I was super-excited a month or two ago, when Skirt Sports announced a San Francisco Skirt Chaser race. I thought it would be a perfect challenge for both J and I. For anyone who doesn't know, in the Skirt Chaser races, the women get a three-minute headstart. Just enough that it really is a toss-up whether a man or woman will win the race.
Unfortunately, J's knee is really giving him problems right now, so he decided it wasn't worth risking further injury to run the race. This was disappointing not only because it meant we didn't get to "race" each other, but also because we'd already paid the (very steep) registration fee. So yeah ... counting the registration fee we absorbed for J, and my own, I ran a $90 5k yesterday. Ouch. But it *did* come with a running skirt--so that's cool! The goodies bag had the best cool stuff-to-junk ratio I've ever seen, and there was pizza, beer and wine at the finish line. So with all that taken into consideration, if we'd both run it, it would have been worth the price. As it was, it was just a way-too-expensive 5k. :)
Anyway, the race itself was pretty great. The weather was perfect--sunny and in the low 60s (Yay for California!), and the race was in Golden Gate Park, so it was a beautiful course. There were several hundred people, but since men and women started separately, there were only about 240 people the first wave. I started sort of in the middle of the pack, though I think I could have started a little farther forward than I did. As it was, the crowd thinned out pretty quickly, so it wasn't a bad start.
The course was a bit hilly, but they weren't very steep hills. Just sort of low and rolling. I honestly didn't think too much about them, but DH told me that at the finish line, people were commenting on the hills. So apparently all the (much steeper) hills I run on a regular basis have paid off.
There wasn't a mile marker until the second mile, but I hit that one in the low 16-minute range. I was really careful about not starting too fast, and I think I did a pretty good job of pacing myself. I felt like I was working hard, but not like I was dying at any point. Which is a good thing, as races go for me. ;)
The whole "skirt-chasing" aspect of the race was a lot of fun! I couldn't believe how quickly the fastest of the men caught up to us, and it was fun knowing the guys were having to play catch-up! A woman did end up winning the race, in 17:08 (she also won my age group), and a man was in second place, but only just barely. His actual time, not counting the 3-minute headstart, was 14:53!
There was a timing mat at the end, but not at the start (that, by the way, drives me nuts. If you have the equipment available, is it really that hard to add a mat at the start?), so I'm just going by my watch time, which was 25:21. The official results show me at 25:31. Either way, it was definitely a PR, as my previous one was 26:38. I was really pleased with it, especially since I think I would have been quite close to breaking 25 minutes if the course had been flatter. I was 9th out of 46 in my age group, which I'm pleased with, given how blazing-fast the fastest runners were!
Anyway, it was a fun race, it would have been more fun if J had run it, and we might consider doing it next year, even though the registration is so steep.