Last year I wrote a 2014 Nike Women’s Half preview, so I figured I would do the same thing this year. Since the race is Sunday and most of the runners should already be well on their way in San Francisco, I’m not going to cover the course too much. It’s the same as last year, the hills haven’t changed. But for those of you looking for some last-minute tips, I got you.
Note: below paragraphs pulled from 2014 post, same course, same hills.
HILLS. It’s San Francisco, we have them, you know this. From what I can see on the map, there are a couple “big” climbs. Remember that what is a “big” climb for me is when you look at it and the top of the hill is taller than you. I’m only going to focus on a couple, but there may be more. The first decent climb happens pretty early in the race. Alamo Square is at mile 2 and you pretty much have to run UP there. Most of the (steep) climb happens at mile 2, and it’s over pretty quickly, but there is some UP going on to get there.
You will also get some rolling hills through miles 8-9 after you exit the park. Pretty much count on an incline once you start to make your way “out” of the park at mile 7. If you take a look at the map above, you’ll see a Nike map with an elevation chart and the course route is color coded from green-to-red with green being fast, red being slow/challenging. Gives you a good indication of what to expect and where to expect it.
The second “big” one comes much later, between miles 9 and 11. It’s the climb UP Lincoln. If you ran RnRSF in April, it’s THAT hill. If you ran SFM in July, you ran down it. It’s a LONG climb, I’m not gonna lie and it comes right around the time your legs might start to get tired. Just take it as it comes and if the sky is clear and Karl the Fog is not there, you’ll get some glorious sights of the Golden Gate Bridge. Just take it as it comes and don’t try to BLAZE up the hill because it lasts awhile. But when you get to the top, you’ve got 2 miles to the finish line so save some juice for that stretch and you can FLY.
Same as last year, expect HUGE crowds everywhere you go when shopping for Nike Half gear, especially at the Nike store. I know you want to experience all of it, and you should, that’s what you paid for. But some of the items are available online already, here, including the sought-after San Francisco Edition shoes. If they don’t have your size, whip out your phone and see if it’s available. One less thing you have to carry back on the plane.
Other local shopping options: Macy’s (across from Union Square), Fleet Feet (new store on 4th and Mission), Lady Foot Locker (Westfield Mall on Market St.).
I’ll be out there cheering you on bright and early. The plan is to be where you exit Golden Gate Park (after Fulton, somewhere on 30th), after 7.5 miles to pump you up before you start some of your incline. There will be a couple #WeRunSocial banners, some music playing. We’ll be cheering loud. I’ll be out there with @fitfam6, we won’t be rolling deep (open invite if you want to join us – message me on social or email me).
Keep an eye out for the rainbow Pro Compression socks, #thegibblers for the win.
November Project San Francisco
The BIG cheer crew will be hosted by Nike and November Project up near mile 10. They set it off last year, and it’s going down (err, Up) again in 2015. Expect a massive turnout, huge energy boost, and all the positive vibes to get you up a really steep hill.
Why aren’t you up there with your tribe?
I should be, I know. But I want to be able to high-five everyone and rep for #WeRunSocial. I know NP will be holding it down with massive crew around 10 and putting a second location along the course where you might get a little energy boost by some dude in rainbow socks with a banner, is hopefully something that will inspire someone to keep running strong.
Good luck runners, see you out there.
Have you ever run a Nike race?
Will you be out there this weekend? Next year?