November 2010 I ran my very first 10k at Crissy Field in San Francisco, since then I’ve run a total of three 10k’s there and every time I’m in the city I run Crissy Field if there is time; it’s my favorite course. I was excited to see that there was going to be a new run, the Live Ultimate Quarter Marathon/5k on June 30, Tony and I registered right away.
Parking was plentiful when we arrived at Crissy Field about an hour before the 8:30 start time. We made our way to the start area, across from the Sports Basement where they had late packet pick up as well as various sponsor booths set up. We had picked up our race packets the day before so we took our time taking pictures and enjoying the view. Tony, being just six weeks post op rotator cuff surgery and is still in a sling so we decided that he would walk and I would run the race.
It was a very warm 65 degrees as we lined up towards the back of the starting corral. The race started right at 8:30, with all runners (quarter marathon and 5k) starting at the same time. The course was extremely crowded as we ran the first three quarters of a mile along Old Mason Street towards the Marina, then we turned towards the bay and ran down the path of hard packed sand and pebbles on Marine Drive towards the Golden Gate Bridge. I quickly fell into my pattern of running 3 minutes walking 1.5 minutes.
As we approached mile 2 the trail became uneven asphalt with various potholes, it is important to pay attention while you’re running which can be difficult with the sheer beauty of the course. Although it isn’t the halfway point of the route, once you pass the Warming House at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge it is the turnaround point as you head back towards the Marina. At mile 3 those that were running the 5k took a left along the path on Old Mason and ran into the finish; at that point crowding wasn’t an issue anymore and you could run without having to go around other participants. It was an unusually warm day in San Francisco and between miles 2-3 and 5-6 the sun was beating down and I noticed I wasn’t the only runner dripping with sweat. Running along the Bay miles 1-2 and 4-5 we had a breeze to cool us off.
There was one water stop along the course right about mile 1.5 which was also mile 6, I heard some grumblings about there only being one stop but even with the heat I found it sufficient as I normally don’t hydrate during any run 10k or less. Once I got to mile marker 6 I knew there was only a little more than a half mile to go, I took my last walk break and ran the rest of the way to the finish line. I finished in 1:21:51,I collected my medal, my timing chip was removed from my shoe by a volunteer and was able to get a banana and a couple of Live Ultimate Green Teas for Tony and I and I headed back to the finish line to wait for him to come in. I didn’t have long to wait as Tony came in at 1:39:33, a great time for walking the whole race his right arm in a sling.
Overall it was a well put together event, it started on time, the course was clearly marked, there were plenty of volunteers as well as emergency personnel on hand if needed and there were plenty of after race refreshments. I would have liked to see more than one volunteer at packet pick up and I was very disappointed with the sizing of the participant t-shirts, although stylish and extremely soft the men’s ran large while the women’s ran at least two sizes too small. I would also suggest starting the race in two waves, allowing the Quarter Marathon runners to start 10 to 15 minutes before the 5k to alleviate course crowding. I hope Live Ultimate continues this race each year, it would make my must do list.