It is midnight. The team is trying to get some sleep in the van, as we parked at the Golden Gate Vista Point. The view is amazing. Adrenalin is still rushing thru my blood after earlier run - I rarely sleep after a long run. That’s Ok. This is my ‘thinking time’.
The bridge is in front of me, the abyss of the Pacific is to my right, and lights of San Francisco to my left.
Eight years ago I was in the same spot, thousand of miles away from my hometown. Then, I thought - I want to live here.
I fell in love with San Francisco the very first time I saw the Bay at night. Things began to happen, and 8 years later, Bay Area is truly my home.
Every time I get to see Golden Gate, I recall that cold evening, 8 years ago, when I first walked Golden Gate Bridge at night.
Tonight we’ll get to run it! No traffic, no pedestrians. The Bridge is closed already, but for the runners - it is open. What a treat! TheRelay is the only race that gets permit to use pedestrian sidewalks across the Golden Gate after sunset. This should be special experience and as a team we chose to run together with our lead runner from van #1.
At 1:20 am in the morning - we take off. The bridge is always busy place with thousands of tourists walking the sidewalks. But tonight, it is just for us!
What a view! The pinnacle of the race - crossing the bridge! We’ve done 100 miles as a team up to this point. It’s a halfway of our journey. We laugh, we chat, we take picture and pose in front of the camera, while maintaining steady 7:20-7:30 min|mile pace.
Temperature drops significantly as we pass half way thru the Bay. With breeze coming from the open ocean, it is much cooler on the opposite side. You feel the breeze - from this point, the temperature is going to drop fast for our night legs too. It is time to put on some layers.
The ‘night watch’ goes on smoothly - we do manage to get lost a few times in the city. And Angie gets to run the most hilly part without our company - which she apparently enjoys a lot. Two times Boston fisher - her pace is unbelievable! We almost miss her at the exchange point.
All is good - we are right on track according to the schedule. Everyone puts in great times and we promptly leave the city and into the valley.
Nick, Angie, Briana, Jen, Sara - team works like a well-oiled swiss clock. I get to finish the night, taking on the last leg, starting in complete darkness and finishing passed the sunrise. Ten more kilometers, 45:00 minutes, some hills, and 5 ‘road-kills’ on the way.
“Good morning, children!”, I’m back in the van. Everyone is sound asleep.
Quick pitstop - and we are off to our ‘resting place’ - one of the nearest Google offices where we can take shower, fix breakfast and crash for 1-2 hours before we move to our final portion of the race - Santa Cruz mountains.
To Be Continued...
Golden Gate Relay, Part 3: Survive Santa Cruz Mountains