Tomorrow marks my post-collegiate road racing debut - for the first time, I'll be wearing the New Balance Silicon Valley singlet on the roads, at the 100th running of Bay to Breakers! I'm really looking forward to getting off the track and away from splits by changing things up on the roads. Don't get me wrong, Bay to Breakers won't be easy -- the famed Hayes Street Hill is a b**** (I've yet to run it, but I've biked it before and nearly had to walk my bike up the hill...) But I'm excited to take a break from trying to run a qualifying time and instead, simply just race. Tomorrow is all about competition: battling it out with the person next to you and dueling all the way to the finish line. I can't think of a better place to race than my new stomping grounds of San Francisco and Golden Gate Park!
|Getting interviewed at the B2B press conference|
Yesterday I got to attend the Zazzle Bay to Breakers Elite Athlete Press Conference - what a day! Having never been to a press conference before, let alone actually be in one, yesterday's event was a quite an experience. I was given a name placard with a little American flag next to my name (so official!) and was ushered into a room full of reporters alongside the elite Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes who will be sure to kick my butt on Sunday. I felt just a wee bit out of place (the B2B defending champ, Lineth Chepkurui, has a 10k PR almost 3 minutes faster than me!). However, the elite athlete coordinator Josh Muxen made me feel welcomed and comfortable. The press mostly asked questions of Lineth and of American distance legend Meb Keflezighi, so all I had to do was sit still and smile. I about peed my pants when someone in the crowd asked a question of "the local athlete running her first Bay to Breakers," but hopefully I handled myself ok (you can decide for yourself - check out the press conference here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pah4IO28MeQ -- I'm at about 25 minutes and 37 minutes). Before I knew it the press conference was over and it was time for lunch.
I'd asked one of the other elite women to save me a seat while I got my meal. As I walked back to the table, I saw my reserved spot and about had a heart attack... in the seat next to mine was none other than Meb Keflezighi! (For those of you unfamiliar with US distance running, Meb is from San Diego, excelled at UCLA, held the American record in the 10K, and won silver at the 2004 Olympics in the marathon! He's one of my distance running heroes.) Ok, deep breath, I said to myself. Keep your cool, don't be starstruck and DON'T make a fool of yourself! I took my seat next to Meb; he introduced himself and we had a really pleasant chat about running, mutual acquaintances, Mammoth, and his kids. He's a really down-to-earth, stand-up guy - it was so cool to meet him and share a conversation. My money's on him to win it on Sunday!
With less than 24 hours before the race, I'm taking it easy today. The gun goes off at 7:00 am tomorrow, so I'll be in bed early tonight. The weatherman unfortunately predicts crappy weather for race day - hopefully it won't be hailing at race time! Either way, I'm excited to race with my NBSV teammates and then hang out with former Aggie teammates post-race.
Speaking of Aggies, best wishes to UC Davis at the Big West Conference Meet, to Stanford and my little brother at Pac 10's, and to USF at the WCC meet in Portland! Good luck!
Finally, here's some Bay to Breakers press where I'm mentioned. Very fun to be interviewed!
- Radio interview on KGO: Go to http://vaca.bayradio.com/kgo_
archives/#, click on Friday's archives, go to the 6-7 pm hour, and fast forward to 24 minutes. Nice shout out to my dad/coach and to my employer, SNBC!