When I arrived at Rodeo Beach I was sad that I wouldn't be seeing some of the folks I've met throughout the year. Will Gotthardt and Ryan Commons were recouping from an inspiring year and Scott Dunlap was going to be witnessing the beauty of the Nutcracker. I got my number and took a look at the memorable start. This was going to be my 3rd time this year racing up those wooden stairs. I can't deny the fact that I love running hills. I think my sister is to blame. As a kid she used to have me walk down our driveway and turn around and run up it (our driveway was a 1/4 mile hill). As I walked toward the bathroom, I bumped into Amy Moore. Amy and I swim together in Marcia Benjamin's kick-ass class (the actual name of the class is distance swimming) at Laney College. Occasionally between laps Amy and I would talk about running. She is a great athlete and I was excited to see a familiar face that would be joining me in the 20k.
When I lined up at the start, Amy came up to wish me good luck and then we were off. I have to admit those stairs didn't seem so bad, especially after experiencing the final hill at Muir Beach last weekend. As the trend has gone this season, I spent a good majority of the race running alone. Jeff Emery was in eyesight most the way, but once we got to the top of Marincello he picked up the pace. As I came down the SCA trail, I could hear someone right behind me. On the Coastal trail, as we were approaching the road, I found out it was Matthew McDermott. We both ran Pirates Cove in March where we finished two seconds apart. Once again we finished close. This time he crossed the finish first with an impressive 1:29:49. Ironically my goal was to finish under 1:30, but I was 2 seconds slow in meeting that goal. Oh well, there is always next year. Amy finished in 1:58:08 even after taking a wrong turn.
Before heading to the car, I got to talk with Adam Blum and Alistair Adams who finished close behind me (1:33:00 and 1:35:28). I guess there were a few races this year where they were nearby, but this was the first time I introduced myself. Yay to more familiar faces! Hope to see you in the Miwok Adam! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
I am really glad I ran today. The headlands are gorgeous and one of my favorite places to run. It is the first year I decided to run more races and it was great getting to know some familiar faces. The PCTR events have been wonderful and I am still forever indebted to Wendell and Sarah for saving me at Big Basin. I still can't believe I forgot socks... thank goodness I had my shoes! Looking forward to 2009, without the pressure of nursing school, I am hoping to get out there for some ultras. I am in the raffle for the Miwok 100k and the waitlist for Way Too Cool and of course you'll see me at PCTR events. Hope everyone has a great New Year and I look forward to seeing you all on the trails!