Thursday, August 5, 2010

Running Wharf to Wharf!

A couple of weekends ago I ran the Wharf to Wharf 6 mile race in Santa Cruz.  My knee had been bothering me so I was unsure how I would do and if I would be in any pain.  Well, my knee gave me no trouble and I'm really glad I did my exercises and constantly popped appropriately took Advil for the inflammation.  


The real "pain" I experienced was the race itself!   The race course wound along some beautiful scenery between Santa Cruz and Capitola...but it was impossible to see anything due to the 25,000  people trying to get to the finish line!!  It was so crowded...yeah, I know...How crowded was it?  Well, let me tell was so crowded that I didn't actually run for the first 2 miles!  On a normal day, and a good race, it usually takes me about 10:30 to run 1 mile - it took 11:57 for me to complete the first mile!!

Here's what happened:  they sell out the race to 15,000 people, but then 10,000 more join in!  You can see them everywhere!  Thousands of people without running numbers.  Now I'm thinking...why did I pay to run this race when I could have just lined up with everyone else?  Oh, yeah, I got a free shirt at the end...and a box of raisins!  (Please excuse my bitterness...)

Here are the 12,500 people behind me...

and here are 12, 499 people in front of me!

This is mile 3.  It truly never thinned out!  Aargh!!

One of many bands playing at each mile!

Yes, he's dressed as a cow wearing a sombrero - how "udderly" puzzling!

So, in keeping with my race tradition, here are 6 rants and raves about the 6 miles in Wharf to Wharf.

1.  Rave - I love running along the ocean.  This explains why I drive 3 hours and book a $175 hotel room to run for 1 hour!

2.  Rant - How ambiguous is the statement "NO STROLLERS allowed on the race course"?  Did everybody else get a different set of instructions that said, "It's ok for YOU to bring your stroller, but no one else"?  There's even a picture in the Santa Cruz paper of the first 20 racers heading out with a man pushing a stroller!  You're going to keep a 5 minute pace pushing your kid? These are the same people who park in handicapped stalls and take 25 items to the 10 items or less line at Vons!  (Again, forgive my bitterness!)

3.  Rave - Went with a group from my local gym.  Really nice people.  It was good to have familiar faces in the sea of humanity!

4.  Rant -   If you're going to walk - good for you - it's great to exercise!  But stay to the right and the hell out of my way!!  I'm not a fast runner, but I'm faster than you - and I'd like to get around you!!  (Once again...that thing about bitterness...)

5.  Rave -  Uh...I'll have to get back to you...

6.  Rant -  You're going to walk 6 miles holding your boyfriend's hand?  It's called a RACE, people!!

I probably won't run this race next year, but if I do, I'm not paying for it!!  Really...I'm not...  ( Ok, those of you that know me know that I'll end up paying, but I wouldn't have, why do I have that guilt - oh, yeah, I'm Catholic!!)
Thanks for visiting!  May your next race be much better than mine!!


  1. Enjoyed reading your rants & raves. That would have really bothered me too! My son went to college at UC Santa Cruz, it's so beautiful there. We loved when we visited him.

  2. My favorite parts of your races? Rants and raves! Love those!

  3. I love your rants and raves! I too hate it when races are super packed. I always try to run along the sidewalk until they thin out..but it's frustrating when that never happens.

    i see you're running nike women's this year. I did it last year (the full) and it was AMAZING!

  4. How does a runner walk, much less run, in such a crowd? My son, a cross country runner and pleasure (?) runner now, lives in the Bay Area and has never mentioned this race. I salute you for your perseverance!


  5. LOL! Sorry it was such an unpleasant race for you, Cathy, but reading about it was a blast for the rest of us!

  6. It is a FUN RUN, hence the bands every mile, the guys in costumes, the families etc. People come out to have FUN while they run in beautiful Santa Cruz. If you didn't, you should definitely stay home this year.

    Also that particular area gets tons of walkers, runners, etc. on any weekend Summer day, as it is a public street and sidewalk in a popular area. Paying $35 doesn't get you freedom from crowds, it benefits the local area and helps pay for the event.


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