04 June 2020

Challenge two completed! Ten to go…

August 9, 2011

In the early hours of 31 July I completed my first ever half marathon, and my second challenge in an official time of dot on two hours. This is something I am actually very proud of because of a number of reasons;

1. Due to enjoying myself far too much on my road trip holiday around California, I neglected to do much training.

2. I had worked at a hockey camp at Stanford University for the week running up to the event and therefore acquired ‘coaching legs’. For those that have not experienced this, it can be simply described as heavy legs due to standing on your feet and shouting at kids all day. (Pathetic I hear you say, however for the three weeks before this, I had mainly been sat on my derriere in a car for on average four hours a day – my legs were not happy).

3. I may have had a few sips of beer along the course which some students were offering as an alternative to water, electrolyte and energy gel which was provided at the water stations. I did try some of the gel however; I discovered that during your first half marathon is not the time to try new things. It did not sit well with me, hence why I grabbed the beer to remove the taste and texture of the gel from my mouth. I am sure drinking beer may have hampered my performance, nevertheless at the time it did help as it provided a welcomed numbing and soothing effect on my pain stricken legs.

4. There were hills, A LOT of them. I dislike hills of any type, which is why I play hockey on a nice flat astro-turf pitch.

So, all in all I thought I ran a pretty good time. I also stopped to use the toilet on the way. As such, I ended up clocking an un-official time of 1 hour 56 minutes, which for a first attempt didn’t seem too bad.

Route Map - Click to Enlarge

Route Map - Click to Enlarge / Me at the finish line

Even though San Francisco is a very hilly place, I consider myself extremely fortunate that this is where I completed my first ever half marathon. It is a fantastic city, and the half marathon provided a great opportunity to explore the city and perform my tourist duties. Initially, I was slightly disappointed that The First Half Marathon event was full and that I had to do the second one. This is because The First Half Marathon’s route takes you over the infamous Golden Gate Bridge.

However, the silver lining was that The Second Half Marathon route takes you through the Golden Gate Park which obtains stunning lakes, waterfalls and buildings such as the De Young Museum. The route then takes participants through the Haight/Ashbury and the Mission districts into Mission Bay, where you meet the water and pass the stunning AT&T Park, which is home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team.  Second Half Marathon runners also share the same finish line as the marathon runners. This meant that there were larger crowds, which increases your sense of achievement at the finish line.

The organisation of the whole event was simply fantastic. I had no problems with anything apart from a long queue for the toilets at the start line. The route was challenging due to the hills, but in a good way if you are competitive like myself, and there was support along the majority of the course.

I was also impressed by the use of The San Francisco App which was hosted by MapMyRun. This was really useful app that could be downloaded to all Android and i-Phones, and allowed spectators and supporters to track a runner and find the perfect place to offer well needed support!

To find out more about my experience of The San Francisco Second Half Marathon, here is the official event review in Sportsister’s features section!

<p>The San Francisco Second Half of the Marathon Route - www.thesfmarathon.com</p>

The San Francisco Second Half of the Marathon Course Tour - www.thesfmarathon.com

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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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