Race: Emerald Nuts Across the Bay 12K 2010

I did this race for fun without any significant taper, because it seemed a shame to miss it.
I met fellow-Brit Carpe DM (Dave) from the RW forums in the start area. Turns out that we’ve both been in the US the same amount of time. He had no trouble finding me thanks to the Brooks outfit.
About the Brooks outfit: I’ve been accepted into the Brooks ID program, which gets me some deep discounts on shoes, etc, and they sent me a somewhat eye-catching race uniform, in yellow and black. Easy to spot.

Despite being quite a large race, there are no chips. Instead there are wave starts at 15 minute intervals. They check bib numbers on the way into the start area, to prevent anyone from getting a 15 or 30 minute leg-up on their time. There were pace signs to show us where to line up, and like a dummy I lined up where the sign said I should. When the gun went there was a sea or runners between me and the line, so it took forever to get across. There was plenty of weaving to do in the first mile. The first mile was mostly downhill into Fort Baker. I managed this in 6:55, despite having to go around quite a few runners. Mile 2 is the steep hill to get up to the bridge. I held my ground here, and got up in 8:10. Once I got up onto the bridge, I set about passing runners. Each time I selected someone to match my pace to, they seemed to falter and disappear, except for one young guy who came back each time. I think we exchanged positions three times during the race, and he edged me out at the end. All the other passees dutifully finished behind me.

Mile 3 was the bridge deck – 7:15. I probably should have gone a bit faster here, but I was feeling the previous day’s 8-mile run up at Tilden and was being a little cautious. An injury would not be welcome with two marathons coming up!
Things sped up a bit in the next mile, with some sharp downhills – 6:35. A disturbance up ahead, someone had stopped. A young woman was standing by her team-mate (same uniform) who had fallen on the downslope. Having got to the side and sat down, the faller waved her buddy on. There was blood on her leg. There was a turnaround at Fort Point under the bridge and I got a view of the leaders. Plenty of pained race-faces there. The next two miles were flat, covering Chrissy Field and the Marina Green. – 6:59, 7:03, I was still passing the occasional runner, including the Good Samaritan. I set my sights on a tall woman about 100 yards ahead in a multicolored outfit. She and her male companion were also passing other runners, but perhaps I could reel them in before the end. The gap got gradually smaller, until it was about 30 yards when the Fort Mason hill came into view. Now it just depended on how good a hill runner she was. She was strong. She left her buddy behind, and I passed him near the top.

The downhill to Aquatic Park is a pretty steep thing to run. I concentrated on good posture and kept it smooth, not taking any risks. I was gaining on her now. Then her buddy came past me, bounding down the hill slap, slap, slap! At the bottom, he slowed and I blew by him in the final 100 yards. That descent must have done a number on his quads. Someone was yelling “You’re not jogging now!” This turned out to be Loraine, who was there supporting husband Dan and, for the moment, me. I didn’t catch Tall Woman though. She’s more than 2 decades younger than me it turns out, so that’s OK.

54:36 was my finish time, a 36 second improvement over last year. Not bad considering I didn’t really taper for this one, and ran it somewhat carefully. I had been a little puzzled by the time on my Garmin which was 8 seconds less than the official time. I was going so slowly at the start that it had auto-paused!

Club buddy Dan was over the moon at the finish, having exceeded his expectations and run it in under an hour. (59:14) He had activated the virtual partner on his Garmin, and knew a good race was in store when he was still ahead of the little man at the top of the mile 2 hill!

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8 Responses to “Race: Emerald Nuts Across the Bay 12K 2010”


  1. 1 Loraine McVey March 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Fun report Jim, and congrats on the PR. Whoo hoo, that was a no-jogging finish for sure!

  2. 2 Flo March 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Congratulations, Jim! It wasn’t your greatest effort but you couldn’t help but PR anyway – Boston is going to be wicked wonderful for you, boyee. And I absolutely love “You’re not jogging now!” Sounds like you ended up flying, actually.

  3. 3 Flo March 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    What’s with your PR list saying “12K – 55:12 (Across Bay 3/15/09)”? I think not.

  4. 4 jime2 March 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Flo – Argh – Thanks , I’ll fix that.

    Loraine – Hmm, I could get used to this not-jogging lark!

  5. 5 Christi March 23, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Great job Jim and congrats to your buddy!

  6. 6 Dan Piponi March 23, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Congrats on such a good time, especially just after running Tilden!

    I’m going to have to make my little man work harder next time.

    BTW I think you may have a typo in your overall race time.

  7. 7 jime2 March 23, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Wow, Thanks Dan. Fixed. That was a crucial thing to typo on. (Lets see how maby mistakes we can find in Jim’s blog today 😉 )
    Good job on your time, BTW. Are you going to go for sub-55 at Bay-to-Breakers?

  8. 8 Dan Piponi March 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I’d be lying if I said the thought of a sub-55 b2b hadn’t entered my head. But thinking realistically, it seems a long way off.


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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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