This is my second time running the first half of the SF Marathon, you can see my review of last years race here and Sean’s fourth time running the marathon. We registered for the race back at Thanksgiving last year before we got engaged.
Sean & I had decided on getting married in San Francisco so it was fitting that we get married the day after the race because our first date was the day before the 2014 race.
We arrived in SF first thing on Saturday morning, the day before the race, and we went straight to the expo, which was in the same place as last year, in Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion right on the water.
This year Fitbit played a bigger role than the did last year, sponsoring the 5k and having a big presence at the expo. Lululemon had a small booth there as well and were screen printing product. Unfortunately I didn’t see a lot of variety in the items available so I passed on that. The expo was a decent size and they had a lot of food samples, which I always enjoy.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy about the expo is that they put the bib pick-up in the back, which I understand, they want everyone to look at the vendors at the expo and not just rush in and out, but I felt like it was too congested. Of course it was probably just the time we went because as we went out it wasn’t quite as congested.
We got a few photos, bought a Bff, which I’ll review after we’ve used it a bit more and got some samples before heading off to our next stop.
We had a pretty early night because this race starts early! They start the race at 5:30am and we had 3/4 mile walk to the starting area. We thought it was going to be a lot colder when we saw that the temps were at 59/60 but surprisingly I was too hot. I ended up wearing my Flat Jenny outfit exactly as I laid out.
We got down to the starting area right around 5:25ish, I needed to drop my bag and then we headed into the corrals. They used UPS trucks like most of the races for the drop bags and would have them at the 1st half finish.
We made it in to the corrals, took a few quick photos and then it wasn’t long until we were off. Sean told me that he would run with me the whole time, which was super nice. Although I have been in a bit of a running rut here lately dealing with my hamstring issue as well as everything else going on so I wasn’t sure how I was going to do since I really haven’t run a ton lately, although I have been doing a lot of hiking.
Burnt Toast Moment: Once we got moving, I knew it was going to be a struggle because it was about 93% humidity and the fog was extremely heavy. So heavy that I was having a hard time breathing. I didn’t bring my inhaler to the race because I hardly ever use it anymore, but I probably could have used it.
I did ok and ran until we hit the first hill past Ghiradelli Square, I was wheezing as I walked up the hill, just trying to catch my breath. We ran down and then I believe I ran thru Chrissy Field until we got to the hill up to the Golden Gate Bridge. I walked the hill and then we were at the bridge! It’s always so nice to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. This year it was so wet, I didn’t even bother taking any photos, although they did have a lot more photographers on the bridge this year, I don’t remember seeing any on the bridge last year.
I ran slowly across the bridge, mostly because it was so congested there was another option, but did walk once we got to the other side. Sean was getting cold, I on the other hand was roasting. I was so hot, not sure why because it wasn’t hot out. After we went around the aid station, I walked a bit more then ran/walked the way back. Around mile 8 we saw ultrarunner Dean Karnazes run past, that was pretty cool. He was super tiny lol and I was surprised to see him around us, I thought he would have been practically done by then. Side note, I guess at some point in the 2nd half, Sean passed him because he watched him finish after he did.
By this point I was exhausted and just wanted to finish. There was a lot of run/walking in the last 3 miles. We took the opportunity to take a few photos and then right at the split for the first half/marathon we saw the We Run Social crew and Brian, Pavement Runner. We took a few photos and then I gave Sean a kiss and sent him off to finish off the marathon.
I went off to finish my race, slow and steady, smiling for the cameras and then I was done. It wasn’t very fast, but it was a great time. I kept telling Sean that he could go on because I wasn’t going very fast, but he kept telling me that we would get there #togethertogether. Thank you my love for sticking by my side even when I was struggling.
After I finished the race, they handed out bottles of water and then we did a little walk around to get our medals & race blankets. I went to get my bag and then headed to get some food. This year they did step it up a little bit on the food side. They handed out bananas, Perfect Bars, Muscle Milk in Chocolate & Vanilla and they had coconut water too. They also still had the hot drinks area but you had to have a wristband/ID for that area.
After I got my snacks, I got changed into a warmer, dry shirt. I walked over to the shuttle to get back to the start area to wait for Sean to get back. As I was waiting I started feeling really bad. I had taken a few sips of the Muscle Milk, eaten half my banana and it wasn’t making me feel well at all. The bus ride felt like it took forever and I kept thinking, I might need to get off, but then we were finally there and I walked up to the start area, went to the bathroom, changed into my track pants and then sat down for a bit. I felt a 100x better by the time Sean got there.
It ended up being a beautiful day after the race finished, we had lunch with my family, hamburgers, fries & ice cream, before talking a little walk down the Embarcadero.
Updates from last year’s race:
Better Food & Beverage at the end of the race
Different colored shirts for each race
Things I like about this race:
Running across the Golden Gate Bridge
Great Expo, albeit a bit crowded 🙂