The SF Marathon First 1/2

One month after, it’s about time for a race recap, right? 🙂

I ran this race last year, but ran the 2nd 1/2 marathon for Nuun. It was an awesome experience, I helped work the expo on Saturday for them, stayed in the city that night, and ran the 2nd 1/2 Sunday morning. After running the 2nd 1/2, I knew I wanted to run the 1st 1/2 this year, because I’m greedy and like extra bling! If you run the two different 1/2 marathons in consecutive years, you get an extra medal for completing the “Half it All Challenge.” Challenge accepted!

I didn’t get to run this year for Nuun, so when it looked like it was getting close to selling out, I registered quickly. I had run Ragnar NWP the weekend before and had majorly tweaked my left glute and quad. I had low hopes for this race unfortunately, especially after working the expo both Friday AND Saturday. Halfway through Saturday, my feet were dead. Yay smart decisions!

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After the expo on Friday, Laura and I hung out at Fort Mason since Off the Grid was there. There were SOOOO many people! Most of the food trucks had crazy long lines, but the one we ended up at had a short line and the food came out quickly. Gourmet grilled cheese (brie, granny smith apples, thinly sliced almonds) and truffle tater tots? GET IN MY MOUTH.

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The Nuun team in action!

Woke up ridiculously early on Sunday, met Kristina in the hotel lobby and we walked over to the start line (thankfully we weren’t far!).  The “corral change” sticker had somehow fallen off my bib and they were super vigilant about not letting you into the corral unless it was yours, so they wouldn’t let me into the one I had changed to (bummer).  We waited until the original corral, jumped in line, took a couple pictures and were off before we knew it!

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Forced smiles early in the morning!

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Pace through the corrals was actually really good!

Both of us were semi-unprepared, so agreed to run the whole thing together, and we both wanted to stop for a couple photos. Fun, easy race, chatting with your friend the whole time? Yes please! It’s exactly what I needed. Even though we weren’t running it fast at all, the mile markers seemed to fly by!

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Karl the Fog was working that morning.

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Thanks to the awesome volunteer who took this photo for us!

We stopped once for a bathroom break, a couple times for photos, and once at the bridge turnaround because I had achilles blisters that were starting to really bother me (shoes i wore during the expo, even though they’re completely broken in). Thank you to the aid station who helped me take off my shoes and socks to put a giant bandaid on both achilles, and for helping me tie them back up! #TeamWork.

At about mile 10, my left quad (that had been slowly nagging for the last few miles) finally completely locked up. I had to pull over to a post and start to stretch and rub it out. Super painful but I got it loosened and we started out towards Seacliff/Outer Richmond. I knew Kari would be out in front of their apartment cheering on runners, and REALLY needed the motivation at that point. Thankfully we weren’t diverted and once we got onto 27th, I heard them. HOORAY!

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Stopping for a picture, hearing people scream your name and having juicy watermelon = the business. Exactly what I needed!

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In their apartment window! Scott was working on his computer (video games I think haha), but when he heard Kari yell my name, he popped out for a cheer as well.

After the cheer station, we had less than 2 miles to the finish. Both of us were ecstatic to be almost done (also we just kept talking about breakfast. Talk about motivation!).  We continued down 27th Avenue (forgot about that little hill at Geary, rude) and finally turned left into the Park at Fulton. The smell of GG Park gets me every time (no not typical SF urine smell, but the amazing smell of nature!) and we pushed as hard as we could into the finish.  Once in the park, we were able to see the 2nd 1/2 marathoners who were just starting their race and we cheered them on as we ran in.

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Just finished the race and going to pick up snacks, my regular and Half it All challenge medal and my gear check. I would like to punch Gear Check in the face this year. It took almost an hour to locate my bag (and a bunch of other peoples as well), because a ton of bags that should have been in my truck had somehow been put in the wrong truck (but they couldn’t tell you what other truck they were in, so after waiting in our line, they simply said “so can you just go check the other trucks? It’s probably in one of the first 3 trucks.” The first 3 trucks had at least 50 people waiting in line).

FINALLY found my bag and we peaced out for breakfast.

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Double medals!

Now I’m trying to talk Kristina into running the 2nd half next year (it literally runs right in front of her apartment around mile 8ish) so that she can get the Half it All Challenge medal, too!
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My FitBit started vibrating before I even hit mile 5 of the race, we walked to the start line, walked a bit after the finish, AND I ended up running from our hotel to the full finish line and back after the race. Because I’m ridiculous. I ended the day with SO MANY STEPS!IMG_9248And a little sneak preview from the real race photos:

race_1085_photo_22616224The race also offers another Challenge: the 52 Club. Run both 1/2 marathons in consecutive years, and then the 3rd year, run the full marathon. I don’t think I’m quite ready for my first full yet!

This is one of my favorite races here in San Francisco.  The fact that it offers multiple races, is extremely well-organized (except for the gear bag snafu), has great bling, treats at the finish line, offers free race photos (HELLO!), Nuun is the hydration sponsor (the only thing my sensitive stomach will tolerate during long runs and races), and generally just care about the local community.  Last year while getting ready for the 2nd 1/2, I was lucky enough to work a few of the Run365 training runs with Nuun. RUN365 is the official training program of The San Francisco Marathon races and The Berkeley Half Marathon. It’s a great bunch of people that just love what they do.  This year I was able to do the same, and join them for a fun run with Dean Karnazes (he gave me a high five and said I was awesome, no big deal).  The people that run the show are awesome, work hard and love what they do.  Their partners are also great (I have a FitBit so it was pretty cool how they integrated it into the race; obviously I love Nuun; Lululemon hosted some activities at the expo and had a post-race party as well. I participated in a focus group for them in conjunction with the SF Marathon and was really happy that they actually listened to what we had to say and integrated it into their plans!)

They have an ambassador program that I’ve been eyeing since last year. I somehow spaced out and missed the applications last September, but am anxiously awaiting the beginning of September and when they’ll open up applications.  Now having run both half marathons with them, participating in some of the RUN365 events and the Lulu focus group, I’m ready to contribute big time to the ambassador program!

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