Five rabbit athletes took to the streets of San Francisco last Sunday for the 107th annual Bay To Breakers, with the rabbitPRO Totten family taking 6th in both races, Amy Schnittger finishing in 8th, Mara Olson in 9th and Brock Moreaux in 13th. A really good day for the rabbit family in a talented international field. Below Brock shares with us his experience at the historic California road race cutting across the City by the Bay.
"If you're alive, you can't be bored in San Francisco. If you're not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life." — William Saroyan
On May 20, 2018, San Francisco brought me to life and nearly killed me in under 40 minutes. I created a bucket-list of road races that I would like to run throughout my career a few years back, and without a doubt Bay To Breakers 12k had to be at the top. The nearly 7.5-mile race starts on the east side of San Francisco, running west through the city and finishes on the Great Highway along the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach. Along the route you pass through downtown San Francisco, up the infamous Hayes Hill (it hurts), through many beautiful neighborhoods and weave your way into Golden Gate Park which drops you off right at the Ocean.
Unlike a typical race day, I was oddly calm before this race. I’m not sure if it was the flying tortillas that racers flail into the air while arriving at the starting line, or the trust in my preparation, but I was ready. I had good reasoning to be confident. This had been one of my best build-ups of my running career and I was running some impressive workouts thanks in large part to the guidance of my coach Terry Howell.
The race kicked off at 8am with nearly perfect race conditions and the temperatures in the mid 50s. However, with the course being a point to point race, we were given the extra challenge of having a 15-20 mph headwind the entire race. Straight from the gun, a pack was formed, and every runner had the same intention: “I am going to draft off of these guys until we reach the top of Hayes Hill.” The result turned into a lot of jockeying and surging for the first 2 miles as no athlete wanted to take the lead. One athlete would decide to take the lead and surge out in front for 20 seconds, then realize how tough it was, then fall back into the pack. This continued for the first 3k, then once we hit Hayes Hill and started to climb, I realized the pace was starting to lag so I decided to make a push. As anticipated, as soon as we reached the top of Hayes Hill, a few athletes sitting in the back surged forward to get the race rolling on the soon to come downhills.
This was probably the point in the race where I had to dig the deepest. Trying to recovery from leading the surge up Hayes Hill, it was tough for me to get the legs rolling over only 3 miles into a 7.5-mile race. At this point in the race there were 3 elite groups chasing each other; the first being a group of 8 (which included rabbitPRO Seth Totten) a second pack which surged at the top of Hayes Hill, and a third group including me about 20m behind. Now is when it felt like the race really started!
The beauty about going uphill is typically you have to come back down. Soon after the 5-mile mark, the race begins to make its push down towards the ocean. This was the point in the race where I knew it was time to MAKE myself hurt. I was able to catch a few runners within the last 2 miles and claim a top 15 spot finishing 13th Overall in 39:10.
Considering the conditions dealt to us on the day, I was pleased with my race and fight. One of my goals before every race is to push my body to its limits and embrace the struggle. Sometimes it is hard to tell yourself "Hey, you are about to hurt really badly and I am okay with that," but that is an area that I am still focusing on in my preparations and I am happy to say that I will live to fight another day!
Catch Brock at our very own rabbit5000 on June 2nd, the State Street Mile on June 3rd both in Santa Barbara and Grandma’s Half Marathon on June 16th in Duluth, Minnesota. Follow all of his training on Strava and find him on Instagram @Moreaux_brock.