Here I am just before mile one....
Wait, I'm getting too far ahead of myself. As always, starting out WAY too fast.
OK. So I hurt my ITB a month ago in Seattle due to some shoe failure (and lack of training in May/June, but shhh that will be our little secret) so I had to drop down to the Half Marathon in order to prevent further damage. My plan of attack for the course was going to be: 1. Have fun and 2. Not injure myself any further (even if it meant stopping) and 3. Take pictures and video.
It seems like every race I do, I'm preoccupied with trying to PR and I never really get to enjoy the course. Even though I have run sections of this course a billion times in training runs, I might as well have fun running it with 20,000 of my fastest friends.
(Chewie) Manny, Me and Lori before the race.
I decided to stop before mile 1. That's right, I didn't even get 10 mins. into the race before I "pulled over" and started bull sh*ttin'. haha Told you I was going to have fun. Here is some video (below) of the VERY start of the race with downtown in the background. Shortly after this, as I came upon the first mile-marker I screamed out: "MILE 1 WHOOOOOOOOO!!!" Everyone around me seemed to smile and have a laugh. You have to keep the spirits up.
Video from the first mile
As I continued through the first few miles, the legs felt good. We ran past Pier 39 where many people stopped to take pictures. We then ran past Ghirardelli Square, where again, people stopped to take pictures. I always forget that there are so many sights to see along the first half of the course. People seemed to be having fun... I know I was.
And to your right (above), you'll see Alcatraz Island. The home to notorious criminals such as Al Capone. And to your left (below) ... your first San Francisco hill of the course.
One of the major attractions to running the San Francisco Marathon and (in particular) the First Half Marathon (which always sells out) is running out and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. It's always warm and sunny on the bridge at 6 in the morning. Ummmm... OK, it's not, but at least it wasn't raining like years past.
Here is video from the Sausalito side of the bridge. As you can see, this section of the course gets to be pretty congested with two-lanes open to runners.
Pretty much after the Golden Gate Bridge, you run down a giant hill where you get to pick up some time that you may have lost. At this point you are at mile 10. As long as you don't trash your quads flying down the hill, you can fly through the next mile or so. But if you are injured like me, you get to walk and take a picture.
At the end of my 13.1 mile journey I had taken some good photos, got passed by the 5-hour pacer and had finished my slowest half marathon to date. But I successfully didn't injure myself further and after some tenderness shortly after the race, I am moving around just fine. Mission accomplished.
I was able to make it to the finish line in time to see my best buddy Chewie Manny finish the Full Marathon. I was with Manny when he injured himself in Arizona and seeing him come all the way back through diligent training was a sight to see. As you can tell from the video, he was very well pleased to "Finish."