Monday, April 4, 2011
Yessir, the key isn't race tactics, it's picking the team and picking the race. Here is a recap of the 2011 Oakland Running Festival: We have had an informal running club at SanDisk for several years (“RunDisk”), and we like to think that we are building a nice tradition and running culture. We run together several times a week (well, at least some combination of us) and we also meet on weekend mornings to do longer runs and occasionally participate in races. The RunDisk idea was spawned by Craig Rotbert, Fred Valeriano and Jose as a way to train together for their first marathon, and as the group has grown we’ve continued getting together as a way of maintaining our motivation, keeping the runs interesting, and getting outside a few times a week. We welcome new runners: we don’t have a set schedule due to SanDisk work responsibilities, but we do stay in touch via e-mail and try to organize a group run several times a month. By getting together regularly, we’ve met many new people at the company, and have made great friends and also strengthened work relationships along the way. This is the second time a “RunDisk” team has participated in the ORF relay, but this year we decided to focus on getting a good result, both overall and in the SF Business Times Corporate Cup event. Speaking for myself, once we decided to “compete” there was certainly some pressure to represent the company and our running club respectably, and I would say that we all gave a solid effort. Luca (SanDisk’s fastest runner) lead us out, staying close to the leading marathon runners and giving us a little cushion. Next, Jose ran a strong leg through the hills of Oakland, ending with a glorious downhill mile. Gabe powered through a long, straight run while enjoying the occasional calls of “hey sweety!” from the women of West Oakland, and I finished the run by trying to hold off whatever teams were behind me. Luca joined me after his leg and paced me through to the finish, making sure I didn’t blow our lead, and helping me through a tough 7 miles. We were second overall, and first in the corporate division. As a result we were presented the cup from Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, and it was a kick to be called onstage in front of the assembled masses to receive the trophy while representing SanDisk. As Jose carried the trophy back to the car, we were impressed by how many female fans asked him which race he had won – lots of cheers and whistles! I tried carrying the cup for awhile too, but somehow I didn’t get the same effect! In any case, we left feeling like we’d accomplished what we’d intended to, and we hope to have a chance to defend our title next year.