My First 10K run – Wharf to Wharf

By , July 27, 2009 1:39 pm

Every year, 20,000 or so people gather to do the run from the Santa Cruz Wharf to the Capitola Wharf. My wife and my sister in law did the run about 4 years ago and decided to do it again this year. The difference was that my wife dragged me into it this time. Now, I have never been a regular runner and the last thing I thought I would do while getting older is pick this up!

I had heard the stories about the W2W though and it sounded like fun. There are tons of bands playing alongside the race course and locals who come out to cheer the runners. Personally, I wondered if I could make a 10K run after years of inactivity in a tech job. So I agreed to give it a go and started training with my wife. Now training is a loosely defined word here. We wold walk 2 miles and maybe run 2-3 miles at a time. You see, we brought our kids along on the evening training runs.

Looking to the starting line from the 7 min pace group.

Looking to the starting line from the 7 min pace group.

Sunday morning was the big day. We got up at 6:30am and made our way to the wharf by 8:00am. We decided to drop into the 7 minute mile pace goup, just because we didn’t want to be in the back of the pack. That was a good call. It took several minutes just to pass the starting line! As you can see we were quire a ways back in the pack.

So I stayed with my group for the first 1/4 mile or so. Then I started to get into my own pace and decided I wanted to brak out of the pack. You basically spend the 1st mile dodging people! At about mile 3, it was getting a bit painful. My body wasn’t to thrilled with what I was doing.

Then something funny happens at about mile 4. You get into a groove and things are on autopilot. Your burnining muscles get a little numb and you are no longer mentally focused on the sensations your body was relaying to you. I started to listen to the bands play – making mental notes of the ones that were really good and waving at the seniors doing hula and the Japanese drummers helping to keep the pace.

The last part of the run is beautiful along the ocean and i found myself looking at the surfers and breaking morning sun. You don’t notice that you are so tired near the end. Before you know it, you are crossing the finish line and being herded into the Capitola Village. You can’t just stop or you’ll block the other runners.

By noon, most of the evidence of the run is gone. Later in the day , I would scour the web to see how my time compared to the others. Well, I am happy I made it. My 1:06:38 time was nothing to crow about. As it turned out, the winner of the women’s division burned it up in 31:31! I think it was an Ethiopian lady. I don’t know what the winner of the men’s did. But that pace is like 12mph through the whole course! I don’t think I go that fast when I sprint. Oh well, I’ll neer be an elite runner, but my aching muscles today still remind me that I did my first 10K without throwing up. I’m happy about that.

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