23 October 2020

July’s Challenge: The San Francisco Half Marathon

June 27, 2011

I shall be leaving my two wheels behind, and the country as it happens, to take on my next challenge; The San Francisco Half Marathon on 31 July.

The San Francisco Marathon event is a crown jewel for the city. It is renown for being one of the most beautiful and challenging urban road race marathons in the United States offering an idyllic summer running event for American and increasingly global runners alike. The event day is huge with four challenges on option, the Marathon, two Half Marathons and the Progressive Marathon.


The Marathon is referred to as ‘Worth the Hurt’ in running circles, which has now become the event’s tag line. In July 2010 The Wall Street Journal coined it as ‘The Race Even Marathoners Fear’. This can be mainly attributed to its many hills and killer climbs.

The two half marathons on offer are the First Half and Second Half of the marathon. The final challenge on offer is the ‘Progressive Marathon’ which is an accumulation of 23.1 miles prior to Race Day. You can run or walk 23.1 miles leading up to Race Day, keeping track of your mileage on the Progressive Marathon Tracking Sheet. You then hand in this form when you arrive on the day and complete the last 5k in race so you feel part of the event day festivities. The whole event is expected to involve around 25,000 runners this year.

I shall be taking on the Second Half Marathon, which in itself looks tough enough! My fitness strength is more focused towards short sprints and speed endurance rather than continual aerobic endurance due to my hockey. The idea of a half marathon is quite daunting to me, never mind a marathon. This half marathon will be tough with lots of hills involved, and with the short time I have to train I thought it would be too much to ask of myself to take on the full marathon at this early stage in my year of challenges. The furthest I have ran in one go before is 6k, so this should be a real test for me!

I shall be following the Sportsister half marathon training programme, but jumping to week 8 as I do already have a good level of fitness from my other sports! Not that I would advise this skipping-ahead plan for others! Similar to my June Challenge, I am looking to complete this more than run an ultra speedy time, however I will be disappointed if it is really slow (good old competitive me…).

As with all the challenges I am raising money for Guide Dogs, so if you feel inspired by what I am doing, please click on the sponsor me button on the right and donate what you can.

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About Clarissa’s blog

Follow me as I attempt to take on a different challenge every month for the next year from cycling, running, swimming to dancing, abseiling challenges….with as much variety as possible! I’m taking part in these challenges in the memory of my father who inspired and made me the sport fanatic I am; and raising money for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in his honour. Follow my journey through the highs and lows of my training, reviews of the events I partake in, and be part of what I am sure will prove to be a tough, yet exciting and fulfilling year!


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