Finding the Perfect Race for You

Sarah Rockwood, Staff Writer

When most people hear the word “running,” their immediate reaction is to groan.  For many, running is that laborious, dreadful task you’re forced to do during P.E., but otherwise would never even consider.  Track athletes have heard it over and over again: “Why would you ever choose to run willingly?”  The answer: because running can be fun, especially when you’re with people you like.  And it can be interesting, if you find the race for you.

Many Miramonte students, no matter their running experience, participate in the Bay Area’s collection of unique races.  Whether you want to cross the finish line looking like a disastrous canvas or the mud monster, there’s guaranteed to be a race for you.

One of the most well known races among Miramonte students is the Color Run, the “Happiest 5k on the Planet.” Hosting over 170 events world wide, the Color Run has exploded from its modest debut in 2012.  The idea of running through a storm of powdered dye and emerging from the race splattered in a deluge of bright colors has caught the attention of many people, serious runners and recreational thrill seekers alike.  Racers begin wearing a plain white shirt and, by the time they finish, have a work of colorful art to bring home as a memento.  The Color Run is hosted at many cities across the nation, including locals such Concord and San Francisco.  Junior Jessica Alvarado, who ran the Color Run last fall, said, “I love the color run  because it’s a fun way to get a workout and get super colorful.”

San Francisco is home to another traditional and unique run found nowhere else in the nation.  Bay to Breakers has been a beloved Bay Area classic for over 100 years, ever since it was first founded after the 1906 earthquake in an endeavor to lift civic morale.  It is one of the largest foot races in the world, with over 50,000 participants, and attracts runners from across the nation.  In the typical San Franciscan fashion, the race is also a venue where people  dress up in wild costumes and show off their flare, while running the full 12 kilometers.

Junior Charlie O’Brien, a regular participant, said “Everyone wears these crazy, over-the-top costumes while running.  Or just nothing at all.   It’s also a pretty neat course where you get to see a lot of San Francisco.”  Bay to Breakers takes place every May.

A less recognized race among the student population is the Dipsea, which is held in Marin.  Starting in Mill Valley and ending at Stinson Beach, the race is best known for the gorgeous scenery and beautiful trails.  Usually populated by more serious runners, the Dipsea is unique because of the the way the results are scored.  Instead of awarding the grand prize to the fastest time, the first runner to cross the finish line wins the race, despite their head start they may have gotten due to the staggered starting waves.  Because older runners start first, last year’s champion was a 60-year-old female who had been racing for over a decade.

Junior Chris Ramirez participated in the Dipsea for the first time last year and said, “I especially like the tradition of the black shirts, which are given to the 30 fastest runners every year.  It’s a simple but meaningful honor because everyone in the Marin area knows what it means if you wear a black shirt.”

A final race that should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list is the Tough Mudder, an obstacle filled adventure filled with mud, sweat, and tears.  Most people who participate in this race do it for the adrenaline of scaling giant walls and swimming through pools of ice.  Tough Mudder alumni include a group of five Miramonte teachers who participated last fall.

“The best part of the race is definitely the comoraderie.  You go through the whole thing as a team and get to work with people you really like,” math teacher Brian Henderson, who ran with the Miramonte teacher group said.  “Challenging myself by going through all the crazy obstacles was absolutely exhilarating.”