Race #17: The Great Race

The Great Race from Saratoga to Los Gatos is aptly titled! And it was the site of Race #17 in 2015 in my journey to race 52 times to raise $52,000 for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’d like to be part of helping me raise awareness for Guillane-Barre Syndrome, then donating is the best thing you can do.

Lined up at the start of the Great Race in Saratoga. The guy behind me posed nicely for the photo too!
Lined up at the start of the Great Race in Saratoga. The guy behind me posed nicely for the photo too!

Today’s race was the 38th running of the Great Race. I’ve raced this race four times in a row, dating back to the 2012 edition. Every year, it’s been the whole family, with the exception of this race — Selina’s away with Rose, and so it was Lucy and I who carried the torch.

It’s a terrific, I mean great, race. The start is in beautiful, sleepy downtown Saratoga, CA on Big Basin Way. Around 1,000 people lined up tightly, with a large contingent of families running together and typically closer to the back. After a quarter mile or so, it’s a hard right onto Highway 9, and three miles or so of running until you reach downtown Los Gatos. Then, it’s a hard right onto North Santa Cruz avenue, and maybe a little over a quarter mile to the finish line.

The family at the 2012 Great Race
The family at the 2012 Great Race

The first little-more-than-half is deceptive. It looks flat when you’re in the car, but it’s actually a very gentle climb until the three mile mark (with the exception of a half mile dip in the middle). It takes more out of you than you’d expect, and if you’re accustomed to running 5k, then the 4 mile or 6.5 kilometers comes as a shock.

I’ve never run the race at anything above a jog with the kids. Today, with Lucy off with her friends, I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m not sure that was the wisest move after yesterday’s race, but I’m not the wisest at the best of times. Anyway, I came 71st out of a thousand or so, but a disappointing 21st in my age group of 40 to 49. There’s some fast middle age guys out there for sure. I was happy with a time under 29 minutes, and winner won it in a completely-bonkers 20 minutes. Insane. He beat the guy who came second by nearly two minutes. Wow.

After the race, there’s a nice festival, cool t-shirts, and a nice display of the 38 different t-shirts from the event over the years. If you’re reading this Los Gatos Rotary club, then I’d like a retro look like the 1985 edition next year please! Then, it’s time to jump on a school bus and take a ride back to the race start (where the car’s parked).

Riding the school bus back to the start
Riding the school bus back to the start

Alright, it’s time for a few days off from running. I’ll share news of an adventure that’s coming up soon! Promise!

 

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