Saturday, October 21, 2006


My Latest Big Idea

When I was in grad school at Berkeley, I had the great fortune of participating in the annual Bay-to-Breakers Race. But don't let the "race" part fool you. It was the most fun I've ever had while running. It's a 12K race from the Bay Bridge to Ocean Beach in SF. At that time, I wasn't a real runner. It sounded fun...a local band at every mile marker, a costume contest, a concert by Eddie Money at the finish line (o.k. beer and bbq at the finish line)...I figured I'd run a mile or two and then walk. On my BART ride over from Berekley, I was on the train with serious runners (you can spot their 0% body fat from a distance), people in costumes (the guy in the giant Barney suit in running shoes displayed total commitment), and many amature runners and musicians (death to the man with the sax who kept playing "I love you, you love me..."). Things were starting out well.

When I got to the starting line, there were 10's of 1000's of runners lined up. There were flour tortillas flying like frisbees. There were a number of guys (there's a group costume contest) running as a land shark (they ran in a straight with fins on their head...I can't describe the visual joy), and beer flowing freely. I couldn't find the actual number of registrants, but more than 100,000 people ran the course. It took me 45 minutes to actually cross the starting line (otherwise I clearly could have won that BMW instead of that skinny Kenyan guy). I ran the first mile, and there was a band. So I kept running. Then I ran the second mile... During the race, there is a really steep hill. I thought of quitting. But there was a guy in ski pants, a parka, and cross-country skis who WALKED up the hill. I kept running. People sprayed us with hoses, handed us beers, and let us use their bathrooms. So I kept running.

I ran past Jerry's Kids (a group of guys in tie-dyed t-shirts pushing a keg in a wheelbarrow - Jerry GARCIA's kids), a group of people pushing a tiki bar on wheels with actual working blenders, and a number of guys running nude except for running shoes (and everyone they passed kept saying "Ow, that must hurt"). So I kept running. And I talked to a totally random but totally interesting people. At the end, I crawled out of the park (remember, I wasn't a runner at the time so bits and pieces hurt) and ate a sweaty but thoroughly enjoyable brunch.

So, to make a long story longer, I have a plan. I think we should have a blogger meet-up of sorts this May. At the 2007 Bay to Breakers. And I think we should have a costume theme. Maybe we could win a trip to Vegas. Hey, a girl can dream.

Let me know if you're in for the run. And send costume ideas. And nothing that chafes, please.

Oooh. A plan! I love! plans. I have heard of said race. And it sounds awesome. Third Sunday in May, eh? I'm scared to death of this (the running part; I've become an unacceptable lazy ass when it comes to running as of late), but I very much want to be "in." So yes, tentatively, with said lazy ass already cramping in pain: "In." Also, I have no shame when it comes to costumes. FYI. ;)
KA, how was Portland? Is anyone going to tell stories of the debauchery?
I have many questions --
Hey, How far is 12K?
Do you think they would mind if I smoke AND drank while speed-run-walking?
There might be vomit at 7k mark, is that a problem?

Just checking.
I'll be the bartender, I'm in!
I'd love to be in, but can't promise. Plus which, I have a thing about running, to wit: I avoid it.

I always felt like the start of a marathon looked like some sort of refugee processing procedure. They all look so gaunt and hungry. No wonder they accept food from random strangers as they run the route.

I would, however, totally be up for costumes. Who's going to be the slutty nurse?
Oooh! I just found your blog, but what a great story! And I must say, I am in AWE of your Bay to Breakers running! I used to live out there, and I never ran, only watched. And drank beer. If you go, maybe I'll join. But I'll be the girl handing out nice, cool glasses of chardonnay at the end. Probably not the running so much.

Good luck!
I did Bay to Breakers once. I am not a runner. I am most especially not a runner in the rain. I was with a runner friend who promised we'd walk.

Needless to say, SHE TOTALLY LIED TO ME. Years later, I'm still recovering.
Ooh, that's a great idea.
I just found your blog - via missdoxie, I think. This sounds like fun though if, you know, run/walk/drink-ing in a group of your blogger friends and one TOTAL STRANGER (me!) sounds like fun. :)
I'm totally close to SF too - a mear 1.5 hours. yeah!
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