I decided to do this race on a whim. Mostly because I already ask for enough days off for other reasons. I didn’t know if I was going to do the race until the night before. The plan was to have fun and enjoy the sights. Plus the words “wine and cheese” were in the title.
The registration started at 6:30, and since I
am a control freak and wanted to avoid the rush I woke up at 4:45. I wanted to try something different and eat some carbs before the race, and I wanted to make sure I had enough time for it to digest. I went for a bagel thin, toasted peanut butter on one side and nutella on the other, topped with bananas.
It was delicious.
We got to the race site in Sonoma a few minutes before 6:30. Luckily they were all set up, which made it super easy to get registered. They only gave me a bib, and no shirt. I thought that it was weird they handed the shirts out at the end.
I made a pit stop here.
When I was taking the picture some woman said “really? The port-o-potties are that interesting?”. I simply said “you must not read many running blogs.”
There’s only 2 rules with bathrooms,
1- make sure there are enough.
2- make sure they are clean and stocked.
It was 7am, and there was quite a line. Well with only about 8 bathrooms it seemed like there wasn’t enough bathrooms.
By now the crowds started coming in.
I made sure I took the start line obligatory picture.
It was a little sad that it didn’t say start.
Soon enough it was about 15 minutes before the race started. I made my way to the “start, not labeled start line”. I got stuck behind some strollers…
The clock ticked down to 0, and nothing happened. Then 3 minutes later we were asked to move forward to make way for everyone. This was good, since I wasn’t behind “the stroller crew” anymore.
They said to give them another 10 minutes after this. This was super annoying news to hear. Every race I have ever raced in has been a few minutes late. However at this point they were talking like 15 minutes.
Eventually 18 minutes pass, and they let the wheel chairs go. And said it would be another 3 minutes.
26 minutes after the original start time the Runner’s part of the race started.
After all the annoying delays, we were finally running. And I was feeling awesome! So awesome that my first mile clocked in at 9:06.
I’m just racing for fun. There’s no way I can hold this pace. I tried to slow down. Mile 2 clocked in at 9:07. Then I was trying to do the math (favorite past time of runner’s, while running). I was kind of freaking out. I was not trained for a sub 55 10k. I didn’t want to injure myself.
Also in mile 2 I passed a hidden “aid station” with one volunteer. ONE! I must be really, really spoiled. I am used to at least a half a dozen or more volunteers at each aid station. The runner’s we decided to stop had to pour their own water. At that moment I felt great.
The scenery looked like this,
It was really a beautiful course. I was trying to soak it all in. I didn’t think I needed water at that moment. And I remembered that there were 3 aid stations. I just figured I would stop at the next one.
Then I hit an uphill slope. I could really feel myself slowing down. I thought for sure I was running over 10 min/mile. I was cursing the adrenaline in the beginning. And wondering where the hell it went after mile 2.
Mile 3- 9:57
Ew. Ya I started way too fast, now I’m going uphill. Then the cramps started. Why am i cramping? Oh yeah, I decided to switch it up and eat carbs before my race. So, I was pissed about that. And I was pissed that the race directors were lame and only assigned one volunteer to an aid station. I was also pissed that they didn’t put more info on their website. They should have had an elevation chart. Or at least some sort of acknowledgement of some slight uphill parts.
Eventually I came to another aid station. Another single volunteer. Whatever. I poured my own water. I walked and drank. I had never been so happy to see an aid station. With a new pep on my step, I turned the corner and saw this view.
It really made me appreciate where I live and the races I have access to.
Mile 4 was over 10 min mile. Blasphemy. I just kept trudging. And after the slow uphill madness, came the downhill. I got my second wind. I kept a steady 9:31 pace for the rest of the 10k.
I was so excited to see the end!
According to the timing thing, I finished at 58:14. I don’t know if that is entirely accurate, since the delay and the wheel chair thing. Nike+ said I finished 58:57. Either way I PR’d by more than 5 minutes. I can’t say that it wasn’t a good race. I put in as much effort as I could. However when you break the cardinal rule of starting too fast, expect to tucker out.
Next up, I want my shirt!
Hasn’t anyone ever told the race coordinators that white is the absolute WORST color for a shirt. It’s a tech tee, it’s meant to be worn while you sweat. Plus you have to wear a white bra. (well as a courtesy to others around you).
Ok I got my shirt, I changed my clothes. Gimme my wine and cheese! There was none. Nobody could pour until after 10:30. I was done at 9:30. I guess that’s out.
Now gimme my cheese! There was no cheese. Where was the cheese? It’s in the title of the race!?!?! Why wouldn’t you offer some cheese to the competitors right after the race?
We left, cheeseless and wineless.
We hit up this place in Napa.
We each ordered one of these.
And shared some of these
We quickly ate, and headed home. We both desperately needed a nap. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing.
Overall: I would give this race a so-so rating
a lot of shade on the course.
you get your shirt at the end (I’m a control freak who needs her shirt right away)
Over 20 minutes delayed start
Not enough port-o-potties
Not enough volunteers at the aid stations
No wine and cheese at the end, even when it’s in the title.
White tech tee
No race results on the website after 5pm. (I checked the race website about race results, It only had 2010 results. Not a good sign.)
Would I do this race again?? No. Would I recommend the course to a friend, who is visiting from out of town and wants a scenic race? Probably.
Have you encountered any of these negatives when racing?