Saturday, July 05, 2014

Pacifica Rocket Run

Coastside Running Club members in the race
I ran this 5 mile race in Pacifica for the first time yesterday. It's held annually on July 4, and it's an informal and affordable ($20 race-day registration with t-shirt) and small (80 people?) race on the streets of Pacifica, with a good-sized hill in the middle.
The start was about 3 minutes late
I saw the kids line up at the front, and I knew from past races that they were very likely to sprint at the beginning and then quickly fade. The race started a few minutes past the scheduled 9am start, and then with a police escort at the front, we were off! The kids at the front sprinted ahead and then quickly faded. :-)

Us older runners soon worked our way to the front, with my friend Dan chasing a 20-something young man decked out in patriotic running gear. Then came Alon, my friend Mor's brother who was visiting from Israel. Then it was me, chasing Alon. I glanced at my watch -- 5:37 average pace. Oops. Then 5:45 average pace a bit later -- that's better.

Around the one mile mark, I was feeling good and I slowly pulled ahead of Alon, putting myself in third. I didn't feel like I could push any harder.

At the 1.7 mile mark, we turned left from Linda Mar Blvd on to Alicante Drive. This is a steep climb up to about the 2.1 mile mark. I saw Dan put on a burst of effort and pass Mr. 20-Something to put himself in first place. I pushed extra hard here too, thinking I could recover on the downhill. However, the recovery never really happened! The gradual downhill back towards the start felt quite difficult and I just tried to hang on. I maintained about the same distance from the second place guy of maybe a 100 feet.

I was happy to be able to finish in 30 minutes 50 seconds (6:11 per mile pace) and third place overall.
Working hard to finish!
We waited a while for all the runners to finish and then the age-group awards were handed out, 6 deep in each age bracket (10 year brackets for adults).

The age group winners
We had a wonderful breakfast at Mor's house afterwards. Thanks, Mor! Was a nice day! Jennifer promised to run the race next year. Who knows, maybe I can get Claire to run it, too.

Here is my Garmin data.