“Sometimes everything can go right.”

That’s what my buddy Brian (photo below) said before the race. We were both thinking about how the day was going to play out for us. Both of us aiming to do better than 1:30 and 1:50 respectively. With the US Half being a challenging hilly course our targets were lofty, but attainable.

It being Easter Sunday, I decided to rock some rabbit ears. I wasn’t the only one with bunny fever as I saw many white ears bouncing up and down along the course. Before the race I met up with some friends and we all wished each other luck.

Left to Right: Keith, his brother Brian, and me.

Left to Right: Richard, Larry, Benny, Me, Casey

As the race started, my legs felt lethargic and my right hammy was feeling unusually tight. I decided to keep my pace around 8:45 and see if I could turn it on in the later miles. The first half of the course includes some pretty good elevation climbs.

First 5 miles: 9:05, 8:46, 8:38, 9:22, 9:20

As we started the climb towards the Golden Gate, I started to feel more comfortable and started to think: “Can I make up some time (from the climb) and come in around 1:50?” Since the Golden Gate doesn’t allow a lot of shoulder room, I ditched my run/walk routine (at mile 5) and decided to go for broke and run the bridge with everything I had.

Out and Back on the Bridge, miles 6-9: 8:20, 8:36, 8:42, 7:39

As I came off the Bridge I thought I was done and had little chance of maintaining my pace to finish. Looking at my watch and doing mid-race math (which is always more difficult) I would have to pick it up by 5-10 seconds per mile of I wanted to come in under 1:50. Hmmmm.

Taking one mile at a time, I kept running and the legs still felt good. I had fully quit the run/walk ratio and was just running and trying to maintain my pace. I knew there was the hill near Fort Mason Green, just after Safeway, followed by a screaming decline to the finish line. My only shot was to get up that hill as quickly as possible and floor it down the hill.

Miles 10-13: 8:02, 7:40, 8:34, 7:45

As I was approaching the finish line I saw Andy and Richard and they gave me a shout out. I can only imagine that my arms were flailing around as I was trying to sprint down a hill towards the finish line.

I saw my watch go over 1:50, but I was already committed to the “all out” run and crossed the finish at 1:50:38, a four minute PR for the half. This was also my first time having negative splits (57:49/52:40). That is a pretty big difference, but after the Oakland Full two weeks ago and going out too fast, I was cautious on the way out over the inclines.

The bunny ears didn't fly off on the bridge!

“Sometimes everything can go right.”

That pretty much captured the race. It was a GORGEOUS day in the city with clear skies, cool temps. and fabulous views. I saw many runners stopping to take panoramic shots of the city from the Sausalito side of the bridge. I was able to grab some finish line photos and excited to pair up the two medals from the November 2011 race and the April 2012 race. It’s a pretty cool how Project Sport has created a way to combine the two events with inter-locking medals (see below).


Nov. 2011 Medal (1:58:38) and April 2012 Medal (1:50:38)

Two become one


Thanks again to everyone who gave support, well wishes and congrats on Twitter and Facebook. I was really close to coming in under 1:50, but am thrilled with the results.  I guess the bunny ears were a good luck charm.

Those medals are pretty cool, right?