Since Chuck wrote up the sprint triathlon we completed on Saturday, I’ll talk about the Firecracker 10K that we ran yesterday. It was a fabulous day – amazing after the deluge of the day before. Days like yesterday make it clear why people want to live in So Cal: the air was crystal clear, the skies were breathtakingly blue, temps were in the mid-50’s to mid 60’s it just doesn’t get better than that. This was the 32nd year of the Firecracker 10K and both Chuck and I have run it before (not together). They changed the course some for this year to make it both prettier and a bit hillier (which is hard to believe because it was pretty darned hilly before) and always pulls in a good-sized crowd – 2000 for the 10k, 2300 for the 5k and they also had a one-kilomter kiddie run. The 10K is a tough course that runs up from Chinatown through Elysian Park up to Angel’s Point, then back down to Chinatown. The first three miles were mostly uphill, then the last half was mostly downhill. The constant uphill took a toll on a lot of folks, then all of the downhill gave everyone’s shins a nice pounding.
Our friend Bev the Super Athlete came with us and ran the 10K, and of course won her age group in 44 minutes. I thought I was doing pretty well, but ended up coming in 10th in my age group. Another member of our running club came in first in my age group, clocking in at 50 minutes (damn her!). Chuck did well, too, clocking in at 1:12. A bunch of us then capped the fun with a visit to Philippe’s, purported birthplace of the french dipped sandwich and a Los Angeles landmark. Needless to say, we felt highly virtuous after our weekend of racing. I came home and took an ice batch (my new thing after long runs to ease the muscle soreness and before you scream “no way!” I have to tell you it really works, as long as you don’t have a weak heart :-). Chuck came home and took a two-hour nap.
Here’s a YouTube video that captures the fun. We didn’t take cameras out on the course, but I did get an iPhone shot of the Laker girls doing the pre-race warmup to give you an idea of just how blue the skies really were: