Run Wild For A Child

Thanksgiving Day is too hectic for me to participate in a Turkey Trot, which makes the timing of the Run Wild For A Child race perfect - at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It's a 5/10K local race in Golden Gate Park that benefits the San Francisco Fire Department Toy Drive. I signed up to run it last year but the weather was bad and I never made it, so the mere fact that I showed up for it this year was progress! I had planned to run the 10K race but after running 8 miles yesterday, my R hamstring was feeling a little tender when I woke up this morning. Being only 7 days away from Marathon #4, I decided to play things safe and downgrade to the 5K. Truth be told, the 10K course is much hillier than the 5K course and I also had no desire to run up Martin Luther King Drive today.

I got to the park about 30 minutes before it started. I made a trip to the porta potties (where there were no lines) and then wandered around the Music Concourse where all the expo vendors were. RoadBunner's boyfriend was volunteering at a booth so I hung out there for a bit. Ten minutes before race time, we walked up the hill to the Start Line and found Alyssa, who was running the 10K.

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DSC_3953

The 5K'ers lined up on the left and the 10K'ers on the right. We saw RoadBunner just before the gun went off.

StartLine
StartLine

I planned to just cruise the race so I didn't even bother to put on my timing chip, I just left it on my bib. I also wasn't planning to use my Garmin, but made a last minute decision and turned it on just before the race started.

The 5K course looped around the Panhandle.

RunWildMap
RunWildMap

For the most part it's flat with just a very, very slight decline, followed by an equally slight incline.

RunWildElevation
RunWildElevation

I didn't look at my Garmin at all during the first 2 miles and just ran comfortably by feel. While I didn't feel like I was running an easy pace, I also didn't feel like I was all out racing, as you typically would feel when you race a 5K.

I was entertained by the people around me, getting a kick out of some of the costumes that they were wearing (and also silently cursing all the little kids who left me in the dust). At one point I heard someone calling my name and saw Alyssa as she zoomed by on the 10K course. Unfortunately, I didn't know Courtney was out cheering and I was so sad that I missed seeing her and this awesome sign she made for us:

Sign
Sign

{photo courtesy of Courtney}

When my Garmin beeped for a second time I thought, "Wow, there's only 1 more mile to go then it's over already!" I looked down at my time and was surprised to see that I wasn't too far off of my 5K PR that I set 2 years ago. While I was tempted to go into an all out sprint, I reminded myself why I had downgraded to the 5K, however, I did pick up my pace a little, especially when I saw the Start Line in sight.

I thought the Start Line was also the Finish Line -- turns out it wasn't. When we got there it was deserted and everyone kept on running past it. I looked down at my Garmin and saw that it was only at 3 miles - we still had .1 mile to go. The Finish Line turned out to be just around the corner and I finished in 28:30, missing my PR by 12 seconds. I kinda wished I'd worked a little harder in the first 2 miles, but really, I'm not that bummed about it. It's much better than I expected for the perceived effort that I put into it.

RunWildSplits
RunWildSplits

I think this course is a very good one for attempting a 5K PR - plus, it's just a fun, laid back event, and I plan to run it again next year. (NOTE: while you do receive a fun cotton race t-shirt, there is no medal - repeat - there is no Finisher's Medal.)

After the race I found Alyssa and RoadBunner and we celebrated both of their PR's!

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DSC_4028
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DSC_4032

Then met up with Courtney, Renee and her friend for what else....ramen!

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DSC_4037

Overall, it was a great way to wrap up the holiday weekend!