June 20, 2014

UCSD Triton 5k Recap

A few weeks ago my son, D, and I participated in the UCSD Triton 5k.  This is a local race put on by my alma mater, the University of California, San Diego.  I did it many years ago (in either 1999 or 2000) but back then it was called the Chancellor's Challenge and ran mainly through the campus eucalyptus grove on trails.  Now, many years later, it's revamped and goes on a loop through much of the campus.  The fact that the registration fees were very low for alumni was also a plus. 

I wanted to do this race with D because, even though we live in San Diego, he's never been on the campus before. I thought it would be a great way to show him around.  He was excited to finally be on a college campus!  We arrived very early, because not only did I not attend packet pickup the day before, but I didn't know where I was going!  I graduated in 1991, so long ago...and much of the campus is new to me.  Luckily there were great directions sent to us, I easily found parking in a garage, and we got our bibs with no hassle.  T-shirts would be given to us after the race.

Because we were so early, we decided to walk around a bit.  Not too far from the start was my old apartment from my sophomore year (1988-1989), at the old Third College (now Thurgood Marshall College).  Just seeing the balcony brought back a flood of memories for me. I showed D, and walked around the apartment complex a bit to check out the field, the laundry room, etc.

my top-floor apartment, unit G-6

After walking around a bit more, it was time to go back to the start--but not before D ran into someone he knew from school!  Randomly, the kindergarten "little buddy" he'd been assigned to all year was there.  The chances of running into him were so slim!  I also ran into another old friend; I hadn't seen him since the mid-90's!  It was nice to see him and meet his daughter.  We got in line, waited for the start, and were off!

start line

The plan was for D to run/walk slowly with me.  For one, I wasn't planning on running the whole thing, and I was going to run slowly. I took 7 weeks off of running to try to heal my Achilles tendinopathy, and race was only one week back into my running. And it was my longest run in 7 weeks.  But second, I wanted to show D the campus and point things out to him, so he was instructed to keep to my (slower) pace, walk when I walked, and spend the morning with you.

The run looped through the whole campus.  I was able to point out Thurgood Marshall, Muir and Revelle Colleges. The dorms I used to visit friends in.  The lecture halls I used to take classes in.  The pool I used to play intra-mural inner-tube water polo in.  The library I used to study in.  The fountain I would sit at with friends between classes, sunning myself.  The memories came fast and furious.

I was especially excited to see the new (to me) installments of the Stuart Collection, an eclectic series of art projects placed all over the campus.  We only saw a few, though, and I look forward to going back on day and seeing the rest.  One that I was excited to see was Fallen Star, which is a house perched on top of a building.  D was excited to see this too.  Sadly, he missed his chance, as he had run ahead of me at this point and was not there to hear me point it out to him.

see the house up there?
Yes, at mile 2, D decided he'd had enough of Mama's pace and ran on ahead.  While I was proud of him for doing so well, I WAS a bit annoyed at him, as the whole point of the race was to do it together so I could show him things! His loss.

At the halfway point in the race, at the one water station, they were also unprepared---they had two tables set up, one on each side of the sidewalk, and NO water was poured at either table.  Runners were queued up several people deep at each table waiting for the volunteers to pour the water.  Luckily we didn't need to stop, but if we had, that would have been a huge chunk off our time.

The end of the race was on the track (which was cool, as I'd never run on a track before).  I crossed as they announced my name, and found D, who was waiting for me.  There were no medals at this race (D was ok with this, telling me, "it's ok, I have my memories of it!"), so we didn't have to deal with that, but we DID want water.  Unfortunately, this was very unorganized. We had to wait in a long line (over 10 minutes long) just to get water and a banana...then wait about 5-10 minutes more in this same long line to get our t-shirts.  That was not good, especially as it was a warm morning.  After finally getting our water, banana and shirt, we wandered the huge festival for a while.  We each had a beer ticket for the beer garden (yes, even my 10-year old!!!) and we gave them away to friends of my friend Andrea, who was there to cheer her husband on in his first 5k.

Overall it was fun---the only complaint I have is the lack of water on the course and the long wait for water after.  But in terms of the race itself, it was great to be back at my alma mater and show it off to my son.  Who knows---maybe in another decade I'll be doing the race with him as a student there!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun race minus having to wait for water at the end. That stinks :(


I love to read your comments!