I knew five people who were in the Wharf-to-Wharf run in Santa Cruz yesterday although it was such a big event, I didn't find anyone! So how did it go? From our little group, Lynn, Juliana, Caroline, and I were planning on being there. I heard from Lynn that she had a great time and it seemed as if she took the time to really appreciate the spectacles and music along the route. My approach, not surprisingly I suppose, was to run it as fast as possible with Jennifer (my wife) worried that I would give myself a heart attack.
It was hard getting out of the crowds (15,000 runners!) at the beginning although I had been warned (thanks, Tamra) that many people completely disregard the pace signs and there were quite a few walkers or very slow joggers packed up right near the starting line. I started probably within 50' of the start line. It still took me 15 seconds or more to get to the starting line after the gun went off and I was often blocked by slower runners during the first mile which was officially was 7 minutes 20 seconds. I ran hard, passing a lot of people in the first couple of miles. It seems like no matter how long the race is, I feel like stopping with about 2 miles to go! So I was getting fatigued around mile 4 and was very much looking forward to finishing but I tried to keep it all together and I hung on until the end. I was quite happy to see the finish line at the end of that long downhill. The announcer was calling out that the top 100 finishers were still coming in, so I pretty much sprinted the last couple hundred yards. In hindsight, I should have remembered based on the 2004 results that there was no way I could be in the top 100 males and that the announcer must have been referring to the women finishers. Anyway, I was pretty happy with my performance all-in-all, and my time of 40 minutes 20 seconds would've made me tie with the 62nd woman last year! (Hey, I have to look for positive reinforcement where I can get it!)
I did enjoy the sights and sounds, especially the Clock Man with the accordion. Wild! And the orchestra, marching band, rock bands, cheerleaders, spectators, water-sprayers, etc., were great. It is quite the event and I'll definitely (try to ) attend Wharf-to-Wharf again.