Yesterday, I left off saying that the course was hard.They warned us on the website, saying, “If you’re tired of those boring ‘flat and fast’ half’s, this one is for you!”
They were right! This was a tough race with tons of hills, and barely anything that was flat. I was constantly going up and down. It made it an interesting journey, for sure.
Every volunteer I passed was so sweet and fun. Each person seemed completely stoked to be there. I always felt super supported, even though I was the very last one.
Special shout out to the “Girls on the Run” water stop!
“Girls on the Run” is (from their website): “dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams… Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment.”
That’s an organization I can definitely get behind. Both times I passed their water stop, all the girls (the elementary-schoolers, and the grown up women alike) were nothing but joyous. They had endless energy!
Even though I was dead last, once I was in the ladies’ sight, all the little girls leaped into action. One girl rang a cowbell with more enthusiasm than anyone in the history of cowbells has rang one. Girls grabbed gels and water, offering me anything I needed. And the big kids (or grown-ups, you could say) facilitated all that awesomeness by being awesome themselves.
Huge props to the organization itself, the women who ran the water stop, the race for including “Girls on the Run,” and the girls who worked tirelessly for hours to support every runner out there. A+. I was moved by all the joy there. I sincerely hope that those girls can find that joy throughout the rest of their lives, and that “Girls on the Run” inspires more girls with every year!
Even though I’m sending that group a special shout-out, every volunteer at the race was awesome. There wasn’t a single volunteer who seemed annoyed to still be out there as I passed by them (again, in dead last place).
When I finally made it around to the finish, every police officer and spectator I passed cheered me on. “You’re almost there!” “You can do it!” This was a sweet, sweet town where no one seemed to care that I was incredibly slow.
I finally turned the corner and ran into the finish as the clock said 3:59:18. (The time limit was 4 hours, and I made it, by golly!)
The moment I crossed the finished, I was greeted by a whole team of lovely people from Clover Stornetta Farms – a company sponsoring the race.
They handed me some delicious chocolate milk, some water, a towel, and best of all, the absolute best medal I’ve gotten yet! It’s a cowbell that makes noise and everything. And it is loud!
You could easily tell who’d run the race, ’cause you’d hear them coming a mile away. I loved it.
I stopped off for some delicious lunch at this local place called McNear’s. I had pancakes with strawberry butter, which I didn’t know was a thing, but now it’s a thing I like a lot.
I jumped on a bus and slept pretty much the entire way from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Great race. Great community. Great fun. Great day!