Conquer the Bridge is a 5.3 mile run across the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro. I first heard about it from my friend AJ, who said it was a big deal in SP. 29,000 participated this year, so yes, it is a big deal.
If you are from LA or in the South Bay area, you need to do this. It was a short run, and the views were awesome. I didn't bring my camera so these pictures stolen off the world wide web.
Vincent Thomas Bridge
The race started at 8:05, naturally I left at the latest time possible, 7:20 in hopes of being there 15 min early. I've been to this area of San Pedro a million times, and still I got lost. Luckily I saw the street closures and a few patrol cars and assumed I was close. I found parking on a side street two blocks away and jogged over to the start. I made it with a few minutes to spare, so I took advantage and stretched and checked out the competition.
I don't know why, but I always get very intimidated at the start of a race. I see tiny girls with flat abs wearing only sport bra and I immediately get insecure and lower my goal time.
Luckily (or unluckly), I ran into my friend Earnie. (a guy who worked at the same company I do and he told me he's running his 145 marathong in October! cool!)
He asked me how fast I was going to run this thinig. I was like "uhhh" and then he suggested an "9mi/mil .. no... 8mi/mile". I don't know why but I agreed to it. That meant I had to work for that 40mi finish time so I didn't look like a lame loser when he asked for my time afterwards.
The path follows the on-ramp onto the bridge, a U turn and then the off-ramp off of the bridge towards the finishi line. One thing I was not expecting. was the uphill clim getting on to the bridge on both sides. But overall it was a fun race and I'm proud that I it was semi-fast.
The first mile was pretty fast 7:40, it was flat and it was pumped from the crowd. The second included an uphill climb 8:00. Third was downhill but I could feel myself tire 7:50. Fourth was harder. It was uphill and it was hard to keep an even pace 8:40. The fifth mile, I knew I had to run fast, If I wanted to finish in 40 minutes. I think it was around 8 min. The last 0.3 of a mile, I tried to sprint to the finish line. I dont' really know what it was but I finished at 41:49.
There were a lot of student runners. I think the first place was 17 year old boy!!!
I enjoyed the race. I don't think I'm fast at all, it is something I am working on. So it was a big deal for me that my splits were somewhat consistent and I stayed within that range for 5 miles. The hills were hard but I think I handled them ok.