How I finished a fantastic 634th out of 22,467 runners at Bay to Breakers 2013 by Ed

@ San Francisco, Calfornia

Many months ago (even before my Insanity experiment), in a moment of madness, I agreed to run Bay to Breakers with my (now LA–based) Scottish friend Mike Hume. He is a regular runner and competitor and despite my previous threats, thought it might be fun to join in.

I had tried to do a bit of jogging during Insanity but it was just too dam hard to fit it in along with the mega–workouts. Once Insanity was finished I had four weeks to train. I’ll be honest, I managed four training runs in that time. Running and I do not get on and I was REALLY enjoying the rest after Insanity. Still I hoped with my improved fitness and cardio I knew I would get around somehow.

Sunday 19 May 2013 came and I got out of bed at 5am in order to give me time to get ready and get to the Start Line. My running gear was my pink P‚ú™PSUGAR t–shirt, Kilt and Portobello Rugby socks (no pictures sorry).

The other inspirational part of my plan (due to lack of public transport) was to scooter to the Ferry at Larkspur. So at 5:15am I departed the 2½ miles in the dark on a kids scooter I picked up for $5 at a Garage Sale. It took a LONG time, due to the fact that scootering is not a body movement I am all too familiar with (AKA, it hurt when you did it for more than one minute) AND a good portion of the journey was on rough tarmac so it was impossible to scoot (AKA I had to walk).

I arrived at the Ferry Terminal with only five minutes to spare before the Ferry departed but I need not have worried as the Ferry had not even boarded and there were LOTS of people waiting.

I joined the rather large queue to board the Ferry with around 400 other competitors. I think their ages ranged from 16–25 and at least half of them already appeared to be well on their way to drunk. I was clearly the oldest person on the boat.

Everyone was made to empty out ALL containers of ANY liquid (even water) and dispose of all alcohol into a big trash can before boarding the Ferry.

As HMS Spring Break made its way across the Bay, the Captain and crew did their best to contain the rambunctious youth as they (amongst other things), ran up and down the stairs, took enormous amounts of photos, stood on the seats and wooped “BAY–TO–BREAKERS” over and over. The Ferry was halted on two occasions smack bang in the middle of the Bay by the Captain so he could appeal for calm. They didn’t pay attention.

My only interaction with them was to be continually asked over and over if I could “take a picture of us” and one rather large Chunk–from–Goonies lookalike who spotted my Kilt ensemble and just gave me a double–head–nod of approval.

As the Ferry began to dock at the Port of San Francisco I got a message from Rose (my wife). She had woken up that Sunday morning very unwell and needed help with the kids. I did the only thing that made sense. When the Ferry docked, I got off, walked round the corner and started the queue to get back on again for the return journey.

I had arranged to meet Mike near the start line, he had kindly picked up my number (6667) and timing chip the day before, thanks Mike. I text him good luck and and explanation that I wasn’t going to be able to make it.

I was the only passenger on the 715am–approx. return leg from San Francisco to Larkspur which made for a lovely quiet journey as I had the entire ship to myself.

I then painfully scooted the 2½ miles home in my fancy dress as fast as I could (much to the whimsy of the folk out walking their dogs). I was knackered but I was home and able to (try to) look after a not–well–Rose and the kids.

Later that day my friend Mike posted his Bay to Breakers result to Facebook. He had ran a superb, sub–1–hour time (despite one too many beers the previous evening).

Out of curiousity I wondered what Mike had done with my stuff, I assumed he had just put both the timing chip and number into the trash. I was wrong.

My Bay to Breakers 2013 results
My Bay to Breakers 2013 results

So if you haven’t worked it out yet, Mike (deliberately or not, I am not sure), kept my RFID timing chip about his person so it told the race computers that I had started the race and ran an excellent time. Awesome news, the fastest time I would EVER have been able to run in my life.

The History Books now show that I was 634th at Bay to Breakers 2013, fantastic, no need to correct that little fact. Mwah ha ha.

What made it even funnier was my timing chip registered ahead of Mike’s so I pipped him on the Finish Line, he was 635th. Sorry Mike, maybe next year?