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.