Wednesday, December 15, 2010

AGU 5K Fun Run

Bright and early this morning, I headed for the Muni station a block and a half from the hotel (without a camera) for the short ride to start of the AGU 5K Fun Run near Pier 40. I was told that there were roughly 300 entrants and many really ran but some were like me. I ran a bit but mostly walked and finished in a very predictable 40 minutes. A bit faster than I've done the Beat Beethoven 5K in Fairbanks probably because it was completely flat and no ice on the route but still slower than I was hoping for. The course simply headed north along the Embarcadero, turn around at the half way point and return. Now, I'm hobbling around as I'm not at all used to running since injuring my knee last winter. Need to get into shape...

No whining about the weather here though I hear that it is -37°F this morning in Fairbanks. That is probably worth whining about. Not really looking forward to going back to that.

There is a shopping mall between the hotel and Moscone Center. Pretty impressive dome and what I'm assuming is Christmas lights in their fifth floor dome. Not too many interesting stores as most were fancy clothes and jewelry. I did stop at Eddie Bauer and Brookstone but none of rest had much to offer. The food court had a Vietnamese place with some excellent selections. I didn't even think of taking a photo of the dish. At least it was something different from diner fare.

There is a product expo associated with the AGU meeting but the displays are very different from the ones at the IT conferences I usually attend. Not a router or switch in sight. This is a remotely operated vehicle or ROV. It is tethered to a ship and controlled remotely. Power is fed down the tether and hd video is sent back to the operators. Interesting stuff. Lots of field instrumentation and book vendors. Plus organizations such as NASA, NOAA and NSF have booths. There was even a mockup of the new and improved Alvin deep sea submersible crew compartment so you can experience the claustrophobia firsthand.

Note the use of Apple iPads in this model. I think that there were 6 inside the mockup all running slideshows and movies. The new personnel sphere is 6 feet in diameter with 3 inches thick walls and made of titanium. It can withstand 650 atmospheres of pressure and there are five viewports. There were having a drawing for one of the old viewports from the old steel personnel sphere and even though it would have been a really cool treasure, I didn't enter. They do point out that even though the new sphere is much larger, you still can't stand up, you can't stretch out and there isn't a bathroom on board. Dedicated scientists only...


  1. Congrats on the run.
    Somehow I feel much better knowing you walked some of it. I enjoy running though I'm very slow and don't go far. I haven't done any this fall. Ron doesn't run, and I'd rather walk with him than run by myself. Sadly, my running is no faster than our walks!

    -37°F...that's like a warm afternoon to you rugged Alaskan types :)

  2. Forty minutes for a 5K in San Francisco sounds good. There are too many interesting things to see there to be bearing down at full race speed. :)

    Now I would love to visit both a NASA & NOAA booth. Interesting stuff!

  3. No bathroom. I suspect it would take more than dedication for my 60+year old bladder to cooperate.

    I love the Bay Area. More familiar with the East Bay than San Francisco, but have enjoyed my experiences there as well.


  4. Congratulations on the run! Yes, it is difficult to complain of 35 or 15 (F) temps when you know loved ones are dealing with -37.

    I would love to visit those booths! Looked like an interestintg conf.


  5. Well, If I were you I do the same thing. I also wanted to run but I felt weak whenever I run a long distance so I just walked a bit. By the way thanks for sharing your story. :D