the Richmond refineries and west across 580, passing San Quentin and turning back south to the Larkspur Ferry terminal where we would catch the shuttle to the Golden Gate Recreation Area and the start.
|Damp, muddy and still dark at the start/finish.|
|Pre-race, bag checked, feeling a bit chilly (less than 10 minutes to the start).|
|The elevation chart. Three major climbs of about a mile each, |
with one lesser climb, still steep.
|Just about halfway up the first climb.....|
(thank you, race photos, I'm def buying these!)
|Climb #2, looking down|
|Climb #2, looking up|
|Yes, we just kept climbing and climbing, this was #3|
|Part way down the last downhill, I was having a blast, |
although I know it looks like I have my racing face on!
|All done! We finished at almost the exact same time, |
only 1.5 seconds pace per mile different...
|Yes, there was still plenty of mud on the course!|
I did have some abdominal twinges on the second downhill, which was quite steep and I felt some trepidation creep in, but it abated and by the time I got to the base of the last downhill, I knew there was only a small climb and less than a mile to go. The race was not a true half, they added .4 just for fun to make it 13.5....
At the end of the day, I crossed the finish line and relished in the accomplishment of conquering those inclines, ones I knew so well and which made my heart soar over the course of this race.