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Nike Women’s Marathon Race Recap

So… it’s been awhile but I’m getting so excited for Dopey, so get ready for regular updates as I count down the days until the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend kick off!

We are at 58 days!

Also, congrats to everyone who ran the Wine and Dine Half! Looks like everyone had a blast!

Since I last posted I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon here in SF and also a Warrior Dash (my first attempt at any type of obstacle course race).

This week we’ll talk Nike Women’s Marathon!  Here we go!

First we’ll start with the spoilers! I set a new PR and shaved 8 minutes off my time and came in at 3:51:04 woot woot! I stayed in control and felt good at the end, probably could’ve pushed a bit harder and knocked off those 4 seconds but still so excited! 

Anywho, on with the show.


So if you are looking for a race with great swag, freebies, and race weekend merchandise, look no further. aA the expo you could get a 5 minute Neutrogena make-over, get a 5 minute hair style by Paul Mitchell, get a spray on tatoo, and lots of Whole Foods, Luna, and other food to nibble on including a Quinao chocolate bar which was delicious. Needless to say this race has some serious sponsors.

Goodie Bag

Macy’s coupon, Verizon coupon, Paul Mitchell sample, Neutrongena Sunblock (I grabbed an extra such a great size) Luna bar, 2 different trail mixes, and then bib and flyers. Some serious swag.

So the expo was.. crowded! I have been to expos before and granted I’m not the best with crowds at expos but this was crazy. It was packed and I just wanted to get in and out. I also wanted to grab some GU but there were not the normal booths, it was all just sponsors so Cliff was all you could buy (oh, well picked some up on my way home).

The Expo – this was all in a tent set up in Union Square in SF so it made it… interesting. I wish they had just used some of the facilities that other races use. I’m guessing they wanted to be right next to the Nike Store though (this is where you could get race weekend apparel and there was SO MUCH to buy).

Cool wall of people tweeting pics

The route

So crowded!!!!!

Neutrogena make-over area

So it was cool but sooooo crowded, they also had a DJ playing music so it was loud and, in genera, l very confusing to navigate around. I had to ask to figure out where to pick up my race bib. Overall, I think this was a fun expo but I don’t handle expo crowds well and functionally as a race information source, it was a bit lacking.

Theme of the weekend: crowded!

Race Day!

Sorry for the lack of photos I didn’t run with my camera.

So the day got off to a rough start for me. I set 2 alarms… both wrong. One I didn’t actually turn on the other I set for the wrong day! DOH! So luckily I woke up at 5 rushed around and got to the start line with like 10 min to spare. I was so… close… to missing the race. Live and learn make sure you ACTUALLY set the alarms.

Anywho, once I got there it was once again crowded and confusing. I wasn’t sure where to drop my bag and overall it was just very unorganized (this also might be me projecting my own frazzled feelings of running late on the situation).

With a count down we were off! I was in the first corral so I’m not sure if they staggered the other corrals but I crossed about 4 minutes behind the clock. Not too shabby. However, it was slow moving for about a mile. Very crowded.

It was managable crowds (nothing I hadn’t seen at a Disney race) from about mile 2 until the half split off from the full at mile 11 and then I was free! It was magical, quiet, and beautiful as we ran through Golden Gate Park. Then we met up with the half again when we were at mile 15ish and they were at mile 12.5. It was a real mind trip when you have a finish line that close and you know you still have 11 miles left.

Again, once we split it from the half again it was smooth sailing. The bad hills were in the first half so really the race was on once we split from the half. Overall, very nice and nothing too major to note. The fog was thick the whole race, so the views were non-existent which is disappointing since I’ve run some of the course before and it can be the best run ever when you can look across the bay at sunrise.

Nuun was the electrolyte of choice on the course, water was at good places and cheering was good. Not too much entertainment but I wasn’t looking for a “loud” race so it was perfect and I was able to find my zen.

The medical tents were a bit disorganized. I usually pick up a preemptive Tylenol around mile 10-12 just to help with any pain that might happen later and I stopped at one tent asked for Tylenol and the guy paused started fumbling around and I left, they were taking to long. Seriously, why aren’t you ready with Tylenol, it’s not like I asked for space food or something. Whatever, I moved on hoping the next tent would be more prepared. Med tent, run up, shouted that I would like Tylenol and it took a minute and I had to write my name down (with cold hands that weren’t working so my name was completely illegible) and then I was ready to go. Why didn’t they just write down my bib number? I was also not offered water and we were not near a water stop. Oh well, down the hatch and on my way. Nike, get in the game when it comes to med tent preparation.

So the race was good I got a nice kick at the end and finished strong. Give me my TIffany’s!

Race chute:

  • “red carpet”
  • Tiffany Necklace stop from SF’s finest, hunky firemen – I really should’ve run with camera
  • Finisher Shirt (I like this – makes the shirt “legit”)
  • Mylar blanket
  • Food bag (good assortment bagel, fruit, chips, crackers, etc) <-winning, get your head in the game Disney
  • Chocolate milk (I never pick this up)

Then began the crowds again. It was packed and crazy, very ant hill like. NOTE: the area that was suppose to be used was half on Federal land so there were some logistics with the government shutdown so it wasn’t all Nike’s fault that the area ended up being so crowded.

First bag check. Bags were all dropped on buses that were then taken to the race finish since it was point to point. However, the buses were lined up with no rhyme or reason and so I had to wander to find the right bus. Not great considering I was freezing, there was wind, and I was just ready to sit down, it felt like an eternity. It was also just crowded and confusing so that didn’t help my mood. Finally, I reunited with my bag and found a quite area just to decompress. Then went and got my sparkling wine and then waited in the very long line for the shuttle bus. The bus situation was a bit crazy but not a lot they could do other than making the course loop and avoid this all together.

The shirt! (it’s a crazy orange color, I was hoping they would keep with the Tiffany’s color theme with the shirts but oh well)

So the take-aways:

  • Pros: great swag, smaller field for the full, plenty of water, and that bling!
  • Cons: Crowded, not the best organization, and medical tents being slow.

Would I run it again? Probably not, it’s really expensive and I enjoy the other races in SF more. I also knew when I signed up that it was going to be a one and done. If I did run it again, it would just be the half.

Would I recommend it? Sure, if you are there with friends and you take advantage of all the fun extras it would make a great race weekend. If you are interested, I say, go for it! (or Just Do It) 


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