Bay to Breakers 12K
San Francisco, CA
Mileage - 7.5
AEG - 326ft
Pace - 5:40
Place - 67th Overall
Bay to Breakers - It's seven and a half miles of total chaos and seven and a half miles of total awesomeness at the same time! I don't even know how to put this one into words, I guess try to imagine an alcohol-infused Halloween parade that meets a road race of world wide proportions. All beings of life descended onto the streets of San Francisco Sunday morning for a day of expression, liberation, competition, and an all together good time.
I purchased a shuttle bus pass for the race and was dropped off downtown around 6:30 am with an 8:00 start time. Needless to say, I had plenty of time to warm up and get situated before the seeded/elite corral filled up. As the minutes passed, the elites kept rolling in, never have I seen so many good runners at such a short race. I suppose when there's $70,000 in potential prize money you're going to see some of the fastest guys (and gals) show up. With ten minutes to spare I found my place near the front. Then we waited, and waited. People became antsy and began doing stride outs to stay loose and keep their heart rate elevated. The start line became an unorganized cluster and suddenly the announcer said "one minute to start." Panic brought people back to the line and then "boom" we lunged forward and the race was underway.
Everyone has a story to tell from the craziness that ensued after 8:00 am, mine came within the first quarter mile of the gun going off. From the sidelines a guy broke through the barricades and launched into the streets perpendicular to the runners as if he was about to tackle someone. In a split second I witnessed the greatest display of strength and reflex directly in front of me as a police officer (on a bicycle mind you) grabbed this guy by the shirt and whipped him back towards the sidewalk like a rag doll. I never broke stride.
Through the streets we went, and the city came alive with roars from spectators (many already inebriated). I was probably 200 deep at this point slowly maneuvering my way up before hitting Hayes Street Hill. I heard talk of how tough this incline was, and yes, by the time I reached the top, collapsing sounded like a great idea! The next mile allowed me to regroup and find a good pace. We hit the panhandle around mile five leading into Golden Gate Park and I let it rip. Passing runners became my motivation to the finish, even though my lungs were screaming I didn't hold back. Next thing I knew I was rounding the final turn onto Ocean Beach and crossing the line a touch over 42 minutes. That...was...awesome!
Overall results click here.