San Francisco Half Marathon 2006

On Sunday, I ran the San Francisco Half Marathon (ensuring I would be able to eat that extra nachos plate during the Super Bowl :-))

The race started at 8am, with 7700 runners (largest turnout to date) in Golden Gate Park. The start and finish are in different spots, so the race organizers run buses from the finish to the start. We arrived around 6:30, queued up for a bus and arrived at the start around 7am. The Park can be fairly chilly in the early AM and yesterday was no exception. However, by race time the temperature was a nice 55 degrees or so.

After the starting gun fired, we took a 3 mile loop out of the Park and along the Panhandle (Oak and Fell streets). We re-entered the Park, running almost due West to Ocean (Great Highway).

In past years, the hardest part of this race for me has been the out and back on Ocean. This part of the course is approximately 5 miles and I swear it is uphill both ways. (There always seems to be a headwind too) Fortunately, Ocean Beach is picturesque; the swells yesterday were beautiful and the sky was clear.

The last two miles of the run take you back into the Park to the finish line. Miles 12.5 - 13 are uphill, so even though the finish line is close, a little work is required.

All that training for the Napa Marathon must have paid off as I set a personal PR (1:48), blowing away my previous PR (1:56).

Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:

Organization - The race was very well organized - clearly marked and staffed. Grade: A

Course - Monterey and Santa Cruz are more scenic, but still fantastic. Grade: A+

Aid-stations - Well staffed and the Gatorade wasn't overpowering. Grade: A

Swag - Long-sleeve, cotton shirt. Grade: B (what, no dri-fit??)