Picking up from yesterday -
I was talking about how cool and fun the runners are in San Francisco. Remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe runs as though no one is watching? A girl passed me who was running like that. It was amazing. Even when the runners were talking to the spectators, they did it with such enthusiasm. (Spectator: “Great job!” Runner: “Thank you, baby!”)
Speaking of the spectators, they were amazing and full of energy too. There was this adorable guy with a baby face who was cheering for people by name as we went by. (Our names were on our bib.) He said, “Aurora, very nice job today,” with all the sweetness and sincerity that he would’ve if he were someone who knew me and really cared about me. Thank you so much, stranger.
There was also this fun group of 3 people sitting on a little balcony/roof-type area blasting Gansta’s Paradise – and rapping along. It was amazing. I cheered for them, then rapped along as I went on by. Later, I went by a house that was blasting the entirety of of a Michael Jackson concert. (I want to say it was the Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour concert, but I’m not sure.) It was the full audio from a live performance – the transitions, the remixes, Michael’s talking parts to the audience, the audience cheering. Excellent, right?
There were so many great supporters. There was a group of guys giving high fives. I danced on up to them, full of energy. They clapped for me. and danced along as well. “You go, girl! Werk!” That was too fun. There was a super enthusiastic group from Strava cheering everyone on. There was a volunteer at a corner who bowed to people as we went by. “I’m not worthy! I’m so proud of you!” Operation Access had a table where they gave us free cupcakes! (The cupcakes were delicious.)
Some other things of note about the race: About 5 or 6 miles in to the 2nd half marathon, we passed right by the finish of the 1st half – right next to it. So, that was fun.
There were various turnarounds here and there. The 5-mile sign was facing the wrong direction, so we all saw the mile marker 5 not long at all after our first 5k was done. (We weren’t actually supposed to see it until after the whole next loop.) We all started looking around at each other, confused. “Hey, I know we’re having the time of our lives out here and everything, but I’m pretty sure 1.9 miles didn’t go that quickly…”
I enjoyed all the turnarounds. It was fun to see runners in different directions and all around you – as though we were in a fun maze or something.
In other funny things: There’s often unofficial beer at races. At this race, a man at a water stop was saying, “We got water, then Gatorade back there, and beer right behind it.” Hilarious, no? We also ran by a huge stadium apparently right before a game – and all these people were tailgating. There were hot dogs and hamburgers everywhere. It was a tease. We still had a couple of miles ahead of us.
There was an area where a lot of cross streets were still partially open to traffic, so I got an excellent workout as I made a game out of sprinting through every one right before the police would open it back up to traffic.
When I got to the end, I saw the marathoners get a humongous medal. We got one about 1/4 of the size. I understand that they did double the distance. But, really? The difference between the medals was comical. I almost kind of thought it might be a joke. It wasn’t.
Either way, I still appreciated my medal – which was placed on me by a handsome member of the Coast Guard, in uniform.
What a race! I had an absolute blast. I think it’s a great event that’s run well. I loved the vibe and the city. I’d be happy to come back next year.