Oakland Marathon Recap!

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I didn’t bring a camera and my phone was not cooperating. I have learned my lesson and will bring my camera to every race now!

This was the first time that I was lucky enough to run in the Oakland Running Festival. A few months ago I was searching for how to keep racing in my life, but not have it take over since I do have a wedding coming up on September 14th. I saw that the Oakland Marathon had an option for a 4 person relay race. I asked a few girls to see if they were down to take on the challenge, and the Bay Area Betty’s were formed. The months leading up to the race seemed to fly by and then it was the day before race day and we had to pick up our packets. This was the first race I have ran that was local so it was really nice to just have to drive 5 minutes to go to the Packet Pick-up. Me and my girl Nicole ventured to the Marriot convention center, in the pouring rain, for the Oakland Running Festival Expo. I, of course, didn’t have my bib number printed out so after some searching through my phone found the info so we could grab our bibs. We grabbed our bibs and left the others for the other girls and worked our way through the small expo. This was somewhat of a disappointing expo compared to the ones I have been to in the past. There we not a  lot of vendors and the free stuff was lacking. We left the expo slightly disappointed but excited for the race the next day, hoping that the rain would stop before morning.  Later that day I got a call from one of my teammates, apparently the volunteers at the expo gave the last of our packet to someone else. That means that our first runner didn’t have a bib or the timing chip band to pass as a baton to each leg! After some frustrating phone calls we were able to get all new numbers, but that meant we had to meet up before the race to collect our bibs for the race. 5:30 AM rolled around the next morning pretty quick and I was getting dressed in my pink tutu and hot pink shirt, scarfing down an almond butter and jelly sandwich before picking up Nicole. I grabbed her and we were off to downtown Oakland to meet up with Amelia and Katie. We met them at a closed starbucks,(Lame!) and got our bibs on. The 2nd leg runner had to be at the bus at 7am so she hightailed it to the bus to get to the second leg of the race. I was the 3rd leg of the race and my bus left at 7:30, apparently some people are pretty darn fast for relay’s. I hopped on the bus and met up with my race buddy Carol,(who I know from Lavaman last year). We went over to our start and waited in the cold. Honestly at that point we were just happy it wasn’t raining like the day before. At 9:45 I started getting ready to see that tutu coming down the hill. I saw Amelia running down and then I got in the right spot to grab it. Once I had the timing chip I took off running. I only made it about 10 minutes before I started to get really hot. I took a little walk break to strip off my long sleeve, which was under my short sleeved shirt so I chilling in a sports bra for a quick minute, but was back to running pretty quick. Now I was a little worried about this race before actually running. I have not ran in the past 2 weeks, and even before that I was only running 1-2 times a week and my max was 4 miles. This run was 7.5. I was surprised that I was feeling so good, I made it a little while doing 9:1 intervals (9 minute running, 1 minute walking) then felt good enough to do a mile then walk a minute. As I was booking it down international I met a sweet runner named Priscilla, she was a cute little thing that was running like a beast. We started chatting and decided that we would run the last 4 miles together. As I was running down International Blvd. (one of the ghetto-est roads in Oakland) I couldn’t help but smile. It felt so good to be running a race, seeing people cheering and cheering others on. I was completely glowing from all the energy. I checked my garmin and saw that I was at the 7 mile mark and started looking for where the pass off would be. Then, as I came around the corner I saw Nicole rocking the tutu and I screamed at her “ you better be ready to run!” I handed her the timing chip and reveled in my joy of running 7.5 miles. I found Carol and we headed to West Oakland bart to get back to the start point of the race. At the start I met up with Katie and Amelia,  and I drank my free coors light that the race gave me. I was all smiles and a growling belly at this point. I inhaled half of a luna bar and we found our spot at the finish line to cheer on Nicole. A little while later she came in all her glory, I unfortunately had ran to the bathroom at this point so I missed her crossing the finish. We congratulated each other and grabbed our medals, then we had to split out ways. Nicole and I went and grabbed brunch to fuel after the race. Mimosa’s count as fuel right? Hehe. I went home and passed out, it was a really early morning! Now that the race is over I am thinking about my next race, I am also thinking about doing a full marathon! I would love to do the Oakland half marathon next year! But maybe I will just do the relay again, or who knows maybe even the full.

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