The Nike Women’s Marathon was this past weekend in San Francisco. This is a major race that draws 20,000+ runners each year and unless you are doing it through charity, runners are accepted through a lottery system. I have never entered the lottery, it is a woman focussed event and geared to celebrate all that is woman, but I have attended the expo for the past few years. There really is not too much geared towards men, obviously, but I love the energy of the expo (they actually call it an expotique). Here were some preview shots that I took and what you can expect at the expo.

Friday morning, I was looking at my twitter feed (what else is new, right?) and I noticed some conversations regarding guest speakers at the expo. This immediately peaked my interest when I saw these three names

  • Kara Goucher
  • Shalane Flanagan
  • Joan Benoit Samuelson

That is a line-up. They were going to be speaking on Friday and when I saw it was going to be at 3:30, I made sure I was there to hear it. (see video at the bottom for last-minute tips on race day)


Jay Blahnik, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher (click to enlarge)


After they were done speaking to the crowd, they took a few Nike publicity shots off to the side. Although there was a huge crowd to hear them speak, I was surprised that there were not a lot of people around. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to politely ask for a photo.


Shalane Flanagan, Nike Women’s Marathon 2012

Shalane was extremely nice. I asked and she obliged. Had I known I was going to be taking photos with one of the fastest American runners out there today, I would have brought a real camera to avoid having someone else take a blurry iPhone photo — C’mon. Hold it still. But it was great to meet her and grab a photo with an Olympian. How cool is that?

Then THIS happened.

Kara Goucher, Nike Women’s Marathon 2012

Excuse me while I immediately lose my mind. I have the HUGEST runner’s crush on Kara Goucher. Look at how freaking happy I am in this photo! Could my smile be any larger? Even Shalane is in the background thinking “dang, look at that giant smile?”

Me: Hi. (tries not to jump up and down and scream) Can I please have a photo with you?
Kara: Sure. Ummm, you look familiar… do you tweet as Pavement Runner?

Me: (Look of shock) Yes, yes I do.
Kara: Oh my god. I’ve seen you on twitter. You’re funny.

Me: Really? Thank you, I’m such a huge fan of yours.
Kara: Thanks. Are you running tomorrow?
Me: No
Kara: Oh that’s too bad. It would have been cool to see you at the start.

Okay, Okay, that’s not what happened.

And if it did, I might have fainted. It really went down like this:

Me: Hi. (tries not to jump up and down and scream) Can I please have a photo with you?
Kara: Sure

Me: I’m reading your husband’s book.
Kara: oh, cool.

(She puts her arm around me as we pose for the photo) I ALMOST LOST IT. I don’t care. It may have just been for a photo, but there is nothing worse that two people standing next to each other not sure of where there arms go. She made the first move and I was ecstatic.

Me: Thank you.
Kara: (smiles)

THAT IS A PRICELESS moment. I quickly looked at the photo and immediately thought “don’t be blurry, don’t be blurry!” SCORE! Thank you kind stranger for taking a great photo. I really wish I had a real camera.

I’m not gonna lie, coolest person I have ever met and I didn’t spaz out and embarrass myself. One of my happiest (non-running) moments as a runner.

Here is a video of some last-minute advice and tips for race day from three amazing women. Take note of what Joan says at 1:40 — people often times say this. We are all “making it happen.”

Side note: I had almost had the opportunity to take a photo with Joan Benoit Samuelson. She was standing off to the side near Kara and Shalane, but she was talking to (what looked like) people she knew and was familiar with. I didn’t want to interrupt them. I couldn’t. I was really hoping to grab a photo with one of the greatest runners of all time, but there wasn’t an opportune (if there is one) to ask for a photo with Joan without interrupting what looked like a conversation between friends. Rain check Joan.


Have you ever met someone you were a super-fan of?

Who do YOU have a runner’s crush on?

— I can keep a secret. It’s just between me and you, of course.