by: 2x Represent Running Ambassador Allen, @teamleibo
This year, I participated in the 415k event for my 4th time, (including the original 5k in Marin). This was my second time running the event as a Represent Running Ambassador and I pitched in to help the as “Bus Liaison,” which meant I got up extra early to hand out bibs, t-shirts, and snacks on the VIP Bus from San José. I met the bus just after 4:30am and greeted a bunch of sleepy South Bay runners with muffins and vitamin waters. After a quick stop at the start line to drop off the 5k runners, we rolled on across the Golden Gate to the start line assembly area. I made my way to the front for the Ambassador/#WeRunSocial group photo.
After some inspirational words from the Race Director JT Service and our national anthem, we were off. It was great running weather and I kept my pace under control for the approach to the Bridge. As before, the toughest part of the race was the corkscrew path that leads from the base of the bridge up to the road deck. I chanted my race mantra and pushed through to the top. The Bridge itself was half-shrouded in its trademark fog and I ran across on the west pedestrian path with the sense of awe and wonder I always get when I get to race across it.
I felt great across the bridge and down the hill on the south side. We took the left turn out to Fort Point as the fog started to lift. After the turnaround, it was time to pass through Crissy Field and the Marina with fantastic views of Alcatraz and a fireboat saluting us with jets of water. After passing the Presidio Sports Basement, I hit that straight stretch where I often have a tough time keeping motivated. I buckled down and focused and kept up my pace through the Marina and into Fort Mason. Somewhere in that area, a runner passed me and I decided it was time to stop getting passed. On that last hill, I pushed to try and catch that runner on the way up. I didn’t. But on the downhill into the Finish Line, the runner didn’t take advantage of the hill and I did – all the way to end.
A little girl handed me my medal and then I was off to the Finish Festival. Checking the results, I found that I cut almost 6 minutes off my previous race for a huge PR. The big hill up to the bridge had slowed me down, but I made it up on the way down on the other side. I hit up the Waffle Roost truck for an amazing chicken and waffle and egg sandwich. Then a beer with my fellow Represent Running Ambassadors, a locally-brewed coffee, and off to the bus for the ride home.
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Watch Allen’s race day experience, through his eyes, aka his Snapchat Spectacles.
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Join Allen and the Represent Running team at our next event: The East Bay 510k (5k and 10k) on September 17.