Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Running Question Challenge - Do you Remember Your First Race?

Do you remember your first race? Tell us about it.
I ran track in high school and we used to run Bay to Breakers each year.  The coach would pick me up really, really early in the morning and we'd drive into San Francisco.  I don't remember what time we'd get there but it was early enough to get close to the start.  You could see the elites lined up. It was always cold and we'd huddle close to each other covered in our black plastic garbage bags.  Once the race started, we'd shuffle together with the crowd edging our way forward and the first overpass we'd all make noise and hear the noise vertebrate off the walls.  

I remember two parts of the course. The first is Hayes Hill.  This hill was steep and long and I'd blow past people stopping to walk it.  Hills didn't scare me then, nor do they now but I do like to be trained for them.  The second thing I remember is running through the park and people in their houses would sit at their windows with their music playing.  

I remember crossing the finish line and feeling like falling over.  The guides would help hold me up through the chute and then I was off to Golden Gate Fields to get some food and find my friends.  25 years ago they used to give out full size of things.  Full size soda's, candy, whatever. I remember when Kudo bars were introduced  and they were handing out the bars.  My teammate took a full case to eat later.  I also remember they had carbonated water on the course.  That was a shock and absolutely horrible.  It seems they did that for a few years in a row and stopped.  

After the race we'd go to the Embarcadero Center and find pizza.  This was the greasiest pizza I have ever seen.  We'd put our napkins on the pizza and sop of all the grease before eating it.  It would take many napkins before we felt enough of the grease had been absorbed.  But you know what, it was the best pizza ever at that moment and we kept coming back year after year to eat it after the race.   Of course, I stopped running that race too but one day I would love to go back and run it with all the other crazyies.

Note: After writing the above I realized I had run another race prior to that.  It was a 5K in the town of Livermore and I won my age group, only because my friend (who was much faster than me) ran with me and let me cross in front of her.  I have no idea what my time was, how big the race was nor do I have many memories of the race.


Teamarcia said...

What great memories! Greasy pizza and all! ;)

Staci Dombroski said...

That is a great story :)

Johann said...

Great memories! I remember my first race very well. My first half marathon in 1981. I’ve posted my memories of the race on my blog.

Giorgio said...

Great running blog! I have known it via Johann's blog.
Have a nice running :)

Anonymous said...

Great story : )
I remember my first race pretty well since it was only 6 months ago haha. The most distinct memory from the race is just running on a beautiful sunny fall morning thinking wow I love this.

Giorgio said...

I am sorry that no one spoke English while you were losing in Rome on a run. Although Rome is a tourist town people don't speak English. It's strange! Thanks for your answer on my blog :)

Jamie said...

Great memory! I don't remember my first race way back in 8th grade ;) I have bits and pieces from different races all mashed together. Though I do remember my first 5K when I first started running again as an adult! I thought I was going to die in the heat of Chicago summer to run the Race to the Taste. Though we did get to gorge ourselves of the taste of chicago after the race and before it opened to the public!

Carrie said...

A woman I know just ran that last year! It is so close to me!

You first race memory is awesome! :o)

DaveC said...

Yes I do, it was an accidental entry into a road race that I thought was a 10 km and turned out to be a 21.1 km.