Spectating the Berkeley Half.

Thank you all for your sweet comments about my flipping ankle. I’d kind of hoped that you’d all say ‘Run it anyway, get that bling!’ but you all assumed that I’d be sensible and let my ankle heal a bit. So with much sighing and harrumphing, I decided to do that.

I was always going to turn up on the day though. It felt like THE place to be as a runner in the Bay Area, so I decided to go and cheer. And then the Husband volunteered to take my place and run for me. I know people will have different views about that but bearing in mind I’d had paid for the race (he wasn’t a bandit) and he was never going to disrupt the age-group placing for 30 – 39 year old women, we were both fine with it.  Also, being honest, I really wanted the medals and the t-shirt. Even if those medals weren’t mine, I wanted them in the house.

Awesome sunrise this morning
Awesome sunrise this morning

My ankle felt much stronger on Sunday morning, but I stuck with my wise decision and we drove over to Berkeley in plenty of time. Plenty of time for ME to need a bathroom stop, (someone forgot to tell my tummy that I wasn’t the one racing today) and for us to suddenly realise we’d left the Husband’s number at home. So we turned round, raced the 15 miles home, got the number, raced back and hurtled (within the legal speed-limits, obv) to Berkeley. We got to the start area a few minutes before the 10k start time. I dropped my boy racer off and the Dude and I set off to the finish line.

I hadn’t prepared for this. In my original plan, I was coming to this race alone, parking at the start line and getting the shuttle back to my car. I wasn’t actually sure where the finish was (I was planning to follow the fast people) and I don’t know my way round Berkeley very well. As such, I went the wrong way a few times, got stuck in race traffic (in the wrong direction), got some wrong directions from the course marshalls (no blame) and freaked out a little that I’d miss the Husband. All the time I was driving, I saw the runners and the course looked AMAZING! I really wanted to be running.

A very photogenic finishing straight - SF in the background over the Bay
A very photogenic finishing straight – SF in the background over the Bay

Eventually I parked up at the racecourse, where the finish line was, and the Dude and I dashed through the car-park to the finish line. No pain in the ankle – it’s healing. We’d been there about ten minutes, cheering, when the Husband ran through the finish line in 54 mins. Bearing in mind he’d cycled 30 hilly miles yesterday and didn’t know if he was racing until this morning, he did really well. We collected him, hugged him, picked up the race shirt (which is fantastic, I’m really excited about it) and got the additional medal I was also eligible for because I ran SF in June. He had also run both races, so he earned both medals! I got to keep the shirt – he’s not a Women’s Small or I would have passed it on.

Diverting from the finish chute to kiss us...aw...
Diverting from the finish chute to kiss us…aw…
Get that bling in the house!
Get that bling in the house!

He also got a beer token, but no under-21s were allowed in the beer area. So the Husband stood one side of the fence and we stood on the other, like star-crossed lovers in the French Revolution.

The barricades!

Juli and her friend arrived (her friend having run her first 10k) and then we saw Angela coming to find us! It was so good to see everyone, and personally I was relieved that everyone I spoke to said that I’d made the right call not to run – apparently the course was twisty, turny and had a significant amount of rough ground in it…ie: prime ankle-twisting territory. Later on, I got to meet Brianna too, which was really nice after chatting online for a while now! I missed out on meeting other bloggers – next time, we need to pick a spot so we can meet up more easily, it was really busy at the end.

So nice to see Angela!
Angela, Juli, my boys and Juli’s 10k-newbie friend.
She’s talking a half-marathon now…yay!

Pretty much everything I heard about the race was good as regards organisation. The course isn’t apparently as PR-friendly as it was made out to be online, but I heard about two shiny new PRs so it’s clearly possible. I also heard not-so-good things about the courses for the longer distances (the 10 mile and the Half-Marathon). Out-n-backs, hairpin turns…and surprisingly little amount of time spent in the city of Berkeley itself before heading to the Bay. At the finish-line party, non-runners and under-21s weren’t allowed in the beer enclosure. I get the under-21s even though it doesn’t make it particularly family-friendly but excluding non-runners/supporters seems like a mistake. But all in all, for an inaugural event, it seemed to go well. The shirts are excellent and the medals were great!

Medals Berkeley
Two medals!

Well done to all the runners out there today – you made it look so much fun! On with the ankle-healing, I want to run again.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicola Johnson says:

    Well done Mr R, and well done you Mrs Sensible! You did the right thing and got to recce the course before your world record attempt next year… 😉

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks. I hate being sensible but the ankle is much better.

  2. Jen says:

    That photo of your boys by the beer barricade is hilarious! I don’t think it’s that unusual to have a barrier to fence off the beer area — the only time I haven’t seen that at a race is Oakland. (Proving once again that Oakland is the best ever.) I think the 10K distance was the only one out of the 3 distances to be PR-possible. Glad to hear the ankle is feeling better!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I agree that the under 21 thing makes sense, even if it was difficult for us. It does make me appreciate Oakland all the more! Not allowing non-runners/spectators seems a bit silly though.

  3. CateC says:

    Mile 12 was most certainly NOT ankle friendly! Thanks for being out there cheering, and I’m bummed I missed yet another chance to meet you in person! Mike and Ellie did the same outside-the-beer-garden fence thing 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      I actually saw Mike and Ellie – we were spectating close to each other as the Husband came through. I wanted to say hi but thought that it might seem super-weird! Ellie is SO cute, seriously!! I didn’t see you guys afterwards or I would have said hi – I keep missing you at races. Next time there’s such a blogger influx, we should sort out a meet-up point!

  4. Cheryl says:

    How fun that you made a family day out of it! I FINALLY broke 2 hours at this thing (agree with the remarks above — kind of an odd course, but super-pretty!) so you can add me to the list of PRs. Woohoo! Are you gonna run the Kaiser half in Feb?

    1. Cathryn says:

      I had no idea you were running – gutted I didn’t get to see you and say hi for more than a split second mid-race! CONGRATS on the sub-two – what a fantastic achievement! SUCH a good feeling!

      Yes to Kaiser! It’s my birthday weekend…I smell a PR. Or at least a darn good attempt at one. See you there?

  5. Juli Bronzini says:

    My major accomplishment for this race was NOT falling since (in my opinion) the course was a bit of a disaster zone! Good to see you yesterday and so excited my running companion is all fired up and ready to try an even longer race!

    1. Cathryn says:

      That is the BEST news, SO excited about that!!! And yes, you did well not to fall. I’m always going to run with you in future so as to improve my odds of not falling again 🙂

  6. Cheryl says:

    Yup, I’ll be there! A birthday PR would be extra-awesome! You could get your new time written on your bday cake.

    1. Cathryn says:

      You have the BEST ideas.

  7. You all look like you had so much fun. (love the picture of the dude and the husband in jail) I’m glad you took it easy and let your ankle heal. There will be more races but you only have two feet!

    1. Cathryn says:

      It was the right call, I know and was still a lot of fun! I’m probably not running for a week or so to rest it properly – I didn’t realise how much I love running until I can’t. Always the way, eh?

  8. BT says:

    Well done, all around. No doubt your ankle thanks your discretion (the better part of valor). Kaiser sounds like it will be a fun collection of folks… perhaps I’ll come join the fun.

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