Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giant Race Half Marathon

Endorphin Dude & Tim Lincecum

You're probably asking yourself right now, "Gee, why would Endorphin Dude run a half marathon when he's trying to hit Titanium?" In my pursuit of 52 marathons in 52 weeks, it would seem counterproductive to run a 13.1 miler, but I had to do it. How could I not? This race runs along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, The Giants are the World Champions, and we get to take home a Tim Lincecum bobble head! Win. Win. Win.

I ran the Giant Race last year and absolutely loved it. I had to return for round two. When I ran it last year, I only knew one person who ran it too. This year, I had my whole Half Fanatic clan and a few Marathon Maniacs. There were also a bunch of my DSE running peeps out there too. Running is a solitary sport, but somehow Endorphin Dude always turns it into one big parade.

I think we were about to do the can can. Why? Because we can can!
More Half Fanatics!

Because of the three hour time limit, I knew I couldn't drag out this race like I did at the Salinas Half Marathon a few weeks earlier. That didn't mean that I couldn't have any fun! Along with my running partner in crime, Ultra Woof, I got to run with my buddy Mohan and newly minted Marathon Maniac, Andi.  Here's the funny thing about Andi: she saw Endorphin Dude in the parking lot before the race and said that she was going to drop down to the 5k. She just wasn't feeling it. I told her to stick with the marathon caped crusader and Ultra Woof and we'll be sure that she will cross that finish line.

Sure enough, Andi ran with us for the duration of the 13.1 miles. There was only one time when she fell behind us, and that was when she and Mohan stopped for a bio break at Crissy Field. I remember shouting to The Mo: "DUDE! You're properly equipped to use nature's port-o-potty, what the heck are you doing waiting in line?!" All he could do was flash an awkward smile. In any case, these two caught up with Woofie and E-Dude along with a few other Half Fanatics, and together we ran the rest of the way. Some got ahead, others fell behind, but for the most part, we all finished within 5 minutes of each other.

On your mark, get set, go!
Chris Bliss flew out with the elites!
The first Endorphin Dudette!  I finally got to meet Row!
The Pink Girls, Virginia and Woofie.
Yeah, we stop in the middle of races to take pics.
One of the highlights of the day: Brian Wilson!!
Crissy Field, Yeah Baby!!!
There's Mohan!
Another Endorphin Dudette!  It's Elizabeth!
Action shot of Half Fanatic, Cassandra.
Heading into the finish line. Woo Hoo!

I am happy to say that I finished this race under three hours! This is my first sub-3 race of 2011, which is really nice. My half marathon PR is 2:11, which I earned at the 2009 Eye-Q Two Cities Half Marathon, my second 13.1 miler ever. In 39 tries after, I have not been able to shatter that record, and these days, I don't even come close. Back then, I was focused on speed and getting the best time I possible could.  These days, I'm out there on the course to have fun.

In any case, when I crossed the finish line, Ultra Woof informed me that there were no more medals. Yes, it did bum me out when I learned that I wouldn't have a shiny piece of bling hanging around my neck, but at the end of the day, the thrill of this race canceled out any disappointment of not receiving that medal. The race directors did inform us that the medals would be mailed, so I had nothing to worry about. So even though my neck was naked post race, I did get to run with people I dig, I got to high five Brian Wilson, I scored my first sub-3 finish of the year, I got a really cool Tim Lincecum bobble head, and I completed my 41st life time half marathon.  Win. Win. Win. Win. Win.

Woo Hoo!

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