Monday, February 11, 2013

Golden Gate 30K Race report

After three consecutive DNF's in the second half of 2012 (for various worthy reasons) capped off by a DNS (North Face Half Marathon canceled due to extreme weather), I approached the beginning of 2013 racing with no small trepidation. After the Marin 50 Mile, I'd not finished a single race, DNF'ing at a 50 mile, 100 mile, 30K, and DNS'ing a half marathon. My only goal was to have fun. and…maybe stay ahead of my sister.

After crewing me to a DNF at mile 34.5 of Cascades Crest 100 Mile and enduring cranky, smelly, me, somehow my sister decided to try a trail race. She signed up for Golden Gate 30K in February at my recommendation of a beautiful, low-key, well marked course. And maybe some friendly sisterly competition. Every weekend after New Years, my sister tried to run around Manhattan, posting on Facebook her increasing distances "24 miles", and to my trail accustomed eyes, horrifying paces "8:57 minutes/miles".

I tried to give M enough advice for her first trail race without overwhelming her. 

Stay away from Poison Oak. "I don't know what it looks like" "I'll show you".
Don't run up the first hill (Hill 88, a 900 foot climb from Rodeo Beach).
Carry a water bottle "I never run with one, and I don't have one". "I'll give you one of mine."
Bring clothes for the finish when you're cold/muddy/sweaty.
Line up near the back of the pack. 

We arrived at Rodeo Beach at 7:05 AM, adequate time to pick up our numbers, huddle in the car for warmth, take a few photos, and start! Quickly, we were near the back of the 50 and 30K ers. We chatted and walked, as I pointed out the top of the hill on the near horizon. When we got to the top, I started down, only to find M right with me. 

At Tennessee Valley I left first, but on the climb again M was right with me, enjoying the beautiful day and the spectaular vistas of Marin in all it's glory. On Coyote Ridge I descended first, only again to look back and see M right behind me. I decided to slow down and walk Pirates Cove with my sister. Why was I being so competitive? The day was about having fun and showing my sister the beauty of trail running, not seeing who was a minute or so ahead? I took out my headphones and snapped a few photos as M caught up. 

As she passed me with her headphones on, without breaking a stride, she said "It's Britney, B@$#@" and jaunted ahead. Sometimes I wonder why I'm competitive with my sister. This was not one of those times. It took me 5 miles to catch back up to her at TV aid station. 

We walked together companionably up Marincello as I pointed out Mount Diablo & Angel Island. Then I tried to drop the hammer and catch Todd. Made a decent showing, passing ~10 runners to finish at 4:03. M finished at 4:07, an awesome sister showing! Most proud of showing my sister the joy of trail running! At the end, got to hang out with Karen & Sabina. 

Things I did well
ran my own race after sister passed me
brought salt, took every half hour
said thank you to volunteers
dropped the hammer down Coastal Trail
ran up Tennessee Valley road just like I'd done in training loops
said great race to Wendell, the RD

To improve on:
being more friendly to runners when passing me /vice versa
really nailing the last mile into Rodeo Beach -- my split for the mile on road was 10:15

So happy to finish a race & enjoy the day!