Monday, November 26, 2007

Run Wild: from the bench...

Quite a different perspective to attend a race from the bench, as I save my calf before next week's Saintélyon after pulling a muscle at Helen Klein Classic 50-mile. Interestingly enough, this is the second time I go to this great race in San Francisco, but not run. Last year, I was accompanying Max and several of his cross-country buddies for their first 10K. It was the day after my great 5th place at Quad Dipsea in 2006 and walking was enough exercise for my legs then.

So my turn to play the coach, the photographer and cloakroom for the rest of the family, a chore which usually falls on Agnès shoulders. So much duties that I missed most of the pictures this time, because of the low light... This year the whole family entered the event, Agnès taking my bib. Agnès' hip hasn't been bothering her for about a year now, since she was diagnosed with arthritis. She and I are enjoying every moment of this remission and know that th mechanical problem hasn't disappeared though and will require some surgery at some point. But later rather than sooner...

The Pommiers' clan was joined by only one member of the Tino cross-country team this year: Dennis, whom we picked up at 7am before driving up to the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The weather was over-casted and chilly.

Greg was the first to finish his race on his favorite distance, 5K, in 28 minutes flat, not his PR. But it wasn't easy to manage a run in a 3,000-runner field, sharing the same start and part of the course on 5 and 10K and with miles more or less marked from what I heard.

Max completed the 10K course in 38:59, a few more seconds than his first 10K last year on this course. Despite finishing 26th overall, he only placed 8th in a very competitive M14-19 age group in which the first, Andrew Deck, took second overall in 35:38 and the second, Mathew Humphreys-Marti took third overall in 36:07. At least Max has several years before him to improve in this age category, and I'm proud that he is so up to the challenge.
Dennis, another member of Tino's cross-country varsity team, finished in 43:02, shortly followed by Alex, finishing his first 10K in 43:43.
As he is turning 14 on Christmas Day, Alex was hoping to place in his M6-13 age group which he surely did, placing first and getting a medal. Such a reward after a great cross-country season and so many efforts to work despite some foot problems and injuries. We are proud of our new "Pommier champion!" As our friends tease us, we must have some Kenyan blood from several generations back...

In this crowd, likely to reach 5,000 with the runners crews, the sponsors, the volunteers, I missed Agnès' finish on the 10K. In good shape and excited to be back on a race, Nordic walking, Agnès decided to switch from 5K to 10K. Which she covered in 1h21, with more than 100 runners and walkers behind her. But the goal was not the time, just to enjoy a family running event as she was before her hip problems.
The boys noted that, in addition to the costume parade, that was the best running post race expo and goodies they ever saw, and really enjoyed this part as well. With my interest in sustainability, a special mention of one of the sponsors, Bay Solar Power Design, which was educating on the benefits of solar panels for both residential and commercial. And of course, this race was benefiting the California Academy of Sciences, a great place to visit in San Francisco's Golden Park.

Here is a quick overview of the traditional post-race costume parade and contest:

That's French haute-couture and elegance, isn't it (Jen Vaughn from San Francisco)?
Quite an "Aussie" way of running!
Overall a fun run which I hope to do at some point, ultra calendar permitting...


Anonymous said...

Ma foi, en reporter tu n'es pas mal non plus!
Merci et à demain

Robin said...

Well done the Pommier Family - every one of you. The Boys and Mom - you all did really well. A really good reporting and photographs by Dad on the bench.