I put "with" in quotation marks because while we started together, he actually beat me by a few minutes, and we didn't run together at all.
I was excited about this race. I ran the 10k last year, and enjoyed the low-key vibe the race had. Lots of people were dressed up in 60's or 70's outfits, and I expected the same this year. My son, D, had just turned 10 the day before, and was looking forward to yet another 5k. He's become quite the little runner.
The race has changed a lot since it's inaugural running last year. Last year (2013) they only had a 5k or 10k option (I had done the 10k). This year, they added a half marathon option to the mix. Last year the race was at Liberty Station in Point Loma, which offered a nice route to run on. Sadly, this year the race was at Fiesta Island, a location I'm sick of having done many 5ks and triathlons at. Finally, last year they gave out medals but no shirts (you could purchase a shirt for $15, but since it was their first year they didn't want to over-order). This year, everyone got a medal AND a shirt (tech for the half marathon, cotton for the 5k. Not sure about the 10k).
We wanted to dress in costume, and settled on our matching Beatles shirts (black with white writing). We arrived at Fiesta Island very early---parking is always hard, and we hadn't gone to the packet pickup the day before since it was D's birthday. We had to park, typically, almost a mile away. D was very tired, as his birthday party was the night before and he didn't get to bed until wayyyyyy past his bedtime. We walked to the race area and got our bibs and shirts---and had no place to put the shirts. There was no gear check, which was frustrating. The volunteers at the booth suggested we either wear them or carry them. We didn't want to wear them---we had our Beatles shirts to display, plus I'm not a fan of wearing the shirt before earning it. I COULD have held the shirts, and for a 5k it wouldn't have been great but doable---but imagine running a 10k or half marathon holding a shirt! There should have been a gear check. As there was no time for me to go the almost two miles back and forth to the car, I ended up asking the race announcer if I could hide the shirts in a box in his tent. He agreed, and it ended up being ok.
I already wrote about this in a previous post, but around this time D started to feel sick. He suddenly had a bad stomach ache---likely from all the cake and ice cream he'd had at his party the night before. We sat on the grass and watched as the half marathoners got their instructions and took off. I was worried about D, and offered him some choices: we could leave right then, we could walk the 5k, or we could start the 5k and stop in the middle if we needed and I'd carry him back. Although I wanted to do the race, as we had paid for it and were already there, his health and comfort came first. He was still in pain as the 10k went off, and soon it was time for us 5k-ers to line up. He said he would try it (using the "suck it up buttercup" mantra that was his all weekend).
I guess he felt ok, because he lined up in the front and once it was time to go, he took off running and never looked back! The 5k was an out-and-back on Fiesta Island, and I watched him ahead of me the whole time, even cheering him on when he passed me on his way back. He was flying! I myself was doing ok---not my personal best for a 5k, but for two weeks after a half-Ironman I was holding my own, pace-wise. Finally I reached the finish line, where an already medal-laden son was waiting for me. I got my medal--adorable with a Volkswagon bug on it---and we hiked back to the car (and onto his first open water swim).
I like this race. I wish it wasn't on Fiesta Island, but it is what it is. I do like the medals. I don't usually do a race for the medal itself, but the hippie in me likes the 60's themed ones they've had the past two years. I will likely do this race again next year if it fits in my schedule.