When Mr PugRunner made the arrangements to go to San Francisco, he knew that I was definitely going to want to run a race there. It was a little frustrating because there were several races in the area, but none that were in walking distance, and all would require a fairly lengthy Uber ride.
I also kind of wanted a medal to commemorate racing in my seventh state.
Mr PugRunner let me know that his conference was actually sponsoring the Run for the Warriors 5K, and while there was no associated bling, transportation was provided to the venue, and let’s face it: the cause was beyond worthy (running in honor of wounded and fallen servicepeople).
We registered a week before we boarded our flight to the West Coast.
Packet pickup was held during check in at the conference. It was a bit of a mess, through no fault of the race organization – the fire alarms went off just as we reached the table, and we all had to evacuate and remain outside until we got the all-clear. Fortunately, it was just a false alarm, and we were able to proceed to get our bibs.
We also scored t-shirts. Since we had signed up on the later side, we weren’t guaranteed them, but when we collected our things, they had plenty of sizes still available. Yay!
Per the race instructions, we were to meet at a hotel just a few blocks from ours for the 6:00 AM bus on race day. It was nice to have transportation provided and gave us a warm place to hang out before we had to unload into the park where the start line was set up.
There were a few vendor tents , and since we were in a park, there was access to real restrooms, which was nice.
As the start time approached, the organizers spoke about their gratitude to everyone running and volunteering, as well as the Run for the Warriors organization. There was a grassy area in the starting area that was fun of small flags, and we were all asked to select one with which to run. Each flag was labeled with the name of a fallen soldier, and by running with those flags, we were helping to honor their sacrifice.
It was a very meaningful gesture.
In a lot of ways, the race was very low-frills: no medal, no chip-timing, very small field. However, those are things that end of taking away from the bottom line of donations, so it’s understandable. What they did have was a flat, well-marked and well-attended course. There were plenty of directional arrows and volunteers guiding the way for the 5k and the one mile routes.
The weather was lovely, and we ran past AT&T Park, along the water, before making a u-turn for the return trip. It was a lovely run with beautiful views, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Mr PugRunner and I ran separately, so when I crossed the finish line, I grabbed some goodies (they had yummy snacks: cookies and cheez-its and granola bars) and sat down to wait for him to come through.
The busses were lined up, waiting to shuttle us back to our hotels, and that was a wrap to our race morning.
It was definitely a different experience. The field was small but crazy fast (everyone seems to run fast in San Francisco), and it’s always interesting not to recognize at least one person at a race. However, it was a solid race, and I was very happy to support the Hope for the Warriors organization.
Do you ever race in other states?
What are some factors that make a race great for you?