32nd Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K Race Report

Posted on Feb 06, 2015 under Race | No Comment

san francisco 5kWhat are the odds that this is the 2nd race in a row that the sponsor is Kaiser Permanente? Even though this was technically a destination race, I really did not plan to run it until a week or 2 (max) before the event. I knew I was going to be in San Francisco for a client meeting, but it wasn’t confirmed until the very last minute on a Friday. I decided to make a weekend out of it and since I would be in the neighborhood, I thought it’d be fun to run a race in one of the hilliest cities in the country! Fortunately, most of the race was downhill and I almost ran a PR because of that. Here are the results: 19:29 5K (6:17 min/mile), 3/71 AG and 27/2,253 overall. The last time I placed in a race like this, I chalked it up to all the faster runners doing the half marathon. But the time was pretty impressive, it was actually over a minute faster from the 5K I ran just a week before. I was able to run a much slower first mile and pace myself for the rest of the race, it definitely helped that the last mile in this race was downhill while the last race was uphill the last mile!

The last time I ran in San Francisco was the half marathon in July 2011. That race was pretty fun because I was running with my brother and his friends and I got to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. That race actually finished at Golden Gate Park, where this 5K took place. The benefit of running a race that has been running for 31 years before, you know it’s going to be organized. It took a while to find parking for the race, but that’s expected for a place like San Francisco. I had parked so far away from where I was staying, it probably would have been more convenient if I just left my car where I had parked it the night before. The line to use the restroom was surprisingly short, which is always a plus in my book. It was a little foggy out before the race (surprised?) but once the sun came out it went away.

The course was a point to point race, which I usually like (I hate repetition). I don’t really know Golden Gate Park too well, but we ran through various paths and streets within the park and finished near the west side by the ocean. Last week’s 5K was difficult because I was running with a bunch of high school kids that were way too fast for me. I was still in a fast pace group this time, but I was able to hold back enough to run a slower first mile (6:45). Most of mile two was downhill and almost all of mile 3 was also downhill, which worked to my advantage since I can run downhills quite fast. And because I didn’t start off too fast, I had energy left to run with others and even pass them.

I didn’t really plan how I was going to get back after the race. Fortunately, I was able to take the shuttle back to near the start line (although the walk from the finish line to the shuttles was at least half a mile or more). Overall, I was tired but not exhausted from the 5K and was very happy with my overall performance. I’m still waiting to see if the race director can mail me my 3rd place age group award, but have not heard back. It’s not like I need the medal, but it’s nice to see what it looks like.

It doesn’t look like I’m going to get much of a break. I have a 10 mile race coming up and then the family tradition of the Firecracker 5K/10K in Chinatown LA. I’m actually a little worried about the 10-miler. Of the last 15 runs I’ve had, only 1 was longer than 4 miles. My last two runs have been after work and I have been able to run a lot faster than I usually do in my morning training runs, so I definitely don’t need to worry about speed, but more about endurance. I’ll try to get a 6-8 mile run in this weekend and run throughout the week leading up to the 10-miler.

Here are some photos taken from the race:






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