The Giant Race

What's better than running in San Francisco on a cool summer morning? Doing it with thousands of your closest friends and Giants fans!! I have to admit, as much as I don't like bigger races, it was fun to see everyone running around in their orange and black, although I wonder if they are really fans, or just like to dress up. It doesn't matter; it made me feel all warm and tingly inside.

I think I mentioned that I lined up right at the start this time, and when I say right at the start, I mean front and center, second row back, right behind the really fast people. So I didn't have to pass anyone! And this, my friends, made a big race into an enjoyable one. If there are 20 people or 20,000 people behind me, I don't care! It makes the race so much better. I may have pissed off a few fast people who had to pass me, but so be it.

I ran this race with a friend of mine who runs about 10 miles a week. When he asked me what my pace was going to be, I said that I just wanted to PR, which meant I wanted to get below a 1:37. He said that he had been training at a 1:35, but wanted to beat that by a bit. This is why you shouldn't run with guys. His slow pace, his pace he runs on his one 10 mile jaunt a week, is faster than my speedy, feel like puking pace! But, we decided we would start off together and if he needed to go on ahead, he would. This would put us at about a 7:15 pace according to the Cool Running pace calculator.

Instead of doing the usual recap, I am going to do a few Good, Bad, Uglies.

The Good: Mile 1
The Bad: Mile 13
The Ugly: Mile 3.4 / Mile 9.3 (Van Ness Hill / Fort Mason Hill)

The Good: Having a partner who is faster than me kept me going.
The Bad: It was a little bit too fast for me.
The Ugly: Doing a hilly trail run the day before a race is not a good idea. My legs were like lead!

The Good: The run started and ended in the ballpark.
The Bad: The run went right through Fisherman's Wharf
The Ugly: The course went over two hills.

The Good: Brunch afterward at Grub.
The Bad: The reason we needed to eat was because there was no swag food.
The Ugly: There were beers, but they cost 9 dollars.

Here is a cliff note recap: The race was good; the course was beautiful; it was mostly flat except for 2 hills; we got to see the golden gate bridge and lots of people wearing orange. There were plenty of water stops, but no Gu/fuel except for power bars. By the time we finished, which was not super late, there was no food left. We were told there had been tons, but the 5k people ate it all. Race director fail! My legs hurt and we wavered between a 7:08 and a 7:40 pace the entire time. My friend ended up hurting his knee so I ended up going ahead of him. The race ended on the field where we got to walk around and pretend to be ball players (that part was really cool!)

Final time: 1:36:35 (7:22 pace)
This was a new PR by 42 seconds!

Verdict? If you want a Matt Cain Bobble-head and a half of a banana, you should run this race. However, if you just want to run in the city and go to AT&T park, call me, we can do both without paying $100 to do so!

Have you ever run a race that went through a stadium of some sort? Do you get annoyed when you pay a lot for a race and don't get good swag? Would you rather run with someone faster than you or slower than you?

Don't forget to stop by Jill's for some Friday fitness inspiration!


  1. Haha great write up and awesome job on the new time! I like the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, a great morning read and as always, you motivate me to try harder.

  2. I choose you as someone fast to run with!! Way to go Kyria!!! I do get annoyed when I pay a lot and the swag is not so good! You rocked this one...hills and all!!

  3. Lol...I can just imagine the frustration with all the uglies. Congrats on the new PR!

  4. I'm planning to run though a stadium (hopefully!) in Nov. Too excited. The swag looks good though (part of the reason why I'm doing it! ;).
    Hey, I'm hosting a running blog hop at http://feetdominatingpavement.blogspot.com/2012/09/friday-runners-blog-hop.html. I'd love to link up to your blog! Check it out. :)
    L Finch

  5. I wish everyone (you included, missy) would just line up according to their REALISTIC pace and then when people are going slower than your realistic pace, people pull over to the side. There must be some sort of race etiquette that allows faster people to pass slower people, but I have yet to experience it. I always try to line up roughly with my (much slower than your) pace ... and am always amazed with how many INTENTIONAL-NOT-HURT-WALKERS are in front of me. I just don't get it. /rant

    Sounds like a really fun race. A few years ago, Sweets and I did a 5K that ended on the field where the White Sox play - it was one of the few things that got him to run at all. =)

  6. I considered running a race that ended at a stadium where you could see yourself crossing the finish on the big screen. Maybe one day I'll run something like that. I'd def be pissed if there was no food swag! Big time fail on the organizers.

    I like running with both faster and slower runners - depending on how much I feel like pushing myself. Sometimes it's fun to be the pusher instead of the pushed. :) Of course, you're *way* to fast for me.

  7. Oh wow, that is crazy that your friend runs that little and is that fast. I kind of hate him for that. ;)

    I expect a good swag bag if I pay alot for a race, but I have yet to really get a great swag bag. Most of the stuff gets tossed in the trash it seems!

    I would rather run by myself than run with someone faster or slower than me. I don't like to feel like I am slowing someone down, so I don't like running with a faster person. And I like to run at my own pace, so unless i was pacing a friend for a race, I wouldn't want to run at a slower pace!

  8. Wow awesome pace and congrats on the PR!! I agree with you about big races and really ppl you need all that food after a 5k? :-) yeah they should have been more prepared. It saddens me that now a days it seems like people are treating some of these races as purely money machines. If I pay that much to enter please at least provide what you promise. SOrry I've had a little bit of bad luck this year with race directors... I bet it was an awesome course!

  9. Congrats on the PR! Your pace always amazes me! I've run through several stadiums and Church Hill Downs. I always think it's cool. Yes. Lack of good swag annoys me. I prefer faster. it's one of the reasons I like running with my husband.

  10. What the heck do 5k'ers need food for? Ridiculous! You did awesome! Way to get your PR:) The Seattle Half and the Beat the Bridge both go through stadiums. Really fun finish:) I would rather run with someone faster to push me.

  11. Congrats on the new PR! Wow, you always do what you set out to, don't you? :^)

    I've run through Coors Field (Rockies ball park) in Denver. My friend Steve does this 5K every year and he always spits in the opposing team's dugout. Ha!

  12. Congrats on the PR! That is a bummer about the race running out of food and not having and GU/easily digestible fuel on the course. It seems like if you're paying such a steep entry fee that shouldn't be the case....

    I ran a half-marathon a couple of years ago that ended in a stadium, but it was the field of a small college, so not quite as epic as running into AT&T Park.

  13. A new pr- that is fantastic!! Especially for legs that felt like lead... congrats, Kyria! I'm so impressed with your speedy legs that keep getting faster!

  14. I did the San Jose Giant 5 miler back in June and finished on the ball field there. That was pretty good albeit much smaller than AT&T.
    Congrats on a speedy PR!!

  15. Congrats on the PR!! Sucks that the food was gone, that's so annoying.

  16. Congratulations on a new PR! That's ridiculous that they were already out of food at the finish. I'm sure you guys finished close the the front so that means hardly any if any half finishers got anything.


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