Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nike Women's Marathon 2009 Race Report and Weekend Recap

BEST.WEEKEND.EVER! I know I’m going to miss a lot of fun details and probably give too many details anyway. Really, the first line sums it up!

Friday morning started with a road trip to Cali. Car was full this time with Zoey, Mr. Pi, me, Sarah and the co-worker. There were fun stories told and lots of great music shared (clearly, I wasn’t the DJ since no one likes my hippty hop). We dropped Mr. Pi off somewhere along the 5, where he spent a few days with his family. The girls and I continued on to the Bay. We dropped the co-worker in Alameda then, Sarah and I were on a quest for ZACHARY’s!!!! YUM! Sarah has pictures!

Friday night we crashed with the lovely Julianne at her A-MAZ-ING house. We were pretty delirious by the time we got there but we so appreciated being hosted by her and her great hubby @donutfan (for all your tweeters). In the morning, we woke to glorious views of SF and breakfast prepared by the Donut Man. (No, it wasn’t donuts!)

Saturday was an amazing day. The weather was perfect, everything went smooth with packet pickup. Sarah and I met up with Aron and Tara and chatted for a little while. Sarah’s friend who helps put on the NWM hooked us up like royalty! SERIOUSLY! The rest of the day Sarah and I gallivanted around SF. We shopped, we ate, we walked up an infamous SF hill and we enjoyed the beautiful warm weather. We had one interesting adventure ending with a $12 cab ride to REI and $5 bucks worth of Gu. The day was pretty awesome! I don't have any pictures from our glorious day of sightseeing but Sarah does (now she has to write a race report and post lots of pictures!)

Kristen met up with us about dinner time and had made us reservations at an Italian place. Post dinner we all crashed after carefully laying out our race outfits. Kristen being our city expert had us in the BEST hotel ever, we were literally two blocks from the start line. No worrying about cabs to the start, we were going to walk right out the door to the start line.

Sunday morning was another early wake-up call. I did my pre-race coffee and tried to shove down a banana. Not too much to say about the morning other than us laughing about Sarah’s big butt (see below) and that comment making me have “I like big butt’s” go through my head for about an hour. At the start line we found Tara and Aron. It was a little interesting getting into the corral but we made it and before we knew it the gun went off. Kristen and I had decided to run the whole race together, have fun, take pictures, walk, stretch and just enjoy ourselves. My Garmin crapped out within the first mile, it would auto pause and auto resume, then tell me I was running a 5 min mile. I eventually just turned it off and really decided to have fun!

With Sarah and Kristen pre-race! I look wayyy too excited about being up before the sun!

Sarah's "big butt" stuffed with Gu, kleenex and her phone.
Staying warm in the VIP tent. Sarah, Tara, Aron, Me and Kristen.
Start line!
Mile 6ish?
In GGP, I think.
The course was hard, I won’t lie. Every time I saw another hill I thought “poor Sarah” since she was doing the full. The downhill portions were nice but it’s not like they were gentle downhills, they were steep too. Good thing we were running for fun! I cannot stress how fun and how fast the miles went by (despite them actually being slow for both Kristen and I). Running with a friend was amazing.
Another really cool thing was leap frogging with Audrey and her cousin. They were taking their time too and we kept leap frogging with them. Crazy thing is, Kristen got her bib from Audrey who had earned an extra one through a Nike running club but they had never met! Awesome! Seriously, Kristen and I chatted through the whole race as the miles flew by. Right before mile 11, I started looking for Roadbunner, right away I spotted her bright yellow hat with a bunny on it. She was a great spectator. We saw her again at the finish and then we hung out with her for awhile after too. She took lots of pictures!
Finish Line!!!
Half marathon finishers!
Kristen and I with Roadbunner, she's a great spectator!
Post-race I also ran into Mel which was so totally random and so totally great! Also, saw Aron, Tara, Shelly and Solorunner. This makes me seem like I know EVERYONE, I really don’t.

Mel, from 2ndChances, totally random blogger meetup!

I will for sure be signing up for the half marathon lottery again next year, it was a great race! I won't lie the Tiffany's bling was pretty nice too. Check out Aron's blog for pics! I won’t ever go for a PR, holy hills, but everything else was great. I’d post my finish time but I honestly don’t know it. The website is difficult to maneuver and my Garmin was off. My guess is 2:3X, which really isn’t all that far off from my current half PR so there is hope for me to PR at the HM distance.

What made this race so great, aside from all the things I have already mentioned, is that I got to see Sarah finish her first full marathon! I, along with Amy and the other PB&J’s, have been training together on Sunday’s for over a year. I was nervous, excited, happy and proud as Kristen and I waited to see her come through the marathon chute. She’ll have all the details from her perspective on her blog at some point but it was so awesome for me to be there when she finished! Sadly, the dumb guy next to me had his arm in the way of the picture I took, but I did get a couple of her as she passed by (Sarah, you'll have to post those too.).

WAY TO GO SARAH! You are a MARATHONER! You did great and I’m so happy that I got to be there to share the weekend with you!


Post-race we hoped in the car, well, hobbled is probably more accurate and headed to Mr. Pi’s parents place for a feast. Though, since it took a LOT longer to find the shuttle and get back to the hotel than we originally thought, we made a pit stop at a CA staple. (In n Out anyone? Best. Milkshake. Ever.)

The car ride home was relatively uneventful however; more fun times were had between the Dunlap’s and Sarah. I LOVE that girl!

All in all, Nike Women’s Marathon was a COMPLETE SUCCESS!!!!!!