What a run!! This was my third San Francisco marathon. I did it in '92 and '97 and the course is completely different now. This course I got to run down Haight Street (yeah!) and not up it.
My husband and I stayed at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency. Here was our view -
We went to the Expo on Saturday and got to meet Bart Yasso. Amazing!
We got up at 4:00 AM on race morning. We headed down to the starting line around 5:30 - we were in Wave 4 and started at 5:52 AM. We were both a bit nervous, but more excited that the race was going to start soon.
While I was standing there ready to begin, I notice a bunch a green bibs....and then I realized there were half -marathoners in our wave. I really don't like starting with half-marathoners because bottom line is they are running a different race, they go faster and it is mentally challenging to have people passing you at the start of the race...it really messes with your pace. So, I made sure to note which ones had green vs black bibs to help me keep my pace.
I got to say the weather was perfect that morning (and throughout the whole race)...I thought it was going to be a lot colder, but I just had a long sleeve shirt on and was fine (and I get cold easy). San Fran is probably the only pace you can have a marathon in late July and have perfect running weather.
And we're off..........The first 9 miles were my favorite of the race, although there were a couple of really steep hills.. We ran down the Embarcadero to the Marina and then over the Golden Gate Bride. It was beautiful. I was feeling good during the run and keeping my pace despite the half marathoners. I did see one man run into a sign at mile 3 and cut his forehead open - he was bleeding pretty bad. I felt so sorry for him...his race over at mile 3 :(.
I stopped to use the bathroom around mile 7.5 - quick stop at the end of the bridge.
Then we headed towards Golden Gate Park at mile 13 (bye bye half marathoners!!!) and I was already feeling my legs. I hit 13.1 at 2:04...way off my normal half marathon pace. But I felt pretty good.
And then somewhere around mile 14 or 15, these people started whizzing by me like I was standing still!!! WTF?? Am I going that slow?? Then I realized the 2nd Half Marathon just started. I literally thought I was going to get trampled by all these people.... and this happened until around mile 24 or 25 - people just whizzing by me like I was standing still. Usually at the end of a marathon you find a community of runners running your pace and you kind of get together to get to the finish line. All I had were people running past me, which is hard on you mentally from mile 20-26.2.
But I kept running, hill after hill and finished with 4:12:13!!! Now, I got to say that is way off my best time, and I was a bit of a reality check for me. But I'll go into that more in my next post.
My husband came in shortly after me with 4:40! I am so proud of him...he did so well for his first marathon and finishing his first on such a hilly course is quite an achievement. Welcome to the club David! Here we are at the finish -
Overall, I really liked the San Francisco Marathon and will do it again. I just wish they'd get rid of the second half marathon...or maybe I'll start in a different wave next time. I should have started in Wave 5 anyway.