On Your Mark… Get Set… “Bang” (Go!)


Craig HerreraSo how many muscles are there in the body? I’m not quite sure, but I do know all mine were sore right after the race. How did Forrest run so far without needing new hips, and knees? The magic of Hollywood I guess… I do know I felt the magic in the South Bay on Sunday, October 8th at the Inaugural 1/2 Marathon in San Jose. It was so much fun running with about 12,000 runners! I ran a full marathon once, on my 32nd birthday, and now several years later I tried half the distance at 13.1 miles. (I am breaking down over the years). Talk about an adrenaline rush! If you have ever raced, be it a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon or full marathon, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, let me share my experience with you.

For me, I woke up about 6AM after a night of restless sleep. It was hard to sleep because so many questions were running through my head… did I train enough, will my shoes be comfortable, is my shirt clean, do I have the right socks, did I eat enough, should I get up and have a bowl of cereal, how will I do, and the list goes on and on. But it was 6AM and it was time to get up and run, like Forrest! Well, maybe not quite that far.

Getting to the race was nerve racking so I had my friend Paul drive me there because I was running late. My heart was pounding as I had 30 minutes to get to the starting line and I was still about one mile away. I had to get to the start because our news producer Andrew called and asked me to do an interview with Mike Inouye, our talented Traffic Anchor. It was good I was not driving because I was scrambling to get my number pinned to my shirt and to get my shoes tied. I’m sure you can picture it… me dropping the safety pins to pin my bib number to my shirt, then dropping my bib, I was a mess to say the least. As we turned the corner I saw our Floor Director Pandy, I jumped out of the car at a stop sign and we ran to see Mike for an interview. The interview was a blur, I was so excited and full of energy, but I think he asked how fast I hoped to run and I think I said three hours. I had no idea what to expect, but as it turns out, I surprised myself with a time of 1 hour and 35 minutes. Where did all of that energy come from? I knew I could run an 8 minute mile on a good day, but under that time was not an option, or so I thought. I guess it just goes to show you can do anything if you believe and you give it your all! I have to say, hearing the live music of the incredible local bands was so helpful. I talked with my mom the night before the race and she told me to enjoy the music and that would keep me motivated. Boy was she right! Thanks again Mom! The music was a big help. Just when I was slowing down, I heard the music and it gave me a boost!

I also got a great boost from people along the streets. So many great people came out of their homes to support the runners. My friends Tony and Meagan even made signs for me… “Cloudy with a chance of WIN, Go Craig”, it was great! It made me smile when I really wanted to grunt! And for the group at the corner of Hester Ave. and Park Ave., thank you for saying, “looking good number 11, keep it up,” it really helped! It was just past the 10th mile and my legs were quivering like Jello-O. But it was that spirit, people cheering on others, that made this race so special! I remember getting to mile 11 and thinking I was almost at the end, and it felt so good. Soon I turned the corner on Almaden and I knew I was very close to the finish line and the crowd was cheering. I know they were yelling for everyone but I imagined it was all for me and I picked up the pace to the end. Whew, it was over, and it felt so good… despite the aches and pains in my legs as they started to cramp. I walked a little, met up with Paul and Laura Garcia-Cannon and her puppy Chip. That support was great too! And oh by the way, I signed up for this race with a little push from my good friend Laura. She and I were working at the NBC11 Living Well Expo in San Jose when we saw the sign up booth for the Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon. I said I wanted to do it and she said I should, and she would buy me breakfast if I did. Well, I think I was signing my name before she finished making the offer for food! A few hours after the race, and after I had time to clean up, we had a wonderful meal in Los Gatos. I couldn’t eat enough crepes, one was filled with chicken and another with Nutella and bananas, WOW, YUM!

Before I end this, I have to congratulate the race organizers. The race was so well planned and it showed! And thank you to the volunteers who were there every few miles with water and support. And thanks to the great bands for the motivating music! I am already thinking about running this race again next year. And if you’re thinking about running but aren’t sure you can go the distance, I say go for it and enjoy yourself. Crossing the finish line, no matter your time, is such an exhilarating feeling! See you next year!

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist


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