The RunLiv event will always hold a special place for me as it was one of my first half marathon races and is the race that prompted me to get back in shape. It’s the race where my entire family showed up to cheer me on. I’ll never forget that day.
This was my friend’s last race in the states for a while since he was moving to London the day after. It was nice meeting up with Andy and his wife before the race kicked off. One of his goals was to beat my time. At the San Francisco Half Marathon, I beat his time by 4 seconds! He seemed determined to beat me… pressure was on!
The course starts downtown then heads out to Sycamore Grove park to Wente Vineyards, then back up through Holdener and Robertson Livermore Park then finishes downtown back at the starting point. It really showcases Livermore well and the rolling hills through vineyards make it a challenging course for many.
This year, I think they topped out at 4,000 runners, 75% were women! The same pace group runners from last year were there which I can not speak more highly about. The 1:40 pace group runners not only keep you on pace but are great at calling out aid stations, sites and photographers. They were like running tour guides. Professional, class-act gentlemen.
The finisher’s medal is always some of the most serious hardware you could find. The inaugural medal was stunning and this year’s medal doubles as a wine bottle coaster with real cork inlay. Impressive.
The after party is, bar-none, the best of any race. After grabbing your free glass, belly up to the free beer or any of the 13 local wineries pouring too. There’s always a band playing through the afternoon and plenty of vendors giving free samples of quality snacks and drinks.
My only gripe with this year’s race by comparison to last was that they didn’t offer the kid’s fun run. My kiddos absolutely LOVED running the 1-mile race around downtown. They also got the same medal their Daddy did! It gives my wife something to do to kill time while I’m out running. I hope they bring this back next year.
So how did I do? … oh, you know just my best effort EVER! …and I still beat Andy’s time :)
I made sure to mute my headphones as I made the final turn toward the finish line. I felt great running with the 1:40 pace group the entire way until the final 5k when I kicked it up a couple gears. I was full-on sprinting the end. It felt great! One runner and I were going at it for a bit but I dug deep to scrape a little more from my tanks and got out ahead. When I made that turn and saw I was well under my 1:40 goal I got a little choked up. The announcer called me out asking to see my smile but I was so emotional I could barely keep it together.
Despite the look on my face in the pics above, I couldn’t be happier. I love this race.
I hung out with my running friends for a while to enjoy some beers then headed down to Tap25 with the family to enjoy even more craft beer goodness.
Looking forward to next year!
- Official Time: 1:37:48
- Average Pace: 7:27 /mi
- 5K: 24:45 7:57 /mi
- 10 Mile: 1:14:56 7:29 /mi
- Division: 33
- Gender (30-39): 81
- Overall: 101 of 2,807