Saturday, July 28, 2018

Pacifica Trail Run 9K -- First Place!

What a fun family race day! Jennifer, Claire, and I all ran the Pacifica Trail Run 9K (put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs). I think this is the first time that all three of us ran the same race on the same day. We all had a good race in the cool overcast skies, doing the steep hilly Valley View and Hazelnut trails for 5.62 miles and 1356 ft of elevation gain. It was a small race of 60 or 70 people, but still I was surprised that we all came in first place in our age groups and I even managed an overall win! Claire was the first finisher of anyone, boy or girl, under 19 years of age. My time was 43 minutes 13 seconds, Claire's was about 1 hour 3 minutes, and Jennifer finished in 1 hour 13 minutes. I received a $75 credit towards future races.

I had one funny encounter during the race. Coming down the Hazlenut Trail, with maybe a mile to go, I thought I was comfortably in the lead but I imagined that I heard someone behind me. On a switchback, I got a glance at someone almost on my heels! I didn't get a good look, but I didn't recognize the guy. I dug deeper and pushed hard on the straightaway, hoping to pull ahead a bit. On the next sharp switchback, I saw that it was a woman and she was about 30' behind me. I kept pushing hard. Finally, finally, I crossed the familiar footbridge and turned right into the picnic area. I had it! I aimed for some cones I saw. As I approached the "finish line", people were yelling and waving at me. In my haste, I missed the huge inflatable arch. I briefly thought to myself -- so this is how I will get passed at the very end! I made a mad dash back and around the ribbon and then sprinted through the arch. Whew! A few seconds later, the woman who was chasing me continued along the trail without turning towards the finish. She wasn't in the race! She came up to me a short while later saying "Ron?" and I sort-of recognized her as one of our running club scholarship recipients, Sammy Hamilton. She introduced herself and I had a good laugh. She's basically an elite runner just doing her own workout which happened to coincide with the race.

I quickly got in the lead, and managed to stay there!