20 April 2017

Race Recap: Giant Race Riverfront 5k

Only running for my beloved G-Men!
I haven't run, really run, in probably six months or so. I don't count the soccer field, because that is a different type of running. It's not continuous, even though it kicks my ass. My rule this year was to only run any or all of the Giant Race series. I may have changed this a bit, but there won't be too many races in my 2017 future.

I still can't get over how the SF Giants AAA team is right in my backyard. As if that wasn't awesome enough, they added a race to support my favorite team. No brainer, obviously.

Last year was the inaugural race, which was fun, despite having a few kinks to work though. They still seem a little confused, but they are trying to make it work. They offer two distances: Riverfront 5k or the River Cat 10k, which you can do as a team or do as an individual. Sadly, the 10k is just a double loop of the 5k, which is super lame in my book. It makes it easy for a team to run, but really is just a nonessential option for runners. Just my opinion here folks.
5k Course Map
Since it was the SF Giants home opener week, they didn't have packet pick-up in SF, only on Friday in Sacramento at our local Fleet Feet. Easy enough for me, but a little harder for those who were traveling to the race. Of course they had race day packet pick-up too. I ran to FF after work and grabbed Lil and I's bibs and shirts. The packet pickup was all outside, in the back -- luckily it wasn't raining at all or hadn't been.
Surprisingly, Lil stopped by shortly after and I got to hang out with her for a bit. Gave her the goodies and then she went off to have fun, while I hung out and babysat J's niece and nephew. We planned to meet in the AM and carpool to the race, her boo (R) would join us too!

Saturday race days are weird...

I was going to get up super early and have coffee and toast like a regular race day, but then I realized I was being silly. No need for all that for a 5k that I'd more than likely be jogging most of the time, if not walking some of it. So, I slept in a little longer, but I'm not crazy enough not to have some coffee ;)
My aunt who is also a huge Giants fan, always spoils me with Giants stuff. For the past few years, she's always given me a new Giants shirt. This year's shirt was perfect for the race. A little girly with glitter and a little tomboy with the baseball tee style. I didn't do a 'flat runner' pic, because I just am not that into running and felt kinda silly doing that for a 5k. So you I took a real life runner selife ;)
Luckily the Wench lives near Raley Field and let us park in her drive way, which is always a blessing. However, it wasn't as busy as I thought it would be. My guess was that due to it being Easter Weekend, Cochella Weekend, and Boston Marathon Weekend -- there just weren't a lot of people in town. We could have parked in the Raley Field parking lot, but exiting would have been annoying. They didn't even have people parking in the 'reserve' lots, so I knew it would be less congested this year.

We made our way to the start with a few minutes to spare. The course was changed this year, besides the double loop option for the 10k. We started in the opposite direction this year, so I was able to grab my traditional pre-race selfie at the start line. They announced they were going to sing the National Anthem, so we tried to hurry to the other side. But I had to snag a pic with the Easter Bunny of course (notice the extra set of ears, haha?)!
I got in a few quick stretches after the National Anthem, then the count down began. We squeezed our way into the shoot and started. Well started walking behind walkers. I almost got ran over by a little lady that should have started in the front, since she was really serious about the race. Finally, Lil and I found our groove and pace to keep steady. Sacramentans need to remember how to do fun runs. Let the runners start and stay toward the back if you're walking. Comprende?
Didn't know R was at the start // Candid
We both were nursing injuries so we took it easy. I told Lil to race her race, but she said she'd stay with me. I always feel bad when she does that, but I enjoyed it. We seriously got lost in convo for the entire run. My legs were crampy the entire time and I may have dropped a "F" bomb and a volunteer just laughed at me, but other than that it was enjoyable.

This course had you run along toward the front of Raley Field. You then take a quick right, where they had a few cheerleaders from a local high school hanging out, which still follows the perimeter of Raley Field. This is the straight away that follows another side of the stadium, which is also where you start Shamrock'n. Then you turn onto the main street, only to make another turn into the West Sac neighborhood. You run all the way through the neighborhood, until it dead ends and you run up a small hill to make your way to the Riverfront. Before you actually get there you have to run up another small incline, which is where I so politely released my F bomb.
You run the length of the riverfront until you exit it and cross the street to the other side of the bridge/street. Here you run next to a block of goats who were hired to be natures lawn mowers. The owners had a little trailer on the left and the goats were on the right doing their thing. There was even an electric fence to keep them in place and another fence in front of that so people wouldn't touch the electric fence. Sooo random!
There were also a few funny signs along this pathway near the river front, also the Bunny was hanging out here too! You run out to the barn, past it, and around it to head back toward Raley Field. This is basically where the Wench lives so we gave her a random shout out when we ran past. Then it was a straight away to Raley field and a quick left toward the start line. At this point I was trying to snap a few pics, but wasn't too sure how'd they'd turn out. Not too bad, as I can use them for this race recap and they don't look too horrible.
You make a left at the stadium and end up right where you started. You keep going, and make the right where the cheerleaders are again. This is also the relay point for the team 10k-er's. Before you hit the main road, you turn into the back of the stadium if you're doing the 5k and follow it until you run to the opening under the large score board. This was different from last year and Shamrock'n, where you usually run in right after you enter the back of the stadium...they make you go a little further this year.
Once you run under the sign you hit the warning track. You have less than tenth of a mile to finish under the orange, white, and black balloon arch to the finish. Our clock time read something along the lines of 31:32 when we finished. I was hoping to finish before the :30 mark, but with our delayed start I knew we'd be okay.
Can you spot us? Me, neither ;)
 

Official Race Results

Garmin Deets
Mile 1 - 9:54
Mile 2 - 10:23
Mile 3 - 10:12
Mile 4 - 9:25
Total Mileage - 3.06 Miles 

Pace - 10:09 Min/Mile

As we curved around the warning track we took selfies, duh. Then the cutest little dude handed me my medal. We took a few more selfies and tried to take one in the dugout, but the security lady yelled at us :( We scooted along and grabbed a water and then started the ascent up the stairs of the stadium. The worst part of the race! 
I'm a rebel!
R was waiting there for us and even snapped a few pics of us coming in. He said my white sleeves were an easy identifier. They didn't let the spectators go about the stadium as they please, like they have in the past :(
We took a few more pics while up in the breeze way, then went to find where I could exchange my shirt for a larger size. We ran into the free goodies, which I usually pass up, but there wasn't a line so I breezed through and grabbed some goodies. Most of which I ended up giving to a homeless person on our drive home.
As we walked down to find the elusive shirts, we ran into a fun little photo op that we couldn't pass up. We snapped a few pics and then I ran off to the table with the shirts, but the line was way too long. I already had a shirt and didn't feel like waiting in that 50 person line. We called it a day and headed back to the car, but first with a stop in the Dugout store to peep the new gear for the season. Of course that left me wanting to come back and buy something, but lucky for me I didn't bring any cash or credit cards.
I love this race simply because it is associated with the Giants. I do think they could make some changes to the longer course. The 5k is fine, no an issue. But if I pay to run a 10k, I sure as hell don't want to double loop a 5k. And I won't be teaming a 10k with anyone, that is just silly too, when we could both just run the 5k together and enjoy it. No waiting around or anything.

Overall, everything about the race is manageable and friendly. Its a little pricey, but that's because it is a race in the Giant series and should be expected. It cracks me up that there is a Dodger fan that is really fast. I don't know if she won the race, but I know she's in the top tier and it drives me crazy. I hope no Giants fan let her win, haha, in the spirit of safe competition of course.

Of course no race recap would be complete with a post-race brunch pic. We swooped up J and L and headed for a well deserved brunch. I didn't snap a pic of my plate, since I've already eaten Iron Horse's Loco Moco, but J's plate was pretty so I snapped one of his.
Breakfast Board
All for the love of my team, angry knee and all!

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