Kyle and I ran Bay to Breakers last year, and it was an amazing introduction to road races in California. I learned that to be successful, one must use old floppy naked runners as motivation to run faster. After all, no one wants to run behind that, especially in the last mile, and this year was no exception. I barely slept the night before, but was ready to go at 5:45am. I was able to sneak into a faster starting group since my slow run/walk/drink plans dissolved the week before, and I wanted to race with serious runners. After a long anxious wait with many other runners, we were off and into the early morning San Francisco shaded streets.
I tried to conserve energy early on since I knew Hayes Hill would hurt a lot. It worked well, and I kept up 8:30-9 minute pace for the first few, with some motivation from a underwear clad 20-something girl sprinkling glitter on me. "I got your back, man," she said as I ran past. It made sense since I was donning an animal print shirt bearing my chest hair, with a (real!) mustache and stupid green sunglasses. I looked ridiculous, and glitter made sense.
Hayes Hill was rough, but I powered through. I ran through the Panhandle and park, averaging close to 8:30 pace, speeding up as I got closer to the finish line, and within the last mile and half I got a major speed kick when some bystanders were cheering a fast old naked dude in front of me. I couldn't let him beat me, and I ran past him in a flurry of spontaneous competition fueled by a strong distaste for the jiggly.
As always, the last bit was a horrible slog leaving me nearly in tears despite passing a variety of live bands en route. I finished with a time of 1:02:40, which shaved 3 or so minutes off my time from the year before. Not too bad for not running much recently! I took the N home to find Jacob, Mike and a crew of girls dressed as sailors wasted in the apartment. I soberly, albeit quit nauseously joined them to the panhandle, enjoying the drunk people watching and general debauchery that follows the civil yet distinctly San Franciscan road race. I stopped mid-Panhandle where I met Natalie and one of her friends, Claire. Sitting never felt so good, and I lounged in a lawn chair while sipping water and watching the costumed drunkards pass by. We got some food and ice cream, and Claire was replaced by Natalie's friends dressed as flamingos. We hung out with the flamingos until the post race exhaustion caught up, and I went home and fell asleep HARD!