13.1 miles - all uphill! No, not really, although it felt like it most of the time! The Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco was just a fantastic experience! So, to recap, here are 13 fabulous things about this memorable run!
1. 23,000 people - mostly women, and with one goal in mind - make it to the finish line! We all gathered at the starting line around Union Square at 6:00 in the morning - it looked like that scene from Polar Express when all the elves are gathered waiting for Santa! It was a "Sea of Runners!" The energy was absolutely explosive!
2. People came from everywhere! We met groups from Canada, Japan, and Alaska! We were invited to join the Fairbanks 1/2 Marathon next year - it just seems a tad bit cool for me!
3. Organized - like a well oiled machine! Great Big KUDOS to the people that make this event happen. It is just mind-boggling how smoothly everything ran especially with 23,000 people participating!
4. The hills! The first hill came at mile 6 - a 300 foot gradual climb! I was so proud of myself for not walking up this hill. And, I would have run faster if there hadn't been so many people in my way - really, I would have...
5. The scenery! Wow! I could begin seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in the background around mile 4, and it kept getting closer!
6. The entertainment! We were inspired by the sounds of a Gospel Choir once we made it to the Piers!
7. The spectators! Really - how can you not be inspired by men dressed in pink spandex? They cheered us on and made this mile so much cheerier!
8. Inspiring Runners! Many of the runners were running for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Team in Training. Many of them were cancer survivors. One gal had the words "I kicked Cancer's ass!" Running Buddy yelled, "Congratulations!" to her - Running Buddy is such a motivator!
9. The weather! Mother Nature was looking down on us as it only started raining as we finished the race!
10. The goodies! After we made it through the finish line we were given a bag and they filled it with oranges, bananas, power bars, bagels, raisins, chocolate milk, water, and Gatorade! What a haul!
11. Niketown! It's not just a store - it's a town! And on the outside wall, all the participants names were written on a huge poster! Really cool!
12. Mile 12! The chocolate mile! As we entered this last mile of the race, they were giving out Ghirardelli chocolate squares. Delicious!
13. The downhill! What a reward for going uphill! I swear I ran for 6 straight minutes downhill - I was running so fast - it was exhilarating! Thank God I didn't trip and find myself face down on the Great Highway!
If you have any way to make it to San Francisco next October, you have to sign up for this race! The lottery begins in March! You will love it!
Oh, by the way...my time was 2:20. I'm extremely proud of that time since it was 2 minutes faster than my last half marathon. Plus that time was with San Francisco hills, and stops for pictures!
Thanks for stopping by today! Keep Running!