A Different Kind of Race

At six in the morning I woke up to my alarm not wanting to get out of bed. At 6:30 A.M. I finally managed to kick the sheets off and began the zombie hustle of getting into my running clothes. Am I really doing this, I thought? Just running the Modesto Marathon a week prior, I was in no mood to run the Oakland Running Festival Half Marathon.

But sure enough after downing some coffee and driving 45 minutes, UMM and I took our places at the start-line. Since UMM still had his leg injury, he decided he was going to hold back, not race, but run the course with me. I am so glad he did. This was the first race that he and I ran together and it was so much fun. This was also the very first race where I gave my Garmin the day off. Yep, as we ran the course I had no idea what our time was, and I loved being free from the clock.

I know you might be questioning why I would pay for a race event without even having a goal in mind, or attempt to push for a PR. To me it was more than that. Not only was I getting my exercise in for the day, but I was surrounded by an awesome community of runners that included so many friends and familiar faces. What could be better than that?
UMM and I walked through water stops, took pictures and pretty much lollygagged on the course. We had fun chatting with strangers, and friends alike. We noticed things that we might not have if we had been pushing ourselves. It was a different kind of race for sure, but one that I will never forget. UMM and I crossed the finish line together at 2:04:14 and I couldn’t be happier. My legs however felt like I had just run another marathon and weren’t as happy, but that comes with running. No pain no gain right? After the race we met for a lovely brunch with fellow San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors. It was awesome to meet these ambassadors in person, as I had only been corresponding with them electronically.  

Overall, I thought the Oakland Running Festival was well organized. It was a good running event. Perhaps next year I will return to actually race it as it is a fantastic course where so many PR’s were achieved!

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