Saturday, December 10, 2011

Walnut Creek Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k

Well, I have to say, I am surprised at how well organized this race was. We went to the expo last night and it was empty, no lines....also only xs or large shirts left, but we went at the end of the day, so that's what we get!
As for race day events, we had no issues w/anything. We got to the race area around 7. We had to walk a short distance, as we knew we would. Our races started at 8, the half started on the other end of town at 7. As for the half, we were never on that end of town, didnt' see the start area at all, so although we have heard of the potty issues, or lack there of, I have no comment as I didn't witness it. I can say that in the start area for the 5k and 10k, there were ample potties and we all walked up and went right into empty ones. (I guess it should go w/o saying that we went into empty ones, could have been awkward otherwise: )
While walking to the start area we saw the lead halfers go by, which was neat. So about 10 minutes to 8, we parted ways. Sophie, Myles and Brian headed over to a field where the 5k started. (the start was revamped and not as originally posted on the map, so no narrow track/gate.) Emma and I headed to the street for our start. While we knew the two races started at the same time but in different spots, apparently some folks didnt. Brian had 10ker in his 5k, and we had a 5ker ask us where the finish was for the 5k out at the 10k turn around. My only suggestion would be to start one at 8 and one at 8:10 so there was some distinction between the 2. One was on trail, one on road, so neither interfered at all with the other, but if you started with the wrong race there was no way to get to where you should have been.
Once we were off and running, rather than warm up during the first mile, both Em and I grew increasingly cold. I wasn't sure I could push her to keep her moving as she was really really "my fingers are burning", "my toes are burning", "my hands wont move"....and it was really that cold. We had hand warmers but ditched them when the race started. We pulled off and I took off my arm warmers and put them on her, and made her keep moving. I knew she'd warm up, but it took us both longer than I thought it would.
She had a few side cramps, as you'll see in the pictures. Nothing I can really say when that happens other than "do you want to stretch" and "just push through and it'll probably go away".
She also ran out of her shoe Cinderella style and had to go back and get it.
We got stopped at only 1 (of many) intersections for cross traffic to pass. If this race fails in the future, it'll be thanks to the horrible, horrible, cranky, angry, angry WC-ites who won't tolerate their streets being overrun w/runners. It was a little scary at times. I have never ran a race where every car stopped in traffic due to the race was honking. I saw 2 different people get out and tell off the WCPD officers who were controlling the intersections. "What about our rights? We have rights too! Runners don't own these streets!"....yeah, I heard you old man. Get a grip people. Read the paper, watch the news, talk to your neighbor....know whats going on in your precious little town. You could have avoided the race and closed streets. You could have slept in and left the house at 11 when it was over and the streets were open again.
I digress, but yeah, the community outrage and protest is already in full swing, so who knows what'll happen next year.
Other than that, it was a great run! Emma's teacher came out to see her run and that was pretty awesome. She was hanging with the Sports Basement cheer crew and looked like she was having fun! It was her first race she's ever been to. Emma gave her a hug on the first pass, and when we came back by she was still there cheering for her, gave her a high five and told her to keep going!
Alright, so below are just a few of the pictures....I'll get all of them up on the photo site. Sorry most are of Emma, but that is who I was running with.

that's Em's teacher in the jeans, black top and boots w/hat and coffee reaching for a high five

she's sprinting to the finish above. Below she heads into the finish shoot solo..

So after the race we were all chilled to the bone. We had gotten coupons for Whole Foods Mac n Cheese (Best of the Bay area), so we headed for our free hot food. From there we went to Pete's for our free medium drinks. Then we came home and made a gingerbread house, but that's for another post.
I would just like to quickly mention that I am completely opposed to banditing races. I just want to be clear I dont' condone or promote such foul behavior. Nothing irritates me more than seeing a runner cross the finish w/no timing chip, no bib...but they take a medal and a plate of food. I know races take a ton of energy, time, resources, and ultimately money to put on, and runners should have to contribute a fair amount to cover such things, and for the experience provided. This was a great race, though I still feel it was terribly overpriced. I did not take anything away from anyone who paid to run, as I carried my own water, did not eat anything before, during, or after the event. I did not cross the finish line....and had there been a line for the potties I happily would have found a bush.
and I was so nervous I was going to get pulled off the course the whole time I nearly wet my pants. I have never seen so many orange vested Course Officials at a race!!


  1. I should mention that I said all there was to say about the 5k in a previous post.
    Soph said she had fun, Myles did not have fun. He was cold and wanted to walk. Needless to say, Brian didnt' have a blast walking w/him. Soph told me this morning she wanted to finish in 39 minutes, but she also just wanted to cruise and not worry about going she was really happy!
    It's hard when I don't run w/them to recap cuz I get very little details or pictures.

  2. I loves me my trail races! I do feel a tiny bit for the drivers that are caught by surprise, but then wonder how they can be so limited in working out how to drive around the event. I've never done one of these where they stopped runners for cars though - that would have been aggravating. Love the Emma pics and her energy! You were a good mom to go along with her and I have a hard time believing a crusty evil course marshall would have ever said anything.

  3. I think if I were after a PR, stopping for cars would bug me, but not so much yesterday.

    San Fran marathon also stops runners for traffic, but the traffic moves quick and is ok with the whole "race thing"....not so in WC.

    WC the officers would see a break in runners and tell the lead car to go and it would sit there for 5 seconds and miss it's chance to go and then be mad at the officer.

    So eventually they had to stop the runners to make the cars go.