Tag Archives: 5k

Race #50: Santa Run 5k

This year I’ve raced in Buenos Aires, Colorado, Washington State, Arizona, and forty-five times in California. To add a new location to the list, I raced this past weekend in Sydney, Australia! That’s the 50th race this year, and now there’s only 2 more to go — and about 3 weeks to get them done! Barring injury (touch wood), we’re looking really good…

Anyway, yes, I was in Sydney last week. And so I dragged my brother, his wife, and their eldest son down to the SantaRun 5k. It was billed as a massive race, and 2,000 people showed up. The novelty was they were all dressed as Santa — in the cheapest Santa suits ever made. Trust me, they were cheap — and polyester, and they made me sweat like I hadn’t in a long time. Mix Sydney’s warm summer weather with humidity and a santa suit, and you’ve got a recipe for smelly, hot running.

It was even hotter in the snow globe...
It was even hotter in the snow globe…
Found Santas ready to race
Found Santas ready to race
Selfie with a few hundred Santas
Selfie with a few hundred Santas

We chugged along past the opera house, under the harbour bridge, and around the Rocks area. No land speed records were set, but we had a fun time as the photos show! Two races to go!

Race #47: DSE Bayfront 5k

I was talking to friend the other day about interviewing candidates at tech companies: his thought was that you should sleep on your feedback on the candidate, rather than writing it up immediately. He’s found that he captures more nuances the next day. Interesting, I’ll give it a try.

I look like I just got out of bed. Which I did.
I look like I just got out of bed. Which I did.

This may also be true with race reports. In hindsight, Race #31, the Awesome 80s race, was actually pretty crap. We paid way too much to get slightly lost on a bad course, though the costumes were amusing and they took one photo of me that i got for free. I still don’t understand why they didn’t do an out and back along the Brisbane Marina, rather than weave us in and out of a bunch of ugly office buildings.

The good news is the Dolphin South End runners fixed all these problems for Race #47 last weekend. (Their motto: “Start Slow and Taper Off”.) Same start location, straight along the Brisbane Marina, turnaround, retrace steps, finish. Cost of entry for non-members: $5. Very mellow crowd of good people. Perfect!

We did our usual warmup (walk to the start line), started at our usual pace (slow, the hamstrings were sore), deployed our usual tactics (get caught up in the racing, and speed up), and crossed the line in a blistering time (for an 8 year old kid). End results are over here.

That, my friends, is Race #47 done and dusted. Only five to go, and then I’ll do something else with my weekends — but I plan to look back fondly, and feel really great about how we’ve helped out the GBS/CIDP Foundation international. If you want to donate, I’d sure appreciate it — we’ve still got around $7,000 to go in a month!

Race #46: Terraloco TrailCross Bayfront 5k

We tried something different this morning — orienteering blended with running in the form of trailcross. And it’s a fun challenge — and this race was well-organized by terraloco.

Ready to try some trailcross racing
Ready to try some trailcross racing

We looked like amateurs. Well, we looked like road runners. We wore shorts and t-shirts. Lots of other folks had hiking boots, gaiters, compasses, fancy looking map holders, funky headbands that make you look like you know what you’re doing, and generally looked like pros.

There were two maps today, and here's the first one
There were two maps today, and here’s the first one

Anyway, it goes like this. Fifteen minutes before the start, you get a chip and a map. On the map are marked stations, and idea is you run them in the order shown on the map. You can take any path you like, and a straight line isn’t always the fastest way to get there. When you reach a station, you scan the chip on an e-punch device that’s mounted on a little windsock like thing. Once you’ve visited all the stations, you e-punch at the finish line.

We had a fun race: Lucy and Selina both came along. We won the 5k race, though in fairness the field was small and most were doing the 10k. But we won — we were the first across the line, and therefore the first in the team category too! The prize was free entry to another race, and I’m looking forward to that.

Well, that’s 46 races done. Can you believe there’s only 6 to go in this crazy year?

Race #44: Race to the Flagpole 5k

“Seline, what time do we need to leave for the Lake Merced race?” I asked. “Let me check” says Selina, sipping her coffee and fiddling with the laptop. “Um, it’s tomorrow!” she says. Well, I’m glad we didn’t drive up to SF for that one, then…

The start of the Race to the Flagpole 5k. I'm not sure why I was smiling...
The start of the Race to the Flagpole 5k. I’m not sure why I was smiling…

So, a scramble starts to find a race that starts this Saturday morning. And we find one — it’s over in Livermore, just over the hills east of San Jose. Off we go, and we arrive about 15 minutes before the start of the 5k, just as the 10k starts. Registration is fast (pro tip: if you turn up at the last minute, everyone else is parked, registered, and generally things are quiet). And we’re off to the start line.

Selina crossing the line
Selina crossing the line

This was a fun little race. Probably 60% on a flat dirt trail through a park, and 40% on pavement. Pretty quick little course, but probably not quick enough to set a real time. Anyway, I was happy with a 22:38 with no warmup and the body feeling a little creaky. Selina beat me though, she’s getting faster and I’m not. Sigh.

And now I'm bringing up the rear
And now I’m bringing up the rear

That’s race 44 done, and just 8 to go in our 52 race challenge. Onward!

Race #42: Stanford Race against PH 5k

Today was race 42 on our way to 52 races in 2015! I’m sure you’ve been following along, and I’m sure you know we’re raising awareness and funds for the GBS/CIDP Foundation.  If you’re new to our fundraiser, it’s easy to get onboard: just head on over here.

Getting started!
Getting started!

Today we ran in support of the Stanford Race against Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). I learnt about PH today, and it’s one of those conditions (similarly to GBS) that’s hard to diagnose, not well understood, and needs medical research and raised awareness. I felt good running for a cause, and also raising the awareness for our cause too. It’s also fun to run around the magnificent Stanford campus!

We also ran yesterday, and the body was a little bit tired from that and Halloween celebrations last night. So, no records were smashed today, though we did pick up the pace toward the end. Out of the 750 finishers, we placed 96th and 97th. Not too competitive, but faster than a jog for sure.

Well, that’s 42 races in the history books. That means there’s only 10 races to go — join me in counting them down, and counting down every dollar toward our goal of $52,000!

Race #39: Run to Send a Girl to School 5k

When you’ve run a tough race yesterday, you’re looking for the local 5k the next day. That’s the way we play it when we’re 39 races into our 52 race challenge to raise fund and awareness for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’d like to be part of helping solve the puzzle of GBS and help people in need, head on over here.

Lining up at the start of the small, first annual Race to Send a Girl to School 5k
Lining up at the start of the small, first annual Race to Send a Girl to School 5k

We decided to head over and support Dir Biyabir and their first annual run to send a girl to school in Ethiopia.  The race was small, pretty well organized, and exactly the same course as the Moonlight 5k.

We started off slow, warmed it up slightly, and came home with a reasonable last mile. I’m pretty sure Selina was the 2nd female over the line.

If there’s a second annual race, I’d recommend coming on down and enjoying the nice, small, friendly atmosphere of this one.

Race #37: Rescue Run 5k

We took a vacation to the southwest of Colorado this week, and hiked for several days around the mountains.  But the week wouldn’t be complete without another race in our journey to 52 races to raise funds and awareness for the GBS-CIDP Foundation.

We found a small race near Castle Rock, Colorado, and decided it fit the bill perfectly for race 37. The Rescue Run 5k was a fundraiser to rescue orphans, and made for a good cause and an interesting Saturday morning.

A quick selfie before the Rescue Run 5k. You can see the hill in the background
A quick selfie before the Rescue Run 5k. You can see the hill in the background

The race started innocently enough in a park. Then, it wound its way uphill over a 350ft climb onto the top of the hill in the center of the Rhyolite Regional park.  From there, it was a run around the top for a mile and a half, and then we retraced our steps down the hill to the finish.

Selina finishing the Rescue Run 5k in Castle Rock, CO

I’m not sure whether it was the elevation of 6200 feet, the 250 foot climb, the 80F / 27C weather, or all three, but it was sure a tough race. Selina and I were both wiped out at the end, and spent the rest of the day rehydrating, eating, and sitting around. In any case, I’m sure glad it wasn’t a 10k race!

That’s 37 races in the history books, and only 15 to go to reach our goal! Yes! See you next time.

Race #36: Montclaire 5k

Q. What do you do when you’re a few races behind your goal, and you’ve run a brutal 10k trail race the day before? A. Run a fundraiser 5k race at the local elementary school!

Family shot at the end of the Montclaire 5k
Family shot at the end of the Montclaire 5k
And they're off! The start of the Montclaire 5k in Los Altos
And they’re off! The start of the Montclaire 5k in Los Altos

And so we ran the Montclaire 5k in Los Altos as race 36 on our journey to running 52 races in the year to raise money for the GBS-CIDP Foundation. It’s a great little race: a run around the streets of Los Altos, and a short sojourn into the magnificent Rancho San Antonio preserve.

Settling into the first mile of the Montclaire 5k
Settling into the first mile of the Montclaire 5k

We took along Selina’s parents and our daughter Rosie, and all three were definitely (and defiantly in Rosie’s case) in the walking category. Selina and I intended to just cruise along, but you know how that sometimes goes — a slow first mile, and then the accelerator goes down.

Crossing the finish line
Crossing the finish line

Selina was the first female. Really, can the girl stop winning? And I guess I was in the top ten guys. This wasn’t a competitive race, and we probably should have just been enjoying the day like everyone else. But, hey, we’re competitive with ourselves, and that’s what happens.

See you next time.

Race #34: Trailblazer 5k

Our third race of the weekend was the 21st annual Trailblazer 5k in Mountain View, CA. Similarly to the Moonlight 5k on Friday, it was a race along the edge of the San Francisco bay, but this time in bright sunshine on a Sunday morning.

About half a mile into the Trailblazer 5k
About half a mile into the Trailblazer 5k

This was a really nice mid-sized race. Super well organized, plenty of parking, great crowd, nice course, and a beautiful day to be racing. If you’re looking for a fun race, this is one to pencil into your calendar for next year — and there’s both a 5k and a 10k, and runs and walks too.

We started off slow, promising ourselves we’d aim for 25+ minutes for the 5k race after two races in the two previous days. As usual — and Selina claims it’s my fault — we sped up as the race ran along, and wound up traveling at just over a 7-minute mile for the final mile. Sigh.

Anyway, the result of our labors was that I came 27th out of 300+ folks, and Selina came 28th. As is common in our racing adventures, she was the 5th woman and won her age group, and I didn’t; in fact, I was 10th in mine. Sigh again.

Well, that’s 34 races done, and 3 in one weekend. Only 18 more to go this year, and around 13 weeks to do it! Wish me luck!

Race #33: 5k9

The Hoofin’ and Woofin’ 5k9. Get it? A 5k race with your canine, right? And for a good cause too,  benefiting the City of San Jose’s Animal Care Center.

In my case, the canine is question is our faithful dog Buddy. He’s never been a fan of running, but I figured I’d take him out, he could sniff a few other dogs, we’d give running a shot, and worst case we’d walk. (And the rule is: if there’s a timer, it’s a race, and it counts on the way to 52 races in 2015.)

Buddy doing his best smile for the camera at the 5k9
Buddy doing his best smile for the camera at the 5k9

Buddy helped me set an all-time slowest 5k time of just over 39 minutes.  The first mile was great, and then he put the brakes on. We walk-ran the 2nd mile, and then walked the rest — with a little bit of a jog at the very end. But he got some treats, met a few other dogs, and took a nap afterwards — so I think he had a fine time!

Starting the 5k9. Buddy's already dragging, and we're only 50 feet into the race
Starting the 5k9. Buddy’s already dragging, and we’re only 50 feet into the race

The bizarre thing is I came 2nd in my age group, so I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one with some dog running issues. In fact, if you think about it, if you’ve got dog running or people running issues, you’re not going to set a great time.

A reasonable first mile with Buddy, and then he put the brakes on... but we made it!
A reasonable first mile with Buddy, and then he put the brakes on… but we made it!

Anyway, we made it, and that’s race #33 done on our way to 52 races. And it’s race #2 of 3 in a single weekend!