Race Recap: The Giant Race 10k

2:12 PM

My team > Your team
Just sayin'! It's only the sixth annual SF Giant Race. It seems like it's been around longer than that, but I guess my time perception is always off. I think it is amazing that the SF Giants put together three different fun runs for their organization and farm teams (Scottsdale, San Jose, and SF). That being said, I cannot believe this is my first race recap for this race, even though I've been running it for a few years now (missed 2013 & 2014). I'm also wishing and praying that now that the Sacramento Rivercats are their AAA team, maybe they'll think of hosting a team race here...just sayin'!

This is the first time I've made it a weekend trip and we actually stayed near the City. Normally I drive up the AM before or crash with the Lil, since she lives a little closer. But we stayed in the lovely little city right outside The City! Slightly cheaper, not really, but really convenient to get to and from.

I normally would have registered for this race as soon as it opened up, but since I'd already done so for 2014 and couldn't go (sadly, we were in Hawaii) I was able to push back our registration one year. All I can say is that the staff organizing the race were nothing but amazing in accommodating us with our registration situation. We didn't have to pay one extra penny to move the race to this year and everything went perfectly.

I've liked most of the shirts they've made over the years, but this year they killed it! It is by far, my favorite race shirt to date!Well besides them dropping Nike as a sponsor for the shirts, that would have made it just a little bet doper!
The Giant Race offers three distances - Half Marathon, 10k, and a 5k. Well actually 4, they also offer a kids race which is the day before, but I don't really count that ;) The halfer and 10K started bright and early at 7AM. The 5k got to sleep in, since their start time was at 10:45AM. This year there was no game to try to catch, since the Giants are traveling and playing against the Pirates (they lost too)! You do get tickets for the 8/25 game, if you paid for the pairing of the race and a game. All of the courses are an out and back, which makes it a little tricky when you are running...but it seems to work out every year.
Via // 10k Course
Lil met us at our hotel at 6AM and then we all drove into the City, parked in our fave parking lot (re: cheapest one around) on 2nd Street, right under the bridge. You should use it, if you go to the City a lot, you're welcome. We walked down the 8 or so blocks down to the stadium, which took us almost right to the start line. They've changed the start line a few times over the years, but this one is my favorite. You are right next to the stadium, so its a cozy feeling.
Gear Grid: Lulu Lemon // Saucony // Balega International // Nike
This was the first year I received a corral bracelet, bright green in color. Apparently, the time listed we'd finish put us in Corral 2. However, when we got there, there was only 14 minutes until the start time, so we just hopped in where we could. Well, that just happened to be near the start line in Corral 1. Ooops! We stretched, people watched, sang the National Anthem, set our Garmin's up, I kissed J, then we were OFF!
Love snagging a pic in front of the start line, if possible!
Lil & Big
Always there for me. Bad angle pic by Lil ;)
Behind the start line, Corral 1
The crowd behind us at the start!
It should be noted, I've regressed a lot in my running. So much, I don't think my Garmin has had life in probably 2 months-ish! I knew this race was going to hurt. I didn't drink enough water the day before or any that morning. I didn't eat breakfast or take an pre-race energy chews, BUT I did get my runner's poop out (TMI, sorry)! So, with no extra oomph, I knew this would be a tough race...even though it's 'only' a 10k.

The gun went off, so did we. We knew we'd stay to the right and go slower, which meant letting lots of people pass us. It's a shitty feeling, but a smart one. However, we did get a little caught up in the momentum, because we finished our first mile with a 9min/mi pace, which is too fast for me right now. My goal was to finish in under an hour if possible, but not die trying to do so. For the next two miles, we increasingly slowed our pace, but not by too much. Mile 2 & 3 markers were off, versus my Garmin. **I took a few pics during the race, but refused to stop running (for fear of walking) so here are some awfully, blurry pics!
HS Band playing music at 0.6mi
Pier 38, before the 3mi marker
At the halfway turnaround, the clock read 25:XX, yeah, that's weird and way too fast. So, sometime shortly after after my Garmin hit 3 miles, I was showing fatigue. I had taken a little water at at least one aid station, but skipped the second one. On the way back, I took some liquids at each station, but just a few quick sips.
It took all my effort to finish the second half, mostly mentally. I knew I wouldn't let myself walk, but it was just a little mentally challenging. It was nice to have Lil right next to me, even though I knew she could run it faster. I told her to leave me, multiple times, but she wouldn't do it. I thought I could coast for mile 4 and then kick it up for mile 5, but that didn't really happen. I was just trudging through the finish. As AT&T park came into sight, I realized we have to run around the entire park and then enter near right center field and then onto the warning track. I was a little discouraged, but just kept running.
Near the end, separating the 10k and HM.
I knew the warning track had a surface laid down for runners, I saw it on one of the Social Media accounts. However, as we hit it, I didn't think it would be so crappy. I almost ate it at the very end, because it was uneven. As we turned into the stadium I could see the time clock. We were so close to getting in under 1 hour, literally seconds to making it. We were a few milliseconds over 1 hour and I was bummed, but later I realized I didn't factor in the gun time...so I should be good!
J captured the end line, before anyone finished!
Sad, but glad to have finished, I heard my name being yelled. I looked up and saw J was right there, camera ready! He captured us coming in and finishing, which was cool to have. I was taking a silly sad face pic at the finish when I got yelled at to 'keep moving'. I waved to J after he took the pic, then grabbed a Dasani water and found Lil. We took a few pics, then walked onto the field.
Sad face and the fella who yelled at me!
Water for all!
Finish line madness.
1:00:04, really?! Well here's the official and also my Garmin stats:

Garmin Results
Mile 1 - 9:04
Mile 2 - 9:13
Mile 3 - 9:16
Mile 4 - 9:28
Mile 5 - 10:07
Mile 6 - 10:07
Mile 7 - 9:53
Total Time - 59:53:61 
 6.26 Miles @ Pace - 9:34min/mile
Left field is where everyone congregates because that is the first place you can touch the perfectly manicured grass! I was hurting, so we sat (re: melted) down and stretched, also snapped a few pics. J made his way to the exit near us and after our stretching we met up with him in the stands. Over in right field there were more food vendors, but we were too lazy to walk over there for a Power Bar and whatever else they were giving away. As we hobbled up the steps, we searched out our Hunter Pence Bobble Head.
 On our way there, we grabbed our free Lagunitas beer. I'm not a beer drinker, it was only ordered because it was free. We all took a sip, J took a few more, then we tossed it. It was pointless, but worth the taste. The salt tasted good after the run. We spotted a huge box with hundreds of Kettle brand chips samples, so we grabbed a few (re: bunch). It was unmanned, besides being right next to the Lagunitas Brewing Company's booth.
We made our way to the Bobble Heads, swooped it up and tried to leave. We walked all the way back to where we started, only to be told we had to leave from where we just came from - Willie Mays Plaza. Note to runners for next year: left field exit is not an option. As we left, we could see people still walking/jogging in from their races.
We didn't stay too long or enjoy much of the post-race festivities, but that's usually what happens after races for us (re: me). We did search out a coffee, so did lots of other runners, at Philz Coffee...since it was near the stadium. I'd never been there and loved the 'one cup at a time' movement they have going! I also was obsessed with their Mame's Bacon Burrito, I even tried to order some online. Oh and the Vegan Coffee Donut I tried was pretty amazing too.
Eating and drinking, we made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and spend some time having fun in the City!

It's a pricey race, but if you love the team like I do, then it's not really a big deal. The Giant Race has honed in on the organization of the run and the staff is really awesome. I don't have any complaints regarding the race, the staff, or my experiences with this race. Well, besides the fact that Embarcadero Street is pretty shitty, but I'll bring that up with the City of San Francisco ;)

Who knew baseball fans love to run...

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