Friday, August 23, 2013

Run // Race Report: 2013 Giant Race 5k

giant race 5k

Beylah and I at the Giant Race 5k.

Two weekends ago we raced in the Giant Race which is part of the San Francisco Originals series. It has a vibe somewhere between a family fun run and an actual race. There is room for pretty much every kind of runner. I took it seriously enough to set a PR and also cause my runner's knee to flare up (still on the DL with that).

I personally found the first half of the race very frustrating as slower runners kind of scatter all over the road rather than pack off to the right. Some better corralling or pace groups would have helped with this quite a bit I think. Overall we had fun and plan to race for our third year again next year.

The Expo

It’s a great expo, if you’re a Giants fan anyway. Lots of cool Giants stuff, including swag, photos to be taken with cardboard cutouts.


It’s not a scenic tour across Big Sur, the redwoods, or even through the city - but it finishes on the field at AT&T park, which, even for a lifelong Red Sox fan is pretty cool (Beylah is the Giants fan). Signage is good. There is an aid station which is nice for some, though I think many probably breezed right by it. Its a bit narrow and consequently the first half of he race was mostly bob and weave for me.

Race Logistics

I was really worried about the 11am start time they had for the 5k this year. 11am is late, very late, for any run and especially for a race. The fog hung in there until about 1pm “fortunately” (as every San Franciscan curses my name), giving us very pleasant racing weather. It was a little demoralizing before the race to arrive and watch so many other runners already leaving for the day. On the flip side it was nice to be able to get a fresh cup of coffee and a bagel before the race. I would have prefered an earlier start, but 11am was night the nightmare I was expecting. We were able to check our chip times pretty much immediately after the race online which was really nice. Celebratory beers were had.


There isn’t really a crowd. Other runners mill about at the end of the race and cheer on the following finishers. This cheer group is approximately 1/3rd bros leaning over the rail, hooting at the ladies finishing behind them. Okay, maybe only like 1/4th bros. Either way it’s gross.

Final Verdict

This is the perfect foot race for families and beginner racers and makes room for elite runners. It’s a little frustrating for intermediate runners like myself (7:00-9:30min/mile). The finish on the field is worth it though - also watching the kids run kind of made both of our days. Fun is really the theme here, that’s not a bad thing.

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