I arrived to San Francisco on Friday afternoon and after checking into the hotel, I was on my way to packet pick-up. I was staying at the packet pick-up hotel and it was awesome to be close to the all the weekend activities. I was a little disappointed with the pick-up-- although it was quick and easy, I was expecting more. I had also planned to do the earring scavenger hunt that afternoon, but was quickly informed that all the locations were out of the earrings. I spent the rest of the day exploring San Francisco and did a little shopping.
|Packet Pick-Up at the Westin|
|The Nike Store posts the names of all the runners. There were 4 of me! :)|
|I love to shop!|
I was lucky to be in the starting corral and running in the city was definitely a new experience for me. I usually run in areas that are closed to car traffic, so I wasn't prepared for this-- I think we stopped hit every red light. Slowest 2 miles I've ever run, but the coach and pacers in my corral were on point and kept us motivated.
Once we found our way back to Union Square, it was a little chaotic. I found myself standing in a line and had no idea what I was waiting for. I ended up with a portable Verizon phone charger. I then went to the food line-- I had a delicious fruit smoothie, an apple and a protein bar.
After the Shake Out Run, I decided I want to try to get some earrings. We had been told it would start at 10:00am-- I went to my hotel, changed and still had some time before it was going to start. I decided to go check out the Nike Store again and once I got there, around 9:30am, I found myself in another random line. That line turned out the be the line for the earring, which had started early. I got lucky with this line, so I decided to try for a few more earrings. I ended up with 4 of the 7-- I went to a 5th location, but after seeing the number of people in line, decided I'd rather explore SF then wait in a line.
|4 of the 7|
The race started on time-- I was towards the back of my corral, so we started a little before 7:00am. I knew there were a lot of runners, so I expected a crowded race. And I got it. There were times they even changed the course for crowd control and traffic, directly runners in different ways before they merged back together. I admit that there were times I was frustrated by runners who didn't appear to know race running etiquette-- coming to sudden stops, weaving back in forth, groups running 4-5 wide. I always expect this, but it seemed to be in abundance in this race. The crowds also brought an abundance of chaos at the hydration stations-- each one was a mess. I don't know if it was poor planning, poor training for the volunteers or lack of space, but each one was congested and unorganized. Eventually I stopped stopping for water.
This race was a mental battle for me. I had some pain in my foot and I let it get to me. I even turned my Garmin off so I could just run and try not to think about anything. But there were definitely some high points in the race-- I loved the choir at mile 2-3, the waterfall, the park that smelled as some runners described, like "PineSol," and the view after mile 10. This was probably one of the most beautiful courses I've run and I was not expecting that with this race. There wasn't that much crowd support but I loved seeing We Run Social at mile 8-- the Hi-Fives definitely helped me finish the last 5 miles. I also loved the support at mile 10, which was all uphill-- I had been warned about the hill and it honestly wasn't as bad as I was anticipating.
|@PavementRunner and the We Run Social crew holding it down at mile 8|
Overall, I had a good experience, but I think this is a "one and done" race for me. And that disappoints me a bit-- I wanted to love this race. I wanted to be wowed by it. And I wasn't.
Has anyone else down this race? What was your experience like?
Until next time, happy running.