I've been aware of this race in its various incarnations for the last ten years or so and always had it in the back of my mind, but never actually run it. It starts in Sausalito on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, then runs over the Bridge to finish on the north side of SF. The race has been around in some form or another since the early 80s so it's sort of a classic, but any year that I considered it, something didn't work out. Either the timing was wrong, or I wasn't into the distance, or was out of town, or just had other things I wanted to run.
This year as I put together my summer of short, fast racing, it popped up again, and I added it to my short of list of nearby events that might be fun if the timing worked out. When I decided on Wharf to Wharf as my peak race, though, my coach suggested that I not try to race Across the Bay just two weeks before because it was unlikely that I'd be fully recovered & ready to race 6 miles just two weeks later. But if I wanted to do it as a tempo workout, that was fine.
I'd gone back and forth about it because it's hard to spend money on a race, especially a local one with a route you could run any time, just to do a workout. On the other hand, the tempo workout I'd have on tap for that week was one I know I struggle with (3 x 2 miles at HM pace / 2:00 jog) and I thought that maybe the race atmosphere would keep me motivated and honest (and maybe make it more bearable). At the last minute Represent Running Race Ambassador Erin gave me a comp code she wasn't going to use, and I figured, "What the heck. Let's do this." (That would also mean getting the run out of the way early in the day, which would be nice since we had plans to spend most of the day at a birthday barbecue.)