Posted by Lauren
Nicole left out a few, key details from her 21st ;)
1. That bottle of Cristal? We’ve had it since our combined 50/21/16 birthday party 5 years ago! I’m glad we finally had an opportunity to pop it open!
2. Not only is Nicole a dancing queen, our step-bro Steve has amazing dance moves as well! Lean back, lean back.
3. At the end of the night, Nicole was a little confused and thought I was her, or she was me, or something like that. It was SO funny. The befuddlement occured after the friendly strangling…
4. Nicole is a TROOPER and woke up at 7 am the morning after her birthday to run a 10K with me!
The Bouncy Ball 10K is an informal race that a friend of mine organized with two coworkers. A few weeks ago, a Facebook invite went out describing the inaugural 10K race around Lake Merritt in Oakland to raise money for East Oakland PRIDE. The public elementary school desperately needs new playground equipment (four-square balls, soccer goals, jump ropes, and other supplies) to keep the kids active and occupied during recess. Molly, Celia, Anne (& many friendly volunteers) organized an amazing race and raised over $1,000 for the kids!
At 10 AM on Saturday, about 30 runners gathered at the Lake Merritt Pergola to celebrate being active, staying healthy, and bouncy balls :)
Oliver Side Note: as Nicole, Jessi, and I walked up to the start line, we ran into my friend Sean (his roommate is one of the race organizers) and Oliver, an adorable golden retriever. Sean and his roommates are taking care of Oliver for the weekend while his owners are out of town. They warned us that he is camera shy, and, when the iPhone came out, he turned away from the lens. We decided to pose butts-up too.
Eventually he agreed to give a side profile photo :) He was such a well-behaved pup!
Then, Nicole decided Oliver should celebrate her birthday too!
Anyways… We grabbed our race numbers and turned our attention to the race organizers so they could explain the course and give shout-outs to the spectacular volunteers!
READY. SET. GO!
I considered running with Nicole and Jessi, but they decided to walk/run with Oliver. My legs wanted to go just a little faster ;)
The first 3 miles looped all the way around Lake Merritt. It was such a beautiful day out!!
The whole thing was marked with arrows in chalk, but (just in case) I found a group of girls and stuck with them the whole way back to the finish line. We ran through the nice neighborhood of Trestle Glen, down Park, and straight to Molly’s house.
There was a really steep, tough hill about 1/2 mile before the finish line that tired me out. Yet another reminder that I need more hill practice!
Meanwhile, Nicole and Jessi were enjoying a silly, Snapchat-fueled walk to the finish. I don’t think they followed the chalk marks, but they found us!
The post-race festivities included a delicious brunch catered by Sean (bacon famous). Here he is, in his element!
In addition to pork belly and homemade bacon, Sean made two huge frittatas (one veggie, one meat), cornmeal waffles, vegan pancakes, and a strawberry pie!
Nicole and I handled the waffle maker – I got to use some of my waffle know-how from the Brussels Waffle Workshop!
Beautiful frittatas! I loved the bacon and green onion one and I know that Nicole really liked the veg one. Sean is going to be a terrific chef one day! He also made tea eggs, which I’ve never heard of before…
Tea eggs are hardboiled eggs (lightly cracked for marbling effect) that simmer for 4+ hours in black tea, soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, and a few other things. I just read online that they symbolize golden nuggets for Chinese New Year. Pretty nifty!
My favorite brunch item: strawberry pie! It was gorgeous and it matches my Brooks Launch running shoes :)
I think the secret is using a hand-held pastry blender instead of a food processer. Do you agree, Sean?
Out on the deck, there was even MORE food. Everyone piled up their plates and sat outside in the sunshine…
Bananas, clementines, power bars, and mint water….
Assorted bagels, cream cheese, and peanut butter….
After brunch, Molly and Celia gave out prizes to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers. The first place male finisher gave a nice speech about how great it was to come out for this event and support a good cause. I couldn’t agree with him more! I loved everything about this race!
That girl in the gray sweater and purple shorts tied for first place with Anne (in the white). ;)
Around 2 PM we left Molly’s house and drove back to San Jose. Such a fun, well organized event – all for an excellent cause, with tasty food, and wonderful company!
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