I was excited to celebrate my 36th birthday this year by running the Golden Gate Half Marathon for a second time, completing my 6th half marathon since I took up running. I ran it two years ago and it turns out that I got virtually the same time despite not training! 🙂 Read on for my thoughts on the race and my performance.
- Course: My last race was the Kaiser Half in February which was a fairly flat race that starts and ends in Golden Gate Park, and includes running along Ocean Beach on the Great Highway. The Golden Gate Half is completely different! Starting near Ghirardelli Square you run past Crissy Field to the bridge, across, and back around to the start. It’s a hilly journey, but absolutely gorgeous. The day was bright and beautiful, no fog on the bridge or anything.
- Organization: If you’ve ever been to the Ghirardelli Square area you know that it’s a nightmare to navigate. Tiny streets, zero parking, millions of tourists, and the San Francisco speciality, one-way streets. Now add thousands of wandering runners and their supporters. It was… Messy. Not a good space to start/finish and not a good space for the bib pick-up and expo.
- Race Day Vibes: The race starts pretty late, 7am, so it wasn’t particularly cold and was already light. I’ve brought sunglasses to races before and regretted it, but this was the first time I didn’t have them and wished that I did! Since it was sunny and there was no fog, I got pretty hot! Lots of people and lots of excitement. One thing that happened a few times during this race that I’ve never seen before, was people stopping in the middle of the running path to take selfies. Actually blocking the path and having runners colliding with them, while they stopped to take photos. It was kind of baffling.
- Personal Performance: As I mentioned above, I failed to train for this race. This Summer there were lots of weddings and events and weekends away, plus fires in Northern California that meant outdoor running wasn’t possible. Excuses, excuses, I know. But, but the time the race rolled around, I had only been in the habit of running 2-3 times a month, and hadn’t tackled any long runs in preparation. That being said, I’m all about that cross training life, and was still working out regularly, and in pretty good shape in terms of cardiovascular health. I headed out on race day to have fun and enjoy the views, but with no expectations. I hoped to get under 2 hours, but was planning to listen to my body and not overdo things. Check out the times for my six half marathons below! 🙂
I’m planning to run the Kaiser Half again in February and I’ll be running the San Francisco Half in July after getting married!