Thursday, June 27, 2013

The San Francisco Marathon 2013 (First half)

It's really no surprise that this race is absolutely amazing. This was my 3rd time toeing the start line and watching the sun rise over the bay bridge as we lined up in the corrals. In 2011 I ran 26.2, in 2012 came the double loop experience of 52.4 (plus some bonus) miles and this year, I ended up crossing the finish line of the first half marathon in Golden Gate Park. 

Sunrise over Bay Bridge -> Almost time to run!

I went into the race knowing there is a good chance it will be a 13.1 and not 26.2 mile day for me. I was signed up for the marathon and wanted to go the whole way, but I had to listen to my knee and just be thankful I was able to run at all - particularly as I have not run more than a few minutes since Ragnar in late April (yes that's about 2 months)...and that was not a painless experience, either. I have, however, done a lot of strength training work, yoga and cycling to keep me in decent shape because, well, 13.1 miles is still a little ways. But another post will discuss my dealings with left knee problems soon. I could say DNF because I only ran half of my distance...but heck, I ran 13.1 miles, thank you very much. That's finishing something.

The SF Marathon is a very organized, well-run race that is unique in many ways (especially if you love the city of San Francisco - and why wouldn't you?). I am in love with it, obviously, and I was super thrilled to be an ambassador for the race this year. Also, the ambassadors are all extremely cool peeps and I was honored to be a part of this group. People who run know how to have fun. No brainer.

Start line
The start area is smooth and gaps between corrals allow for the crowd to disperse quickly once you start running. Gear check is right by the start and no hassle at all. Even with some security measures thrown in this year due to the Boston tragedy, the start was still very accessible and easy to manage through.

The course is very scenic, especially when there are no clouds atop the Golden Gate bridge (rare but it happened this time around!). It may not be flat or particularly fast but with views like that, do you really want to go fast? Maximizing time on course means more value for $$, clearly.
Yes we stopped for pictures!
Runners, meet clear-skies and GG Bidge
Onward to Golden Gate Park
This was my first time seeing the First Half finish area and it was really fun. Irish coffee, Panera scones, Noosa was a gourmet finish for sure! Plus, the park is gorgeous and the buses that shuttle you back to the start area (if you need them) are a short walk away.

Mandatory random post-race picture

Will I run in 2014? See you there!!!