It was a rainy, wet, cool day in San Francisco, but 20,000 runners still gathered in San Francisco to run one the biggest women’s race in the country. 🙂
But let’s back up to 4:30am on race morning! We took our time getting ready, making sure we didn’t forget all the little things you need to run a successful race (GU, timing chip, race bib, watch, etc).
I put my Ipod on to make sure it worked… and you know what? It was completely empty! All the great songs my sister Mikaela gave to me were gone! I must have lost them when I sunk it up to my computer this week! How did that happen? I’m Ipod-challenged. Oh well, I can run without music.
We headed down to Union Square to the starting line. It wasn’t hard to find with all the crowds of people.
I only had to wait about 20 minutes until the race started (Score!) But then I realized one more thing…my Garmin was dead!! I had charged it the night before, but maybe I left it on?! This happened to me last year too, and it ruined my race. But not this year… I wasn’t going to let a few numbers get in my way of enjoying this!
So I put my chin up and walked towards the startline. I didn’t have a goal in mind this year, so I was just going to listen to my body, enjoy the scenery and take in the race without staring at my watch.
Let’s do this!
The first mile wizzed by, I ran the first two miles straight without stopping. I watched Pier 39 go by as the sun was rising. I took a good look at Alcatraz as we ran along the bay.
There was absolutely NO fog, which is pretty rare for a fall day in SF. It was gorgeous.
Then we headed up the teaser hill to Ghirardelli Square.
And up the bigger hills in the Presidio.
Then we saw the stunning Golden Gate bridge staring at us.
I asked a spectator to snap a picture of me with the bridge, you get the idea.
One of my favorite parts of the race this year was the many “Power Song” stations along the course. Out of nowhere, you’d hear blasting music coming from these boxes. It was an ad for ‘Nike+’, but I appreciated the bursts of adrenaline the loud music provided!
Between mile 7 and 8 is the steepest hill of the race.
But the views of the bridge are worth it!
I’m not sure who these guys were, but they were quite funny.
Another spectator shot of the bridge!
Along mile 8 or 9, Kaiser had a bunch of motivational signs!
And my favorite…
And they provide oranges here (my favorite!)
Mile 10 is definitely my favorite mile of the whole race. That’s when you start running down towards the ocean. The views are gorgeous! And Irving texted me at this point too, and it totally gave me a boost of energy!
You can see finisher’s village from up there too!
The last three miles are in Golden Gate Park. It started to drizzle when I entered, but I knew I was almost done.
I know this picture is blurry, but it just made me laugh. Why do marathoners LOVE running quotes so much? They make me so happy!!
“You measure happiness one mile at a time”!
Almost done! Two miles left! And the rain had started to come down by this point. I was wet and sticky. Ew.
At mile 12 is the Ghirardelli chocolate mile! They hand out chocolates to all the runners! I saved mine for later!
Almost done! The final turn into home stretch!
Which side do you think I ran under? SURVIVOR!
A nd then I booked it to the finish line! (Yea, I was SOAKED at this point)!
And I’m not sure what came over me, but I made some weird pose when I crossed the finish line. It kinda looks like I’m doing the Hokey Pokey. Um??
Either that or I’m making a “I’m #1” sign? HAHA
Official Time: 3:03:18
Out of my 8 other half marathons, this is in the middle of all my finish times. Not the best, but definitely not the worst. Not too shabby for not really training.
Once I crossed the finish line, a lovely firefighter in a tux gave me a tiffany necklace from a silver platter!
(And Yes, I made him pose for a picture before I took it!)
I got my mylar blanket and tried to warm up. It was FREEZING down by the ocean! I was so cold, I didn’t even wait in the photobooth line (and you know me and the photobooths!)
We had to wait almost an hour to catch the shuttle bus back into the city.
Once I was on the bus, I finally took a peek inside my goodie bag!
I felt like I was trick or treating gathering all my goodies after the race! You just hold out your bag and they fill it up with treats!
The finisher’s shirt was pretty awesome this year. It was a technical tee, in a gorgeous magenta (my fave!)
The necklace was different this year, it came in a longer box.
With a new kind of pouch:
Here she is!
And the back:
I heard a lot of people didn’t get the necklace because the ran out! I hope they get mailed to them soon!
That was my SIXTH tiffany’s necklace from this race! I now have quite the collection!
And there you have it! Another successful year at the Nike Women’s Marathon!
Congrats! I loved reading your race recap and it is so inspiring to see that you have done 8 other half marathons!! I actually did my 2nd half yesterday and thought about ya because my Garmin froze up!! I thought about yours…but I actually got someone there to look at it and after hitting several things…we got it working before the start! Can’t wait to hear about your next running adventure!
Hi Kelley! I just love reading about all your races, especially the San Fran Nike series. It’s on my list for next year! I’m doing Marine Corps Marathon in just over a week. My second marathon. Ack!! I love your blog and have been working on mine, but it’s just kind of “ok” 😉
I do love the new Tiffany necklace this year. Very cool!!
Thanks for sharing!!
Shelly from Maryland
Love the necklace! and i would def run the chocolate mile!!! 🙂