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

Post date: Jan 21, 2013 2:42:48 AM

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