Race Recap: San Jose Giants Race

I Turn(ed) Two in San Jose…

…but even more excited to become a Triple Bagger in September! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s rejoice in the five miles that is the San Jose Giant Race. I’ve raved about this race since the first time I ran it, although no recap since I was just starting to blog then. I love the randomness of the course — city streets, up a rolling grassy hill, through a cool zoo, and finishing on an actual field (not a warning track)! All of that on a lovely Saturday morning (wishing it was a Sunday morning) with one of my fave running partners!

Anything for the Orange & Black nation! This race is oddly on a Saturday, so that means instead of waking up too early on Sat AM, I head down to the East Bay to stay with the Lil the night before the race. J wanted to have dinner, so we grabbed some HH bites (carbs of course) and watched the first Copa America game. Then I was off to the Lil’s to have a sissy slumber party, which included me arriving and me falling asleep within 10 minutes of my arrival. Okay, I lied, I snapped a quick gear grid shot, then went to bed!

Since it really isn’t feasible for us to grab our bibs during the week or the night before, we pick them up on race day. It isn’t ideal, but it always works out smoothly for us. They offer two distances, 5k or 5 miles, both of which start at 7:30AM. I’ve only ever done the 5 mile course, paid for three, raced two. So, to make sure we had enough time we were up at 5:30AM to leave the house by 6AM. We had to grab something to eat, because that’s how all races go. We stopped by Starbucks and split a bagel and each had a coffee.

5 Mile Course

Since the area was busy with the Sharks in the playoffs AND the Warriors in the playoffs, the race management was worried about a lot of stuff. But everything worked out great! Parking was free and as easy as I remember it two years ago. We parked in the school’s field and it’s right next to the start and in the same area as the packet-pick-up. They literally have a link in their email which can open up straight into Maps, if you’re an iPhone user. You couldn’t ask for an easier pre-race morning. After we grabbed our bibs we hit the port-o-potties to take care of business (yeah, TMI).

Of course there were plenty of pre-race pics taken. On the way back to the car we ran into our Sacramento running friends (also a couple), Chris & Diane. It’s always fun to run into familiar faces at an out-of-town race. They are Giants fans and also ran the Sactown race too. They made a mini weekend out of it and spent the night and were also going to the game that evening. After a few minutes chatting, we headed to the car to get race ready. I think I race with the Lil, just so I have a photographer 😉 HAHA

So, I knew this run was going to be a bit of a struggle, but I had every intention of enjoying it with the Lil. I ran pretty fast on #NationalRunningDay which lead me with high hopes of running the race a little faster. But the logic of donating blood on Thursday and Milo’s Friday AM Midtown class (where my ass cheeks were instantly sore) didn’t set it until I started the race. With every step I took, I could feel my butt cheeks.

We hung out in the corral, stretching and whatnot, then the National Anthem was sang. Next, it was GO time! I started my Garmin right when we got to the mat. Somehow or someway, Lil and I’s Garmin’s didn’t sync up the entire race, mine had a longer course than hers. Let’s just say my legs just felt tired. Not too heavy at this point but tired. That and my allergies were going crazy. I actually spent a good amount of time thinking “What if I didn’t have boogers when I ran, how much faster could I go?” Cool thought, even though it will never happen. Lil warned me she was not conditioned to race either, but I never believe her. She killed it, I felt like I was always a step behind her.

I mentioned I like this course. The different terrain is what keeps me happy about the course. At times, the 3K that were running it, made it a little congested. Mainly when you are going through the park and there is one pathway. It bottlenecks, but I don’t really let that stop me, I have no problem running off the pathway. I always laugh when we have to run up the grassy hill, it just makes me smile. It is by no means a pretty run, but I think it’s fun. I will note that the Happy Hallow Park & Zoo seems to have made some major upgrades and running through it made me want to take L there soon. Maybe my two year memory is far gone, but it looked much more fun this time around AND I felt like we spent more time running in the zoo — nonetheless, running through a zoo is cool.

I also forgot that your run near San Jose State too, the end of the course is another half loop of the beginning of the course. It’s not glamorous at all, but it helps you stay focused, knowing you have one loop around and then a block and a half straightaway to Municipal Stadium. Once you get to the stadium you make a hard right into the parking lot and merge with the 5Kers. Just a few strides later you turn left into the stadium and you are greeted with an awesome balloon arch and a shoot with people lined up on both sides. I was hoping to see a 45 in the time, but I didn’t. I saw a 46.

Mile 1 – 8:51
Mile 2 – 8:59
Mile 3  – 8:56
Mile 4 – 9:21
Mile 5 – 9:00
Mile 6 – 8:11
Total Time – 45:51.64
Total Distance – 5.09 Miles
Average Pace – 9 Min/Mile

Official Result – 46:18, 10th in Age Group

I’m kind of annoyed by the official results because Lil and I literally ran in at the same time. But if you look up our results, she came in 29 seconds faster than me, which is NOT the case! But oh well, what are you going to do? I tend to prefer my Garmin time and pace anyways!

I was exhausted. It was muggy and humid, complied with tired legs. I was glad to be done, we both were. We grabbed our awesome medals, which celebrated the 5th anniversary of my race (fave number!). Then we went to where there was less of a crowd in right field. Obviously to take more pics!

Once we kinda cooled down, we started to make our way toward the chaos of tents and people. First we grabbed our race tees, which was a nice option to be able to get it post-race. Next door was the Giant Race tent merch, all of which is really cute, but really pricey. Sorry, but if I’m paying that price it better have a swoosh or a Lulu logo on it! Then we ran into Chris & Diane again and chatted for a bit. At this point, I was super thirsty so we parted ways. We grabbed a water, but neglected the other goodies in favor of going to brunch. We took an all encompassing look at the tents and decided we’d rather just get some good grub!

I knew there would be a fun pig to snap a pic with by the team store. The PIG! There it was again, so of course we snapped some pics! And also helped others by snapping their pics. I really wanted to take a pic with the trophies, but by this point the line was really long. I saw them, which made me super hyped…but no picture, again! Oh well.

I just kept smiling as I walked back to the car. Although it’s not ideal for a Sacramenten to race in San Jose on a Saturday morning, I’m glad I did. I got to spend quality time with the Lil and run a race for my favorite team and a great non-profit. I didn’t really have much to complain about. Back to the car we headed to Cafe Gourmet, a 4 start Yelp rated spot for brunch! We were glad we made that decision, breakfast was way more than we bargained for. Huge portions and fresh ingredients, the owner even chatted with us. Small, but full of awesomeness. I’d recommend to anyone, you get what you pay for — on the pricier side, but tons of fresh food. It’s worth it. I enjoy supporting and trying local businesses after a race!

Chicken Fried Chicken
Breakfast Burrito w/ Bacon
We ran, we pictured, we ate. All in all, a great race day. It’s experiences like these that make it fun to travel a little to race, every once in awhile. I could be bias, since I bleed Orange && Black, but don’t take my word for it 😉

Sac was good, San Jose was fun, but SF will be the BEST!

Leave a Reply