Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running for the Seals (aka Running for the Hills)

Some runner peeps at the start line of Run for the Seals. Those HS girls in orange, blue and pink totally freaked out on the last hill and got beat by a 30-something (me). :)

This is the second year that I've participated in the Marine Mammal Center's Run for the Seals, a 4-mile run in Sausalito. The RFTS is a fundrasier for the Center, and for the second year in a row, the Flipper Flappers were the top fundraising team! YAY Flipper Flappers! We raised over $9,400 toward the Center's $60,000 goal, which they exceeded. Good times.

Community races are so fun because they are intimate, and not super competitive. No one asks you what your time is really, and no one really cares. They are not sanctioned by United States Track and Field, so no one is qualifying for the Olympics, especially since 4 miles is not a standard race distance. I think that this is a fun race to try and go all out, because 4 miles isn't going to hurt anyone, and there are lots of HILLS, glorious hills. They are rather slow, painful, and downright sneaky on this Ft. Cronkite course.

This race has my favorite hill. It's slow rising for about a half mile, then goes around a corner. . . right to the finish line. Last year I almost wanted to walk, but made myself keep going around that corner. I was so glad I didn't start walking because as soon as I looked up and around the corner - I saw the blue banners at the finish line. Sneaky, sneaky. . .

This year, I was passed by 3 high school cross country girls at mile 3. The first girl to pass me asked, "Do you know if there are any more hills?"

To which I responded, "Yes, there is a hill at the last quarter mile that will trick you! Don't let it! Keep going! The finish line is right there."

"Well, at least it's not as hard as cross country."

I have never run cross country in California, so I had no point of reference. But, I wondered nonetheless if she would still fall for the tricky hill.

I was almost immediately passed by two more high school girls who were speeding up for their last mile. As soon as we hit that hill I started to trudge forward with all of my might, and all three girls slowed down (two started walking) just as we went around the corner. I shouted, "Ladies! The finish line is right there!"

That's when I overtook the high school girls. They were stronger and faster than me, but they did not heed the advice of a 30-something runner. Experience wins! I should be a Cross Country coach.

I digress. The race is really fun, and there is a lot of good community - costumes, dogs, kids, and my favorite former KFOG radio host, Peter Finch. Below are some pictures of other Flipper Flappers! The first is Robyn with her pup, Wrigley, going up that final hill. The second are my friends C&C with their human pup, Hunter.

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