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Two third-in-age-group medals and yes, Annabel wins again as Raptors travel to Brazen "Wildcat" 5K/10K

posted Jan 20, 2013, 6:42 PM by Laura Driussi
May 19, 2012

As is becoming more the norm (and a trend I like) we have guest race-report writers this week--Nikhil and Annabel! Enjoy! Like Jared, Gary, Laura and everyone else on the Raptors they are very good writers. Where was the coach this morning? Even though he had two events he would have liked to attend (the Brazen Race and the Berkeley "Kid's Triathlon") he was dead to the world. . . sound asleep, resting for the next two crazy track weeks!

      We showed up for the race, full of bagels (and, as Nikhil found it 
      important to mention, “toaster pastries” [not Pop Tarts]). But our ideas 
      of a cold, dreary morning vanished in the warm air at the race site. We 
      registered, and received our slightly-less-amazing-than-last-year shirts. 
      The medals, Annabel was disappointed to see, were rather normal-looking 
      and bland; compared to last year’s adorable kitty ones.

At the engraving booth.

      On the ride to the race, Isabelle spotted a kitten on the side of the 
      road. (a “Wildcat”, you could say). Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any real 
      wildcats on the trail, only some cows and a couple horses.

      Five minutes to the 10K start, we decided that Rick would probably arrive 
      during the 30 minute lapse between race starts. But, alas, it was not to 
      be. Lonely, we waited for him for what felt like hours. But he never 
      arrived, as he was probably sleeping. (Just kidding. We could guess you 
      wouldn’t be there when you weren’t around as the 10K started.)

      The inspirational bagpipes sounded, and with that, the 10K runners were 
      off! Annabel, deciding to take down a twelve-year-old in front of her, 
      started off too quickly and slowed down to about an 11-minute mile pace, 
      according to her Garmin; though it felt, to her, much faster than that. 
      The twelve-year-old kept up a quick pace in front of her, and soon Annabel 
      dismissed the girl as too fast. Sadly, later, that girl was not so open to 
      our recruiting tactics. Ahead, a large hill loomed, casting a daunting 
      shadow in front of Annabel. She sighed, and slowed even further.

      Meanwhile, Nikhil, Isabelle, Laura, and Gabriela were frantically looking 
      for a band-aid, after Nikhil mentioned a burn on his thumb that he “kinda 
      [wanted] a band-aid for.” It took a while, but, at last, the EMT’s truck 
      was located, and they made their way towards the medic. After being forced 
      to accept an ointment 
      before receiving his Sponge Bob-themed bandage, Nikhil and the others were 
      informed of the dangers of burns, including hypothermia (weird, right?).

      Nikhil and Isabelle didn’t do as much starting off quickly as Annabel; and 
      rather proceeded forward at a moderate jog, trying not to trip or be 
      tripped by the mass of runners around them. Soon, though, they hit the 
      hill; and although Nikhil, having run Wildcat twice before, was doing 
      okay, Isabelle was forced to walk (“stupid cramps,” she groaned). She 
      alternated between running and walking, aided in running by Nikhil’s 
      annoying attempts at words of encouragement and small pushes from behind. 
      Eventually, though, they crested the hill, and made much faster progress 
      down the other side. The water at the aid station was helpful, and 
      encouraged more running from Isabelle, while also helping Nikhil through 
      the steepest hill of the 5K. Nikhil’s wrong guesses as to when the hills 
      would end soon became unbearable, and Isabelle, although in a very polite 
      manner, was forced to shut him up multiple times. 

      As Nikhil and Isabelle continued to jog their 5K, Annabel struggled with 
      the (rather dangerous) downhills and steep uphills. She slowed to a walk 
      more times than she could count, but tried to jog up the steepest hills to 
      compensate. Running down the sharp inclines started to become frightening, 
      and with images of Rocky Ridge last year stuck in her mind, she tried to 
      walk some of them but always ended up losing control and flailing down 
      each slope. “That 12 year old must be kind of like me,” she thought, 
      “because I can’t catch her on the downhills.” Tantalizingly, she remained 
      just in sight of Annabel the whole race, up until the end when Annabel 
      forgot about the competition and didn’t bother looking anymore. 

      Soon, the 5 and 10K paths converged again, and we were all surprised to 
      meet each other right at the final stretch. Annabel utilized the final 
      downhills, and shot off into the distance, leaving Nikhil and Isabelle to 
      stumble along the uneven trail, until they reached flat ground. Upon 
      finishing (the two of them and one 54-year-old man, all within one 
      second), they saw that Annabel was already done, had retrieved her medal, 
      and was standing to the side, waiting.

      Once the whole group assembled, and had retrieved our medals (five 
      finishers, two third-place-in-age-groups, and of course, Annabel in 
      first), we all signed up for running massages. Well, all except for Laura, 
      who took plenty of pictures anyways. They were relaxing, but didn’t feel 
      very effective. Nikhil and Isabelle complained, afterwards, that they 
      hadn’t been able to feel half the stretches, although Nikhil had lied and 
      said he could feel them, as to, in some way, be polite. Annabel decided 
      that it felt too much like being tickled and stretched at the same time, 
      but that it was still somehow relaxing.

Nikhil and Annabel on the "see-saw."

      Afterwards, Isabelle went to get her medal engraved, and Nikhil and 
      Annabel played “See-Saw” on an old post, sticking out of both ends of a 
      large, misshapen block of concrete. We made a new recruit, hopefully (JOIN 
      US, KIRA), and then the entire entourage headed out for a satisfying, 
      post-race lunch at Vik’s. Isabelle enjoyed the honor of popping the “big 
      puffy thing”, and Nikhil enjoyed saying his big Indian words (join us, for 
      the rewards of dahi batata puri), and all of us (kids) refreshed our