Only when it comes to this race. If you’re a new-ish reader, you can read last year’s recap here, I don’t want to bore everyone with redundancy! Let’s just say, with 27,000 runner’s each year, I deem it acceptable to hop in about a quarter of a mile into the race. They’ve gotten smarter over the years and blocked the entrance so you can walk to the start line and hop in, that being said…I just wait my happy butt on a random little island near the start and hop in after the fast-ies pass.
Yeah, take your judgey pants off! I pay for the race, so I don’t feel bad. I never run this race to race, I run to be a part of something bigger. Something that grabs Sacramento each Thanksgiving and takes over the grid and East Sac. All walks of Sacramentan life come out for this event and it’s always epic people watching and a nice way to burn some extra calories before I consume an extraordinary amount.
The course hasn’t changed in a few years, but in case you are local or are wondering how it goes, here it is. It should be noted the 10K starts at 8:15AM and the 5k starts at 9AM. There is a turn off for the 5k that shouldn’t be missed, or you’ll end up running/walking double your distance – ask Momma Bear about her experience about 3 years ago 😉 HAHA
|5k & 10k courses|
Packet pickup is at our local REI and nothing was out of the norm from previous years. I chose to stop by the day before the race and was expecting crazy town, but it wasn’t too bad. If you know the drill you can be in and out in 5 minutes, as I was. First, walk directly inside the store to the back room to pick up your bib. If you ignore the gentleman at the door, since you already know what’s going on, expect a stanky face. I walked directly to the untimed section where my last name would be. They located my bib and I was outside picking up my t-shirt in less than 2 minutes. Easy!
Since I’m in the beginning stages of Napa Marathon & SLO Marathon training, I decided that I’d use this race to incorporate my long run for the week. So, to hit hear 10 miles, I decided to run to the race, run the 10k (most of it at least), and run/walk home. This was a first and I really needed to pump myself up for this because I’d been feeling lousy and also becuase J wasn’t going to run with me because he was sick. All along we planned to do it together, but we both got hit with nasty bugs that week 🙁
Up somewhat later, than a normal race, I was up and ate breakfast. I’m glad I decided to eat the whole bagel and not just half…in the end this was a good idea. Except at the time, it felt like eating cardboard when I started in on the second half.
Since I was feeling lousy the night before, I didn’t take the normal gear grid shot until that morning. I didn’t even pick out my race outfit until that morning. It didn’t rain, thank goodness, so a long sleeve tee and long pants were just right for race day! I know no one cares at all, but I’m pretty sure I wore the same top last year…eeek! I feel like that’s a cardinal runner’s sin…or just tacky! Oh well, I did it anyways!
It was 2.26 miles to the spot I like to jump in the race at. It was a great warm up and I was ready to finish the 10k. However, timing wise, I got there about 20 minutes before the gun would go off. I got a little cold, but just stretched, attempted to snot rocket (not successful at all), and people watched. Finally, the fast runners were off. I waited a good minute or so, which is extremely hard – I just wanted to start running, before I hopped in.
At approximately mile 1 I decided to see how J was feeling. He said he was doing better and that he’d meet up with me to finish the race. I was happy, I enjoying nothing more than logging miles with that fella. I also told myself, this race I would enjoy the sights and the race, but more importantly ALL of the mimosa stops. This race has become such an affair, random houses/families have started making their own aid stations, and by aid stations I mean mimosa stations. It’s the best. I even ran into a friend, Derrick, who was offering free doughnuts to runners. I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t sure if that was exactly what he was doing or else I would have taken one. Come to find out, he was giving them away.
Just before mile 3, I veered off the course to go grab J at our house. After a quick nose blow and a hello, we were out the door. Thank goodness the course is literally two blocks from our front door. We hopped in with the masses and not less than a mile later we stopped at our first mimosa stop. We completely bypassed the only water station and went straight for the bubbly. We also saw an older man take a pretty gnarly fall, but he ended up being all right.
Then it was a short jaunt to the finish. This race is so congested, I honestly don’t see how most people, besides the fast people at the very front, really race this race. No matter where I was, I was always surrounded by people! I love it though. As long as you know this going into it and your mindset is that way, then you’ll enjoy the run!
After the grand, congested finish, we walked to the free goodies. Grabbed some water and passed on most of the other stuff. We knew we needed to get back home and get ready for the day so we decided to cool down all the way to Starbucks, which ended up being about 1.5 miles. We both grabbed a coffee and quickly perused the Black Friday ads. We decided to walk the last mile or so home, since I’d already logged plenty of miles. It was a perfect way to end our busy morning and get ready for the day of family and food ahead!
Year after year I sign up for this run and I’m still not disappointed. They even kinda got the shirt right again this year. The design was great and minimalist, the fabric was just as soft as last year. It’s a great local race for a great cause, that I don’t think any Sacramentan should miss (especially if you’re a people watcher)!
I almost feel guilty not doing this run so I can eat whatever I want…