Race Report: Chinatown 10K

We welcomed the Chinese Year Of The Ox in the pouring rain. The combined start of the 5K and 10K was on Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Everyone sheltered on the sidewalks under shop awnings until just before the start. I was not thinking of this as any sort of goal race, more like a bit of tempo running in interesting surroundings.

I was going to have to wait for the tempo part, since Grant is quite narrow, and I really should have been closer to the front. The pack was going pretty slowly, and I started to pick my way through it. One guy pushed me out to the side as  passed him. Gee thanks, and goodbye. Ah, here was  Karen of the LMJS, running the 5K, doing a pretty good threading job. I followed her for a bit, then went through a different gap and we parted company.

By the first mile mark, things had opened up and I could go as fast as I wanted. We went down a steep hill into North Beach, crossed Columbus, then headed south on the Embarcadero. There was a nasty headwind here and it seemed to be raining even harder. Ugh. At least I was still passing other runners. There’s a guy wearing a bin liner, rustling and flapping  in the wind. Must be slowing him quite a bit. Goodbye. The tall buildings of the business district provided some shelter, and we went up a gentle gradient towards the point where the 5K runners turned right to the finish. We 10K types were faced with a steep uphill. As I approached the split, a gust of wind almost stopped me. Oh great, this is going to be brutal! But then it reversed direction around the buildings and helped me up the hill, hooray!

Crossing the start line again, I could sense my endurance mode kicking in (a.k.a. the Energizer Bunny) A half dozen runners were visible ahead of me, and I amused myself by picking them off one by one. Oh, that guy’s wearing a Boston Marathon jacket. I’ll count him as two. Back on the Embarcadero, I caught the last of them, a guy of about 20, loping along with long strides. He stayed on my heels for about a minute, then his footsteps faded. In front of me now was a huge gap to the next runner, about a block and a half. So I just continued with my little tempo run, waving at the volunteers, smiling for the photographer.

Back in the business district, The cops waited for me to pass, then waved the cars through. Wow. There must be a decent gap behind me now. The guy in front was getting closer too. At the turnoff to the finish, he headed straight on until the volunteers yelled at him to turn right. Damn, I wish I’d known he was going to do that. I’d have gone a bit faster!
Ox Shirt
I was a bit slow with the button at the finish, so 47 minutes give or take 5 seconds. Not too shabby  for a hilly course in the wind and rain. I don’t know how I did, position wise. There are no age-group awards in this race. Being sopping wet, I headed straight home.  I like the shirt. Happy 4707 everyone!

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5 Responses to “Race Report: Chinatown 10K”


  1. 1 Christi February 16, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Great RR!!! You definitely are the engerizer bunny and I would definitely count passing a Boston qualifier as two people!!! Congrats on a great race!

  2. 3 Flo February 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    What a great way to get your tempo run in! Sounds like a blast, though windy and wet. You must have driven the real racers nuts with your happy waving. Great job, racing dude!

  3. 4 jime2 February 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Nah. The real racers were over the horizon! I heard Peter Gilmour won it in 31:nn or something like that. That’s 5:00 pace, a bit slower than he was in the Kaiser half two week ago, so I shouldn’t feel bad about being a bit slower also.

  4. 5 threlkeld February 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Nice job under tough conditions, Jim! I like the race tee too.


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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
10K43:44
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)

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