Last Tuesday, I saw on FB that one of my non-runner friends was running a 5k in nearby Redwood City on Independence Day. The Husband was doing his LONG training day that day so the Dude and I were free. My training plan (which I’ll talk about soon) called for 6 miles with 3 or 4 at tempo. I felt that a 5k stroller race would tick that box nicely enough. I checked his Dudeship’s opinion on the matter and he was keen for us to try and beat our stroller 5k PR, so I signed us up. At $35 it wasn’t too bank-rattling and was followed by a parade! Result.
I had no real expectations for this race. Our stroller PR is 26.41 but I didn’t think I was that fit at the moment. However Roundhay parkrun the other week came in at 26.43 on a hilly course so I thought that maybe on a flatter course, I might come close. We have borrowed a friend’s Bob stroller to take to Canada for the Ironman (early start, long day, late finish) so we decided to race with that.
Parking was limited so we got there early and parked very easily at the junction of Arguello and Whipple and walked the 10 blocks or so to the start/finish line. Registration was just round the corner, packet pick-up was easy and I got a great t-shirt! No t-shirt for the Dude as he wasn’t registered as a separate runner…but the very sweet volunteer guy winked and told me to pick one up for him, which the Dude and I both hugely appreciated.
As we waited to start (we self-seeded towards the front, wondering if we were in the right place) I got chatting to a dad pushing a double-stroller. My plan was to let him run ahead and let him carve a way through the crowd, but it turned out he’d done a few Ironman races and had qualified for Kona so maybe not. The gun went off (super loud) and we were running.
The course was decent…three loops around downtown. It was quite busy but I managed to get a decent pace going early on and not to weave around too much. It was flipping hot. I wondered if I’d gone out too fast but whatever, I just planned to hang on. I ran past my friend, running with her daughters, soon after the start – the cheeky monkeys had started before me – so it was lovely to yell for them. Three loops seem to take forever but soon enough, we’d completed them all and dashed for the finish. As I crossed, I saw the time said 25:xx but I also knew my new Garmin (more on that another day) hadn’t even beeped three miles! Alas I’d run 2.98 miles in 25.43. When I extrapolated that pace up to 5.1, it came in at 26.49 – 8 seconds off my stroller PR. I wasn’t disappointed at all…really happy with it!
I was even MORE happy when I checked my results on the super-fancy computers at the Results Desk and found I was 4th stroller overall. I’d seen already that the race organizers had been incredibly generous with their prize categories (you had awards three deep for both male and female single strollers and double strollers) so I wondered if I might just have snuck a prize. Indeed I had – second Female Single Stroller.The Dude was so excited you would have thought he’d run it himself. I was pretty chuffed too.
A quick note on the race itself – it was VERY well organized and supported. It’s only a local race but the turn-out was brilliant, about 1200 runners, and I really can’t speak highly enough of the organization. I’ve never been to a race that had stroller prizes (let alone split by gender and double/single) and I hugely appreciated that. The generosity with prizes and t-shirts kind of sums it up for me. I definitely want to do more of their races!