Are You an Olympian?

Yesterday was the Giant Race, which is a half marathon in San Francisco that starts and ends in AT&T park. Before I started, I was googling stuff about the race and noticed something exciting, Brett Gotcher, US Olympic Alternate for the Men's marathon, would be running this race. He is from Watsonville, which is near Santa Cruz, so it was exciting to hear that he would be running a local race! I checked out his photos online so I would recognize him if I saw him.

As we were waiting for the race to start, I saw him, warming up right next to the "Leadoff Hitter" pace sign (under 8 minutes/mi).

I went up to him and said, "Are you Brett Gotcher, the Olympian?"

The guy looked at me funny and said that he wasn't but that he would love it if he were.

Oops. I kind of mumbled something about how he was blond and he looked fast so I just assumed he was the Olympian (what makes someone look "fast" you ask? Short shorts and a running singlet. And flowing blond hair. I guess).

Then we lined up at the start line. I got right in the front. If there is anything I have learned over the past several races, it's that I hate having to pass a bunch of people at the start. So now I get as close to the front as I can. In this case, it was the second "row" of people.

They started the announcements and one of the things they said was that Brett was here and There He Was! The real Brett Gotcher. The funniest part is that the guy I had mistaken for Brett was standing right behind me, so we had a laugh about the case of mistaken identity.

This is the end.

As soon as the event photos are online, I am going to post a side by side, because I swear these guys look very similar!

Here is a video of the start, where you can see Brett (blonde guy, orange shirt, black shorts) and me (blonde girl, white hat, orange shirt, black shorts). What? Is that confusing? No really, I am at about 11-12 seconds. Brett is around the 7 second mark.  So technically, I was only 4 seconds behind Brett!! It's a bit of a blurry video but I thank the person who took it!

Have you ever mistakenly talked to someone who you thought was someone else? Where do you line up: at the start/in the proper corral/anywhere/you don't care?


  1. I hate having to dodge people so I always try to start near the front of my time corral. And doesn't it seem like people underestimate how long the race is going to take them so you have to dodge a bunch of people anyway? Pet peeve.

  2. How was the race this year? Last year had some organizational issues like the merging of 5kers with halfers and the back up at the finish line.

  3. Haha! Knock wood I haven't yet misidentified someone. When I was faster I'd line up further further forward. Now not so much.

  4. Hilarious- sounds like something I would do! At least the wrong guy was nearby so you could laugh about it, and he could see that you weren't crazy. :) Can't wait to hear more about your race!

  5. SO funny:) Can't wait to read your recap!

  6. Awww, you just earned a warm and fuzzy ha ha place in my heart for mistakenly talking to that guy. I love it. You know why? I have a very similar story from my freshman year of college when I was intent on pretty much talking to any guy I thought was cute. At the time, I was hanging out with a bunch of gals who frequented this one fraternity. There was a boy who was absolutely adorable and I knew he lived in my (HUGE) dorm, so I was intent on meeting him. One day, a group of us were sitting out on the balcony (which served as outdoor hallways) when THE GUY walked by. I stood up as I was yelling to him that I recognized him from ... and just then, this guy turned around and it wasn't THE GUY, but rather a very different, very cute guy. I about melted on the spot, but somehow kept on talking (and faked my way through this "I saw you on campus" line) ... long story longer? I ended up dating that guy on and off for my first couple years of college. hahaha. Moral of the story: sometimes these mistaken identities can work in your favor ... and if not, at least you have good blog fodder when you get home!

  7. Haha! You are really having some celebrity encounters at your races, Kyria! At least you asked the non-celeb if he was that guy first! It could have been a lot more embarrassing if you'd just assumed that it was him.

  8. Hey, at least you didn't just ask for his autograph! And you did get to meet the real deal, too, so that's exciting!

  9. Ha, that is funny about mistaking him for someone else. I did that once at a bar - I saw a girl across the bar and thought she was someone from my sorority so I went up to her. Oh, she totally was not her. Oops. Oh well. She was nice about it, thank goodness!

    I always line up in the mid-to-back area, or in my pace area if they have it marked out because I am NOT speedy and I don't want to get in the way of fast people!


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!