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