This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

2004 Bay to Breakers

Once again, D & I did the Bay to Breakers. I originally wanted to scare up legions of friends to come with us and form a team, but we didn't get enough people to join us.

As usual, we completed our registration at I usually don't run into any issues with their site, but this time I had difficulty registering for both D and myself. The interface was a little confusing, and I ended up registering myself twice by accident. I tried contacting to fix the error via phone, but nobody was ever available to answer in person. I also tried email, but received no response in over 48 hours. I finally got a hold of somebody by phone three days before the event, only to be told that they had frozen all online registrations. They recommended I contact the Bay to Breakers organizers directly.

So that's what I did. The phone number they gave me was only an automated information line, so I sent email... and the auto reply that came back indicated that starting from that day, all the organizers would be at the Expo and wouldn't be available to answer any questions. Eek! D & I had to go the Expo anyway to pick up our race packets. The organizers were able to do the name change in less than a minute. Awesome.

2004 Bay to BreakersAnthony and Sarah were two of the few people who were going to do the event this year, and Anthony had the bright idea of dressing up as "dot com bubbles". D thought we could do that by wearing T-shirts of defunct dot com companies like eToys or In the end however, we wore our usual running attire with the funky addition of ... BALLOON HATS!! Yes, unbeknownst to most people, one of my many less-known talents is the ability to make balloon hats. It's quite easy, especially since I have The Inflatable Crown Balloon Hat Kit. I made a hat with two large antenna for myself, and a reindeer looking one for D.

While we waited at the starting line, D found himself hitting people with his tentacles, so he tied them together in the back. It also made his profile much more streamlined. As we stood at the starting line, some beer-guzzling hooligans aimed for my antennae with flour tortillas! My balloons got hit by one of them, but were undamaged.

We never managed to meet up with anybody at the starting line, and agreed to meet at Footstock instead. Once the starting gun went off, the crowd started to move slowly at a snail's crawl. Most people around us were walking and there was no way to run safely. We took the opportunity to look around and check out some of the costumes. We saw only one mobile tikki hut/bar, and one large tank with a plastic mask of Arnold Schwarzeneggar's likeness on top. Instead of guns, there were two large hands sticking out in front, and the word "Grope-nator" painted on the side. It was pretty funny.

We ended up walking for about a mile before starting out in a trot. There was lots of dodging involved as the walkers were spread across the width of the roads instead of remaining largely to the right. Since neither of us have run for a long while, we kept things at an easy pace. One problem with my balloon hat is that it created a lot of wind resistance.

I was dreading the upcoming hill but was determined to make it all the way to the top this year. Last year, I was about two segments of shy of reaching the top before I had to stop. I knew D could do it, because this crazy guy did a trail marathon last year. Me on the other hand... I am happy to report that this time around, we chug-chug-chugged our way all the way to the top without stopping once! Woo hoo!

Once again, I thought we were a mile further than we actually were. It's always at the same spot too, just as we reach Golden Gate Park. When we came up to mile 4, I thought we were already at mile 5. Then I got depressed knowing that I had only done little more than half the race, and had 3.5 miles to go! Fortunately, my spirits were lifted by a group of prankers dressed up as the Village People were hanging on the steps of their home, dancing to "YMCA" that was blasting out of their stereo.

Things got much easier after mile 6 because the ground slopes downwards from there. Before long, we were running across the finish line. I heard D curse, "Sh*t!" Apparently, his balloon hat flew off just as he was finishing. He wanted to turn around to get it, but then he heard a "pop!" as somebody stepped on it. I waved at a cameraman as we were finishing, and somebody later told D that they showed that segment on Kron 4 News that night.

We sauntered over to Foodstock afterwards to wait for some of our friends. They gave away free chocolate milk (great idea) this year, as well as some water. We eventually met up with Dre and Hartwell, as well as a couple of their friends, but we didn't see Anthony & Sarah even though we waited for over an hour and a half later. They called us afterwards when they finish. They must have got stuck behind the hoards of slowpokes.

All in all, it was yet another great Bay to Breakers. We hope to continue this tradition by running again for as long as we live in the Bay Area.

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