Rick and I had planned on this one for almost a year. It's close enough to do in a single day, but would be more fun as a drive down on Saturday, relax, have dinner, get rested before the 8am race. Alas, I have been having on-going trouble getting my left hip to accept longer runs lately. Pending a bone scan, I have layed off all but the shortest and easiest runs. That meant no half marathon for me, and I had no interest in jumping in on the 5K either. I was iffy as to whether I'd go at all, but Ferrell was committed, and I was caught up enough with work that I figured... what the heck. I could bike it, take some pix, and we'd just make a morning of it and be back home by 2pm. So, that was the plan. And a good plan!

We hit the road at 5:15am after Rick picked me up on Freedom Blvd.

Oops. Almost hit "flame out" before finding this tiny gas station at 5:30am in San Lucas,

Outside got colder as we drove south along the Salinas Valley. Ferrell stressed out. "dang - why didn't I at least bring a wind breaker?"

I'd spent the night at the observatory, and alarm clocked myself awake at 4:30am. Usually that's the middle of my sleep cycle, such as it is.

The event was a local fundraiser for schools, and students were manning the check in table. Looks like a very hungry gal inhaling a twinkie between race registrants?

Now we're official.

Ferrell Futzes with his timing chip, trying to wedgie it into his shoelaces, while I huddle in the 39F wind. Soon the good times will roll... right? Soon?

Mounted and ready. And Ferrell's just behind the left side support.

We're on our way

Rick would need another couple of miles to chase this guy down. A tough battle

Into the sunrise

You've got a camera! let me show you my best side

Rick runs 'm down. Another competitor vanquished... "OK, that's it. The gloves come off!"

Vineyards everywhere

My new friend, while we wait for Ferrell. She was a sweetheart!

One more to reel in

1:36 - a great finish

Job well done!

Time to celebrate

Just another finisher, picked completely at random from the crowd

2nd place! hardware!

The traditional post-race burrito scarf pic

Age group winners won their weight in wine. Looks like she gets another case.

Not well shot, but there's Ferrell's moment of glory

Almost as good as 160 lb of wine?