I ran the Bay to Breakers today. It was my fourth year in a row. Got up at 5:20 AM so I could drive to Daly City and take BART to the starting line.
As a “pledge runner”, I got a starting position near the front of the pack, and started quickly. For training, I mostly run a 3.85 mile loop, completely flat. The race is 12K (7.45 miles), and has a big hill between mile two and three. So it’s no surprise that I started out fast and got tired after the first half.
This means that for the last two thirds of the race, I am a slowpoke laggard getting passed left and right. I was constantly at the back of whatever pack I was affiliated with. Everyone passed me: a guy pushing a baby carriage; women â€” even tiny girls (I would find a burst of energy when this happened, and try to keep up, generally to no avail); guys dressed as Spider Man and Little Bo Peep. It was humiliating.
Yet, I did better than I ever have by nearly three minutes. My official time is 53:10, and I was ranked 365th. Hooray! And I felt like I ran FASTâ€¦ hit the first mile marker in about 6:05, which is very good for me. My stomach was cramped all day, like it sometimes does when I run too hard. So I don’t feel like I could have asked for much more. It’s the malady that proves the effort.