2012 Independence Day RACE

We could not have asked for bet­ter weath­er for the Inde­pen­dence Day Ralph Appez­za­to Char­i­ty Event 5K this year. The RACE is a great event for a few rea­sons. The 5K is on the parade route for the Alame­da Fourth of July Parade. Peo­ple line up to watch the parade along the entire route, so there are spec­ta­tors, many of whom cheer enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly, from the start to the fin­ish. The spec­ta­tors don’t dwin­dle at the end either; most will be there until the parade finishes.

Hav­ing spec­ta­tors along the entire route may not be the best thing for every race, but for a July Fourth morn­ing race it’s a lot of fun to be cheered on, even at the back of the pack. And I have to give the race orga­niz­ers cred­it for inge­nu­ity hold­ing the race on a course that has already been closed to traf­fic for the parade.

The course was, of course, flat, and the weath­er was beau­ti­ful. I’m still work­ing myself up to a rea­son­able pace and end­ed up tak­ing two walk breaks, each about a third of a mile. That’s actu­al­ly a lot bet­ter than I’ve done my last two walk/runs. I’ve decid­ed that after I run 3.1 miles with­out a walk break again, I’ll sign up for a 10K. After all, my expe­ri­ence when I was in shape to run 10K races was that the sec­ond half was always the eas­i­est. That prob­a­bly won’t be true for my next 10K but I’m anx­ious­ly look­ing for­ward to the day when it becomes true again.

Ralph Appez­za­to was Alameda’s May­or from 1996 to 2002 when he died of a self-inflict­ed gun­shot after being diag­nosed with prostate can­cer. He was a well-liked May­or and the race and char­i­ty fundrais­er were set up to hon­or his memory.

I ran the RACE for the first time in 2010 but did not reg­is­ter in time to get a t‑shirt as sup­plies are lim­it­ed. This year I reg­is­tered ear­ly and got the red race shirt. Schwag may be a sil­ly thing to care about, but it’s always nice to have some­thing to com­mem­o­rate a run. Next year I’m told they are dou­bling the num­ber of t‑shirts, but it’s still going to be two hun­dred few­er shirts than there were run­ners this year. As the RACE’s atten­dance has been increas­ing each year, I’ll have to make a note to myself to reg­is­ter ear­ly for next year.