Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon (2nd Half) 2019

Still trying to catch up on my race recaps for the year but better late than never!

The San Francisco Marathon continues to be one of my favorite races – I love seeing so many friends along the course and running through our hometown streets (literally, the course runs past our home). 2019 was my third year running the race, my second year as an ambassador and my first year not running the full marathon. With the Chicago Marathon on the horizon and my injury not fully healed, I decided to play it smart and register for the half marathon.. but more to come on that.

Although I try to keep this recap as unbiased as possible, just a disclosure that I was a race ambassador again this year!

Events

  • Full Marathon
  • Half Marathon – First Half
  • Half Marathon – Second Half
  • 5k Fun Run (Saturday)
  • 5k Race (Sunday)
  • Ultra

Expo

This expo is fun – I highly recommend going on Friday so that you can take your time, walk around and enjoy yourself. This year, I went on Saturday after the 5k Fun Run to help out at some of the tables so unfortunately, I didn’t spend a lot of time looking around. Pro tip: If you think that you’ll run the race the following year, make sure to register at the expo for THE LOWEST price + an additional discount.

5K Fun Run – Saturday

Instead of the free official shakeout run in years past, the race hosted a 5K Fun Run this year. The course wrapped around Fort Mason, also where the expo is also located. It felt a little cramped with the number of runners but it was a nice way to shakeout before the Sunday races (assuming you don’t go too fast here). Know ahead of time that this fun run will probably not be your 5k PR.

Half Marathon (2nd Half) – Sunday

I was pretty relaxed about this race since it was a half marathon and I had zero intention of truly racing it (lol in hindsight). I definitely don’t recommend being as relaxed as me.. if I left just 5 minutes earlier, my Uber/Lyft would’ve been half the price – watch out for the pricing surge on race morning. Luckily, I arrived with just enough time to use the bathroom, talk to a few friends and then line up in my starting corral. The corrals were crowded – I had friends who couldn’t even make it to their corral and had to start outside the corral gates so plan to arrive early!

The second half marathon course turned out to be as fast as I hoped that it would be – there seems to be an argument among local runners about which half is easier between the first and the second.. and let me tell you after my experience, it is 100% the second half. We start off on a long downhill in Golden Gate Park followed by some rolling hills, though I don’t remember noticing anything significant. From there, you leave the park and have another nice long stretch of downhill as you run towards the Mission-Potrero Hill-Dogpatch area. Know that there are uphills along the way but every time you go up, you run down after. Although the second half is not as “scenic” as the first half, you get to run by the new Chase Center and Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) on the way to the finish line.

Now let’s talk weather.. I heard a lot of complaints about the weather being too hot. Maybe it’s because I didn’t run the full marathon or maybe it’s a result of the three years I spent in North Carolina but I didn’t find it to be that bad. I recall low to mid 60s maybe? Plan accordingly.. dress for warm weather and pay attention to hydration!

And my personal results? A HALF MARATHON PR OF 5 MINUTES (1:43:18), on a day where I thought I was just going to jog and barely make it to the finish line. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m more shocked that I PR’d unexpectedly or that I finally executed negative splits. The half marathon distance is still my least favorite distance but I feel a lot better about the distance after this race execution. Now I can’t wait to see what I can do when my injury is finally healed!

What’s Next?

Here are two great fall races (and discount codes) in the Bay Area:

Advertisements

Race Recap: 2019 Across The Bay 12k & 5k

Recap coming SUPER LATE (oops!). This was race #2 in the Run the Bay Series Challenge – it was my 4th year running the race and my 1st year running the 5k.

Events

You can choose to run the 12k or 5k and I still highly recommend choosing the 12k. Even if you need to walk most of it, the 12k takes you over the Golden Gate bridge along a really pretty course.

Bib Pick Up

Runners are able to either mail their bibs or pick them up from Decathlon – I highly recommend choosing the mail option.. though I keep forgetting to do it for myself.

Course

So I’ll only talk about the 5k course this time since that’s what I ran. The course was ok – you start at Aquatic Park and run up the big Fort Mason hill, then down Marina Blvd before turning around. It’s not a fast 5k course but you pretty much know that going into it. There are only two aspects that I would change – finish line ribbon and awards for the 5k. I finished in 7th place for Women Overall and 15th place for Overall so my changes wouldn’t have affected me but it was majorly disappointing to the runners that I raced hard against. Like I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend the 12k and will hopefully run that distance next year depending on my training schedule and injury status.

img_3222

What’s Next

Interested in running the Run the Bay Series Challenge? Register online with code RepresentKH to save 10% and run the East Bay 510k on Sunday, October 13th. Remote options are available.

Race Recap: San Jose Shamrock Run 2019

The inaugural San Jose Shamrock 5k & 10k Run/Walk & Leprechaun Kids Run did not disappoint! The race benefited the San Jose – Dublin Sister City Scholarship Program and had an awesome O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub & Five Points post-race party. Can’t wait to run this one again next year!

What: San Jose Shamrock Run
When: March 17, 2019
Where: San Jose, CA
Distance(s): 5K/10K

Bib Pickup

The pickup locations were hosted at the Decathlon store in San Francisco and in San Pedro Square in Downtown San Jose. The race series also offers receiving your bib by mail for $10 – always super worth it but I never remember.

Parking/Logistics

Everything was easy as it usually is with the Represent Running races. The race started at 8AM and I arrived around 7:30AM with more than enough time to spare to use the bathroom, take pictures and warm up. I would also note that if you care about your time, make your way to the start line at least 15 minutes before. It didn’t seem like runners cared about the corrals and there were also a couple dogs near the front – I heard a few runners complain.

The Race

The course was flat and fast with a couple minor hills. Due to the rain, the 10K course was updated at the last minute and was two loops of the 5K course – that didn’t affect me as I was running the 5K. The 5K included a “chase the leprechaun” competition – any runners who beat the leprechauns would win a Decathlon gift card. The leprechauns immediately took off and were out of sight. I started out way too fast in the first 100 yards but was able to settle into a pace that felt pretty decent. The course had a few turnaround points that were difficult to do in my VaporFlys but I managed. In the end, the leprechauns finished in first, I finished in 3rd place for overall women’s division with a new 5k PR of 20:18! My only caveat is that Strava tracked the course as 0.2 short.. but I’ll take the new PR and the new backpack that I won. Thank you!

img_0422.jpg

Post-Race/Swag

The post-race festivities were cool – after all, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and runners got a free Guinness! Additionally, runners received a race shirt from Decathlon, a race medal and FREE RACE PHOTOS! Always super worth it, IMO.

Up next in the series: Silicon Valley Half Marathon & 5K – sign up with code RepresentKH to save 10%!

Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon 2018

One week post-marathon and it already feels like a lifetime ago.

Many of you already know my proposal story at last year’s The San Francisco Marathon. I couldn’t quite top that this year but I still had a blast. I had the pleasure of being a part of the TSFM Ambassador family and it has become one of my favorite running experiences ever. Being a part of the ambassador team allowed me the opportunity to promote an event that I love, while doing something that I love (running, duh) and meeting a group of inspiring individuals who I love.

Events

  • Full Marathon
  • Half Marathon – First Half
  • Half Marathon – Second Half
  • 5k
  • Ultra

Expo

This expo is fun – I highly recommend going on Friday so that you can take your time, walk around and enjoy yourself. Off the Grid – an event with numerous local food trucks – took place on Friday night as well so you could try out some unique local food. Pro tip: If you think that you’ll run the race the following year, make sure to register at the expo for THE LOWEST price + an additional discount.

Starting Line

Make sure to get to the start line with some time to spare. We had to rush a little but it was easy getting through corrals and getting situated where we needed to be. Some of us ambassadors hung out in the VIP area before the race and it was definitely worth it to be indoors and have a place to sit down.

img_7892

Course

The full marathon course is awesome – runners start at the Ferry Building, run through Fisherman’s Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, down through Golden Gate Park and through the city passing AT&T Park on the way to the finish line. On top of the course, I couldn’t ask for better weather to run in. Last year got a bit warm towards the end but the weather stayed in the mid to high-50s this year for most of the race. The big news this year was that the course was changed last minute. The marathon route was moved from the road to the sidewalk on the Golden Gate Bridge and the first half marathon route was moved off of the bridge entirely. While I can’t speak for the half marathoners, the course change ended up being fine for the marathon (I still PR’d!). I was initially worried about the sidewalk being too crowded but it was not an issue at all. In my opinion, the course is fun, engaging and overall really pretty. It may seem like a hilly course but all of the hills are completely manageable. In fact, I remember a lot more of the downhill sections than any of the uphills.

img_7884

Takeaways

This race went well for me – even though I came away with a four minute PR, my big win was in pacing and nutrition. I focused on my nutrition the week leading up to the race and my fueling during the race, both really paid off. For pacing, I used a pacing wristband that I picked up from the expo. I initially tried to keep up with the pace groups but I quickly backed off when I found that they were going much faster than the pace. Overall, everything went according to plan and it was definitely the first marathon that I finished with a smile on my face and some energy to spare. I can’t wait for CIM in December and then maybe The San Francisco Marathon again in 2019?!