A Change of Pace Foundation
Date: February 8, 2015
Location: Davis, California
Distance: 13.1 miles
For the 5th year in a row, the Davis Stampede kicked off my running year.
Amy and I left Atwater, California at roughly 4:30 am in order to get to Davis early enough for us to park just beyond the starting line. I also had to pick up my race bib and shirt. The forecast gave a 40% chance of rain at the start time of the race with 100% chance an hour into the race. No chance at staying dry.
We arrived as expected and then the waiting started. Amy traditionally pins my bib to my shirt as I change into my running shoes and take care of my race preparations. GU attached to race belt? Check. Headphones plugged into iPod Shuffle? Check. Armband with phone? Check. Camera, card & battery? Check. Ready to run.
With about 10 minutes before the start of the race, I give Amy a kiss and head to the starting line. Since I had not run much since November, I headed to the back of the pack. On my way I saw Mohawk Man, also known as Lloyd. We had met at the 2014 Giant Race in San Francisco, California. He was talking so I briefly said hello and continued a block behind the start to take my place among the walkers.
Just after 8:00 am, the 33rd Annual Davis Stampede would start. And so would the rain. Both the 10k and half marathon runners would start together making it slow and crowded for the first mile or so. The rain caused some concern for my camera, but I decided I would run with it anyway. It also made taking pictures while running even more challenging than it normally is. It would not take long before I had no way to dry my lens because I was drenched from head to toe.
I caught up with Mohawk Man about one and half miles into the race. We ended up running the remainder of the race together. A more disciplined runner, Mohawk Man helped keep my pace steady. As fatigue set in, he kept me motivated. He even talked me into returning to the Giant Race in 2015.
The rain never let up. Forrest Gump would certainly classify it as “sideways rain.” Mohawk Man and I would run on, talking the entire three hours it took us to complete the race. Running with someone, something I rarely do, made the time fly. It did not seem as long as it was.
As we rounded the last corner we could see the finish just under a quarter of a mile away. Random people standing in front of businesses were shouting words of encouragement. Our pace started to increase a little. As we approached the finish there was an official photographer with an umbrella in the middle of the street taking pictures and just beyond him was Amy doing the same under her pink umbrella. I pointed her out to Mohawk Man and told him to smile.
After crossing the finish line, a volunteers handed us medals. I placed my around my neck and then helped Mohawk Man get his over his wig. We congratulated each other on completing a race neither of us will ever forget.