I was joined by Sarah and Kim, along with Kim's friend Kim who lives in San Francisco and graciously allowed us to stay at her house the night before the race. San Francisco is a wonderful town, with so much vibrant energy that it just hums. It's always really fun to be there!
The race was full of tradition. Costumed runners, rolling beer kegs, drunk coeds, naked guys, and more naked guys, along with just regular people having fun. The starting corrals were crammed from building to building, with corn tortillas flying around and excitement in the air!
The gun went off, and so did we... setting a pretty good pace as we knew that we had Hayes Street hill to deal with. The first two miles were a nice warm up, and then there was The Hill. Hayes Street hill scared me from the first time I saw it on the run-through video. Five blocks of an 11.5% grade. VERY intimidating! In reality, it wasn't so bad. The first three blocks were an easier grade, but the last two took some work. We paused to reflect on our accomplishment at the top, and then were on our way downhill to the coast! A little less than two hours later we were looking at the Pacific Ocean, and trying to figure out how to get back to the car. That ended up being an adventure in itself. After two busses and two trains, we were finally home!
It was a really nice weekend in California, with the added bonus of having the AMGEN Tour of California going on all around us. There were lots of cyclists in town and a party attitude everywhere we went... Oh, maybe that was just me!