On Sunday, I ran with a friend at the Giant Race Half Marathon in San Francisco. It was supposed to be part of a longer 16 mile training run, but we both got a late start to the morning and didn’t get in as many miles before as we would have hoped. I logged almost 14.5 that day and the legs felt pretty good after having done hill repeats on Thursday. I have run this race once before, back in 2011, and had some issues with the organization and logistics. Over conversations with several other runners, I was disappointed to hear of similar concerns in the last two years. This year confirmed that, although different issues arose, this particular race is still working out some kinks.
- If you are a Giants fan, this race is pretty much mandatory as you get to finish and hang out on the field.
- The medal. Look at that thing. It’s gorgeous. Love that it has a “Championship ring” look to it.
- Photos with the 2 World Series Trophies (see below)
- Bobblehead – each year they give away a custom bobblehead. This year it was Giants’ closer, Sergio Romo.
- Expo. Getting into the expo took me 20 minutes. Not bad compared to those that had to wait 1.5 hours to get in.
- I also had issues in picking up my bib. I’m not going to go into details as I don’t think anyone else had such a situation, but it took 3 people and 3 computers. And I still almost got a non-working bib.
- Gear check. Too few trucks and hand checking each bag by writing down bib numbers on stickers. I was in line for 10 minutes and barely made it to the start. Everyone in line was confused as to why it was being handled this way. I’ll skip sharing the comments I heard other runners say.
- Apparently they ran out of water at one of the water stops. Early, too, as I heard it from a couple of sub-2 hour runners and 10k folks
- 5k starting 4 hours after start of the Half Marathon and 10k.
It’s one of those love/hate kind of races. There are some really GREAT things that this race does, but it just has too many little missteps that frustrate runners. Like running out of food/water. Things that most runners forgive for a first time race or a smaller race, but this one should have these things figured out by now. Okay, now onto the recap.
The goal was to maintain a 9-9:30 pace for most of the 13.1 miles. As the first 3 miles of the race were congested, we ended up weaving and picking up our pace at certain segments. It was an out and back course that has THIS as the turnaround spot.
Pretty good photo opp and I was happy to snap a pic. It was then a straight shot back to the finish. My friend Larry is training for a Full in the fall and he was supposed to run the last 3 miles at a 7:30 pace. He told me this early on and I told him he would most likely be left to fly solo as I wasn’t really looking to get in some “fast” miles… but we know how that turned out, right?
Mile 11: 8:02
Mile 12: 7:10
Mile 13: 7:19
Avg. pace: 8:37
Finish Time: 1:52:56
It was a great run and I’m glad I did it. Even with some of the hiccups, I had a great time.
How was your weekend?