Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bay to Breakers

I woke up at 8:30 this morning, just in time to watch the last mile of the Bay to Breakers on TV.  Just as the winner crossed the line, I heard some commotion outside and looked out the window to see a group of about 15 costumed revelers waiting for the N Judah streetcar to take them downtown to the starting line.  I think they're running a little late, but I'm sure they won't be the last ones there.

This used to be on of my favorite races back in my former life as a runner.  It was 20 years ago as a high school senior that I did my first B2B.  I ran it about a dozen times after that, sometimes serious (once I was the first San Francisco finisher and won a trip to Japan to represent SF in the Osaka Half Marathon), sometimes for fun (once as a "ski" team running as Ted Kaczynski with friends dressed as Monica Lewinsky, Tara Lipinski and Igor Stravinsky).

The most painful times were running with the Reebok or Microsoft centipedes since I was usually one of the 2 slowest guys.  Running in a centipede is like being in a 13 man TTT except that you're physically connected by a large nylon sheet around the neck to the other guys and once you start really hurting you literally get pulled along at a pace that your legs just can't maintain.  I was usually stuck behind a guy who was a former US 1500M champion and when he'd start sprinting the last 400M with his sub 4 mile speed I seriously thought I was going to die.  The only thing that could ease the pain was the endless supply of Gordon Biersch at the finish.

Ahhh good times.

I'm sure I'll try it again sometime, but never as the slow man in the centipede.

4 comments:

Tall & Manley said...

I remember doing this race 15 years ago. Now I live through my younger friends and enjoy their non-stop text messaging of the details (swedish nannies, beer, bad costumes, etc.).

phipps said...

Yeah, there's a lot to see thereI think I'll try it again someday, but start in the back and just easily jog through the crowds and take it all in.

Todd, as the first person to comment on my blog you win a 6 pack prime!

Tall & Manley said...

Sweet! That definitely makes up for the rolled tubular that happened to me at the Ronde crit. BTW, I think it was you that gave me some words of encouragement after I walked back to the start/finish line.

phipps said...

Well, I don't think it will make up for that, but I know you've had some bad luck in the races lately. It was me who talked to you at Brisbane. I was watching you work it in that break, and then you were gone, I had no idea what had happened.

I always hate to see anything bad happen to someone in a breakaway.