This was my second year running the SF marathon. Last year it was my first marathon ever. I didn’t really enjoy it. It was hard and I hit the wall about half way in. I finished it in 4:31 and swore I would never do it again. About a month after the marathon last year I was browsing the website for pics and i saw an application for 2014 ambassadors. I applied on a whim, and a few months later was chosen to represent the 2014 SF marathon as an ambassador. What did that entail? Promoting the marathon, encourage other people to sign up for it and above all meet new people who are passionate about running and of course have fun. I represented SF marathon in my orange swag and met a bunch of great people.
Being an ambassador this year completely changed my marathon experience and I enjoyed it 100%. I loved meeting new people who are just as passionate about running as I am and who understand my craziness when it comes to running. The weekend started out with working the expo on Friday and Saturday. One of the highlights was the shake out run with famous runner Bart Yasso. Myself and some of the other ambassadors led the run and ran along side him. He is amazing and so full of great advice and just an all around nice guy.
The morning of the race I was feeling good. I wasn’t nervous. I told myself just go out there and have fun and as long as you finish it will be a successful day. I started in wave 3 and got into a steady pace fairly quickly. The weather was nice. It was foggy and cool but not too cold. Mile 5-8 was running across the GG bridge. There is something to be said for running across the bridge covered in fog with alcatraz in the distance and the ocean on both sides. Its stunning!
After the bridge we headed into GG park. This is about a 5 mile loop that we run through the park and we get to see the buffalo, the lake, the flower garden and its also very pretty ( but not my favorite part of the race). This point last year my legs started cramping and I had to stop to stretch and walk. This year however, I felt good and was still going strong. I didn’t need to stop and I was just enjoying my music and my view. The first half marathon finished in GG park and the 2nd half started…. i kept going.
After the GG park we ran through Haight Asbury and Protrero hill. The spectators were great, offering free hugs and even bringing out a bubble machine. It was great to see their enthusiasm so early in the morning and even for people they didn’t know.
I had been going strong and hadn’t needed to stop until mile 24. I started getting tired and felt a small cramp in my leg, I had to stretch and walk a bit before it got worse. Up to this point I had been trying to maintain my status in keeping pace with the 3:55 pacers. At mile 25 I told myself that I had to finish strong so I ran the last 1.2 miles, leg cramps and all. I finished with a time of 3:59.
I felt great, I beat my time from last year by 32 mins. I pushed myself hard this year but I felt great. I had so much fun this year I already want to do it again.
I don’t know that I would have enjoyed myself as much if I didn’t have the experience of being an ambassador this year and have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I hope I can do it again next year and represent the SF marathon again.
Thank you SF marathon and fellow ambassadors for a great racing experience.
Now that I don’t have to train I don’t know what to do with myself… time to find a new race ;)