For those who like their Memorial Day Races in the two-legged and single horsepower variety Marin Memorail Day Races are for you. This event’s only drawback is unavoidable, sometimes Mother Nature will deliver the headlands a ridiculously hot day to compete in a 29-50 minute 10K depending on talent level. There is a fair to optimal amount of shade on the course and it is very fast considering the types of masochism one could dream up in these headlands in terms of setting a race course.
MARIN MEMORIAL DAY RACES HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERY MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
The Pacific Association of the United States Track and Field Organization in combination with Tamalpa Runners the Cities of Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo and Larkspur, and the County of San Mateo presents you with the opportunity to be in a varying paced ‘parade’ on Memorial Day. There is the featured 10K which saw winners cross the finish line in 29:24 and 33:42 in 2010. Next level is the Don Ritchie 5K Race/Walk and very important for families the Youth Track Races.
These latter two categories of events allow for anyone in any level of fitness to come out and have fun. The premier event is a comeuppance for the above average runner that likes to cherry pick age group awards at their local fun run 5K/10K events. Come on out and you will see what I mean a middle aged man like myself gladly gives way to too numerous to count members of the fairer gender passing him on the roads of Kentfield.
If you have a huge ego you have pretty much one month to be certain your fitness is good because competition is not lacking in any Pacific Association event. I’ll spend the rest of my article providing description helpful to the newcomer. Note I’ve only run the 10K so I cannot specifically comment on the 5K. I retract that, the 5K, and this is a beauty feature, almost immediately into the event (long before a mile has rolled by) turns for home, while the 10K proceeds towards San Anselmo and Ross.
For you 5K people you get dramatically less shade offerings as I recall the course in my mind’s eye. Once you get on the bike path you lose almost any opportunity for shade so just run faster!. The 5K goes through Marin-Kentfield College on it’s way towards Larkspur. This is the last two and a half miles of the 10K as well. Once the bike path ambles its way around a body of water you are deposited on a bridge on Bon Air Road before a right turn onto Magnolia Avenue. The finish is on the track after a lazy right onto College Avenue and entry into the parking lots near the Tennis Courts. Remember this feature upon parking you may want to walk in and out if you hope for a quick get away after the event!
The 10K is for the hardcore racers as it is our (pausatf.org) Grands Prix 10K. The field will be very fast and I implore you to heed the race marshall’s instructions if you cannot approach sub 5:00 pace you have no business at the front please seed yourself appropriately and even err on the side of caution. There is over a half hour of jostling for or vying for position for all but the elites in the field. The 10K goes out and back on the aptly named Shady Lane after a stretch on Poplar Avenue. As I recall these are very nostalgic looking districts of Kentfield and Ross. After the Shady Lane come a ‘box’ around a neighborhood in San Anselmo/Ross.
YOUTH RACES AND GENERAL INFORMATION
There are a wide range of timed track events for the youngsters during the post race time frame. Thus a parent can compete then post cool down run can cheer on their child on the quality College track. I know the race sponsor’s primarily by reputation (good) and events (excellent!) Their cross country race is the highlight of the pausatf’s GP circuit every year in the later part of the season. They stress “green” so take advantage of the recycle collection points in the post-race areas. All in all I love this event it totally justifies my personal two hours drive to get there. I know we assemble numerous participants who travel twice and nearly thrice that time to get there.