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San Fransico Race Report (Warning it is a little longer but could be much longer :-) (Read 587 times)

    The expo was very nice and just about the right size.  For some reason the kids loved the expo but they like free stuff and spinning the wheel. I'm not trying any new stuff right before a marathon. It had plenty to look at and was not so big as to wear us out. We took the buses from the Hyatt, which was about a mile from our hotel. That worked out great as we got to see where the start was. The kids were pretty impressed with the Bay Bridge but did not understand why it was not the Golden Gate Bridge.

     

    Race Day had great weather. Overcast, high 50's and low 60's. During this trip my motoactive watch died on me! Very disappointed as I loved that thing but it has turned into a wasted $250!!! So I had nothing to pace myself by. So I thought I would just run to the start and stretch out a little. All of the other waves had wide opening but for some reason this wave 2 had checkers and it was very narrow so it took forever to get in.  Crowds I found out are just the norm for SF. I'm not a fan of Crowds.

     

    I got in behind the 3:20 pace guy and we take off. The race had narrow streets and just no way to really pass people. Mile markers are hard to sight so I only saw about 6 of them during the race. No time clocks which made sense with the different wave starts but totally messed me up. So I have no idea how fast or far I have gone for most of the race. About Mile 6 someone finds a way to get by our group and goes (good job 3:30 group). I'm like huh. Pace guy was not doing a good job of holding up the sign so I asked someone and they were like oh yeah this is the 3:30. Dang it I knew I did not feel all that prepared for this race but I felt like I was running at a decent clip!  I had only two goals 1.) Finish the race and cross off CA 2.) Finish under 3:30 for the under 3:30 marathon maniacs group.   So my next thought is I'm going to have to run another marathon in CA. Oh Well lets enjoy it.

     

    So we get to the bridge and I'm thinking cool lets have some fun. Well the damn thing is packed extremely tight so no passing again and it is foggy and wet so not great a view and potential falling options all over the place. A lot more hype than it was fun.  Still cool concept. 

     

    We get off the bridge and run some hills.  Then we go down some streets at which point I look up and only have like 10 people in front of me. So I'm all confused because I know I am not the 10th fastest person in this race and I am passing people at this point because I have some room.   I ask others if they are running the full and they are.  They just try to split the group up so that they have room to run.  Well I lost my view of my pacer at that point so I really had no idea what kind of race I was running.   To make matters worse I have to pee so I go into a porta potta and just start thinking I want to negative split this course.  All I wanted to do was catch the 3:30 pace group guy and then maybe just maybe I have a shot a breaking 3:30.  So I start passing people slowly just picking them off one by one.  This always fun compared to the other option of being passed.  Well this marathon has something I really hate and that is watching the half marathoners finish.  Now I think it is cool they have a 1st half and 2nd half marathon race.  Great concept.  But do I really have to see them finish and eating as I run by.  You know I am hungry and I still had 12 miles to run.  I had to dodge orange peoples because the half marathon apes were throwing them out of their corals/cage!

     

    Anyway, I continue my pursuit of passing people one by one and keep waiting for the big hills.  Someone mentioned to me that Mile 19 would be the place to make my move.  Well I just never really found any more hills worth worrying about.  Actually the down hills were worse than the up hills.  I love watching people fly by me on the down hills and then just die after that.  Most people just don’t get that those can do as much or more damage than going uphill.  To cut this story short about mile 22 I finally catch the 3:30 pace group guy and ask him if he is indeed the 3:30 pacer.  He had gotten rid of his sign and looked like he was struggling to finish.  He shouts out yes and that they are a little ahead of schedule.  Huh you’re a pacer and you are ahead with no one around you right now.  Something is very wrong about that. 

     

    Anyway, I start thinking well maybe this could be a 3:28 marathon or so and it ends up being a respectful 3:22:30.  I was pretty happy with this because it was actually a really run race.  So much more fun to finish strong then to struggle at the end.  This reminded me of Indy when I BQ’d. 

     

    So my thoughts on the race.

     

    Expo – A+ (Just right for me and well run)

    The race:

    Race course – A (I actually really liked the course and did not like the bridge part.)

    Race Support – D- (Really not much crowd support)

    Water Stops – C (They need to have more!)

     

    Overall I would say it is an okay race.  The course, the weather and the expo were excellent.  Everything else was just crowded or lacking such as the water stops and crowd support.  For a running/biking community I have to say I was really surprised by the lack of support.

     

    As a final thought I really like that the medal can be used as a coaster.  Really cool idea and an easy way to show off your medal.  I need like 5 more though to make a set. 

    2014 Goals: (Yeah I suck)

    • Sub 22  5K
    • Sub 1:35 1/2 marathon 
    • Sub 3:25:00 Marathon

       

       

      So my thoughts on the race.

       

      Expo – A+ (Just right for me and well run)

      The race:

      Race course – A (I actually really liked the course and did not like the bridge part.)

      Race Support – D- (Really not much crowd support)

      Water Stops – C (They need to have more!)

       

      Overall I would say it is an okay race.  The course, the weather and the expo were excellent.  Everything else was just crowded or lacking such as the water stops and crowd support.  For a running/biking community I have to say I was really surprised by the lack of support.

       

      As a final thought I really like that the medal can be used as a coaster.  Really cool idea and an easy way to show off your medal.  I need like 5 more though to make a set. 

       

      Overall I agree with your assessment of the race but I'd give the race course a C because, like you, I don't like crowds and the bridge really is  just hype for that particular race.

       

      As far as crowd support - lack of support is cause we were all out running and biking somewhere!

       

      BTW, that's a good time under those conditions.


      just a simple cat

        Everyone in SF is either out running, biking or sailing, or they are sleeping in! 

        The water cups at the aid stations were way too tiny.  Everything else was excellent.  I am bummed that I didn't get to meet you or dodge an invite to the opportunity van.

         

         


        Best Present Ever

          I love long race reports!  and I'm impressed by 3:22. Well done.  

           

          I did spend a minute wondering why they were throwing orange peoples out of the corrals.  I thought maybe it was one of those kinky San Francisco things.  Then I realized you were talking about orange peels. 

            See?  Told you you didn't have to worry about the weather.  I hate the bridge part of the course.  It's all hype:  run the Golden Gate!   I actually saw the problem with the 3:20/3:30 pacers because they passed me on the bridge out and back (me out, them back) within minutes of each other. 

             

            The course splitting is a traffic management issue - they can accordion traffic through the grid depending on which road is open.  They switched directions just in front of me at one of the course splitting points, and a guy running near me just about had a heart attack, and was yelling at the motorcycle guys "Half or full??? Half or full???  Is this right?? This way????"  And, keep in mind, I'm slow, so, really dude?  Hells Angel security, and this is your reaction? (the motorcycle club course marshals are pretty universally great)  You may have gotten Haight instead of Waller on the split - Waller puts on a particularly nice block party, although, yes, in general, there are not a lot of spectators, which probably has as much to do with the 5am start as anything.

             

            The water cups were ridiculous.  Teeny Dixie cups that were rarely more than half filled.  Although the aid station handing out beer at the Conservatory of Flowers filled those cups up more.

              NM


              I'm back!

                Idiot pacer! That's just criminal.

                 

                I just volunteered to pace at the Nike Women's Marathon in October. They say they'll call me if they need anymore pacers. Hopefully the pacers they do have are not so inept as yours.

                 

                Congrats on 3:22:30. That's not an easy course. I ran it a couple years ago, thinking easy 3:20, just have fun, don't work too hard, and ran... let me see... 3:22:32! You beat me by two seconds. And I did have to work.

                xor


                  NM

                   

                  No, San Francisco is in California.

                   


                  I'm back!