So we did it again. The big, bad, SF Marathon. Let me put it this way, this is one marathon we looked to improve over last year. I mean, we definitely could do it under five hours, right? We hadn't over-trained, no one was hurt. So why wouldn't we at least come in under 5 hours.
The race is broken into two parts. In fact if you just want to run a half-marathon, you can run the first or second half. The first half is beautiful. You start off on the Embarcadero, run through Fisherman's Wharf, and down through Chrissy Field. Then you run across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, down a lovely hill, through the Richmond, and finally through Golden Gate Park. The second half is just as touristy, through Haight Ashbury, the Mission, Dog Patch, and past AT&T Park.
Everything went smoothly during the first half. The weather was perfect, cool in the 50's. We got there in enough time. But once we got into Golden Gate Park (a place we love to do our training runs) it seemed like we would never leave. We ran out of steam. That, combined with the monotony of the course, meant that we finished a humbling 21 minutes after five hours. By that time, all of the food at the recovery area was gone.
This will probably be the last time for this marathon. While it is close to us, it is definitely not our favorite. We find that of all of the Marathons we have run, it is poorly organized and that the second half is definitely not worth the hefty price tag. This is not a New York or Boston Marathon, and a runner shouldn't have to pay a similar price. I mean, when Fresno/Clovis (The Two Cities Marathon) can put together a first class marathon , thinking about the littlest detail why can't San Francisco?
If you are going to run just the half, run the first. It does sell out quick, but is more worth the price.