Inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon

The past week was a pretty crummy week if I do say so.Thanks to Wes though, I won his blog giveaway. And thanks to Wes, I was able to participate in the Inaugural Berkeley Half Marathon with 8,000 of my closest friends. It is amazing how friends and the running community can truly lift the spirits.

I drove down on Saturday where Layla and I headed to bib pickup which was held at the Pyramid Ale House Brewery. Race directors take note - Holding bib pickup at a brewery is the BEST idea ever...EVER! It was there that I met a few fellow SFM ambassadors, chatted with friends, drank beer, smiled and laughed.

Fellow SFM Ambassador Love
More SFM Ambassador love w/ Paulette, Kristina, Kimra, Olivia, and Albert
Beer posers!
The next morning, Layla, Kristen, and I headed to Berkeley for the race. We caravaned as I was going to leave straight from Berkeley back home. In hindsight, we should have left one car at the finish and one at the start, but we weren’t really thinking. The good folks of the Berkeley Half Marathon did provided a free shuttle for us to take back to the start. It was a bit of a wait, but it was a nice option to have. Skipping ahead, back to the beginning of the race - I was very impressed at the plethora of porta potties available. We hardly had to wait. A runner's dream!?

 Such Potty mouths!
At the start line, Paulette found us and we all started the race together. Instead of racing, I ran socially instead. I don’t get to see my friends to often, and my finishing time didn’t matter to me as much. I ran with Paulette the majority of the race and it was nice to chat while enjoying the bay views! I loved looking out at the bay, all while inhaling the sea salt smells. I miss the ocean. Where I live is beautiful and I enjoy the lake and river views, but there is something about the ocean that I long for and miss. So yes, on one side of me was the beautiful sounding sea. The other, the 80 freeway. I will admit, I did not care so much for running alongside a freeway. Who does right? The course held a lot out and backs, and tight turnarounds. Someone mentioned later (I forgot who) that the course was much like waiting in a line to ride a ride at Disneyland with all the ropes zigzagging you to the front. I would have to agree. Berkeley is such a beautiful town, I am curious to why we did not run more through the neighborhoods.

The whole race, I felt slightly off. I can pinpoint why. Mentally I handle stress fabulously. I don’t let things get me down. I keep my head up and move forward. Physically, not so much. So perhaps it was a combination of that, and well, not hydrating properly as I should have drank more water (less beer). I did not stop once though. I kept running. I had no idea what my time was as I forgot my garmin! Thanks to the results, it showed that I was pretty consistent with my pace. Hooray for consistency!

I finished the race in 2:05. Met up with Paulette and Kevin and enjoyed the finish line atmosphere. Overall, I had a fantastic time! The Berkeley Half Marathon was very well executed for being an Inaugural! I mean of course! The SFM folks know what they are doing! I was very impressed with all the small details that were planned! And bonus, I got the double trouble medal for completing the SF/Berkeley challenge! A great incentive indeed!!!

Not too shabby of a finish line!
Behind bars for drinking a beer...Never!
Post feast. Er, race rather.
One of the few run photos I actually like!

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