I thought I would share another old running anecdote. Below is an article I wrote that appeared in the June 1986 Victorian Marathon Club Newsletter about an event I had run while travelling in the US.
After an hour's drive in gale-force winds and heavy showers we arrived at the apartment in Sunset, the suburb next to Golden Gate Park, where Australian friends Martin and Veronica were staying, and then we all journeyed by tram into downtown San Francisco. We arrived at the Hyatt Regency hotel on the Embarcadero 45 minutes before the scheduled 6:00pm race start and entered (with the exception of Veronica) for the St Valentine's Day Striders Fun Run.
|Out for a jog in San Francisco more recently.|
In the Race Director’s preamble he informed us that this was a “stride”, not a “race”, and those running too fast would find that they beat the marshals to the corners (of which there were fourteen) – sigh! Our sentiments were obviously shared by other “runners” among the 100 entries, who included Laurie Binder, former winner of Sydney’s City to Surf, but not by other “striders” who included people dressed in street clothes and even in oilskins.
|The crowded streets of downtown San Francisco where the|
1986 St Valentines Day Run was held
(I can't remember the route).
Many runners got lost or cut the course short. Barb saw one runner miss a turn and continue towards the Pacific. The organisers kindly included some of San Francisco’s steepest hills as well as a flight of over 100 steps and the race finished down the precipitous California Street, with cross-roads every 100 metres – no sprint finishes. Martin, Barb and I all found ourselves just running in with whoever we happened to be with at the time. The Finish was “low key” to say the least. We turned the corner into Justin Herman Plaza, saw an official standing there all on his own, asked him where the finish line was, and were informed we had just crossed it.
Later, some refreshments were provided and a draw held for some nice prizes. A unique and amusing experience was capped for the evening when I won a bottle of champagne and two fine crystal glasses.