Nike Women's Marathon

I got up at 5 to get on the bus to cross the bay. The bus terminal in San Francisco is about a mile from the race start, which is in Union Square. I decided to walk. I got to about 3 or 4 blocks from the square and it was a mad house. Of course that was just when I started to have to use the restroom. So I ducked into the Marriott (thanks JW!) and used theirs before heading over to the Square to line up in my corral.

Like I said before, my corral was 7:30 - 9:00 and actually they were letting the faster corral in at the same place, so they had to go in and then fight their way to the front of all of the people in my pace group. It was a bit of a mess. Everyone had pace bracelets, so you could tell when they weren't supposed to be in that corral, and there were several that weren't.

Once the race started, it seemed like it took forever to cross the starting line, but once I got my results, I realized it was really less than a minute. My Garmin was having a bad day and it kept telling me I was running a 3 minute mile. I was passing a lot of people (trying to get around everyone) but I don't think I was that fast! For the first mile or so, it was a lot of bobbing and weaving, but luckily I had rudely pushed myself to the front(ish) of the start line, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I can't imagine what it was like in the 9:00 - 10:00 group, which was pretty far behind us. I checked out some of the people who came in near the end, and their chip time and gun time were a half an hour apart!

The course was great; miles 3 - 6 were on one of my favorite routes, through Crissy Field, where normally there is an awesome view of the Golden Gate bridge. However, it was quite foggy and there was a view of nothing. I felt kind of bad for the out of towners who came for the views. At this point I started to fuel. I had decided earlier that morning, in a split second decision (dumb maybe) to try dried apricots as fuel. They went down fine with a little chewing, and at about 15 calories each are about the same as a Gu Chomp. Mile 1 - 6: 6:50*, 6:19*, 7:26, 7:34, 7:27, 7:39 (*these may have been Garmin error)

After Chrissy Field, it started to go up, and up, and up, and down and up and up! Basically miles 7 - 11 were about a thousand feet total elevation gain according to the Garmin. This is where I had a lot of trouble. I can run up the hills, but it sure is hard. I could feel my face getting redder and redder. At this point it was kind of misty raining, which was a blessing! Somewhere around mile 11 the marathon and half marathon split up. They went toward the finish and we went toward the park. This made a HUGE difference! All of a sudden, I was running alone. It was great!  Mile 7 - 11: 8:19, 7:37, 8:11, 7:57, 7:15

Uphill, chug, chug

Miles 12 - 17 were all in Golden Gate park and were flatter than the coast, although not flat by any means. They were just more gradual, and more up, up, up and then down, down, down (rather than up, down, up, down). According to Garmin, this was another 900 ft gain/loss. It was fun running this section, as the park is beautiful and I got to see my friends, the Bison. There was also a huge jumbo-tron here. Check out this video  of the 10k, 15k and finish line. You can look at my waddle. All I can say about that is...I run funny! We also met back up with the halfers around mile 16 (their mile 13) and it was a crazy mess for about a half a mile before I popped out into the solitary confinement of the Great Highway. Mile 12 - 17: 8:01, 8:18, 7:58, 7:45, 7:50, 7:32

Miles 18 - 20 were along the Great Highway which goes along side Ocean Beach. I was really looking forward to seeing my family, as I was getting pretty tired at this point. The road was a chip and seal rather than a nice smooth asphalt and it was killing my feet! Also, I just needed a smiling face, which is funny because as I was scanning the crowd for my parents, a person jumped out of the crowd and hugged me! It was my new running buddy! I gave her a high five and kept on. Then there they were, the Parentals and grandma, right near mile 18. Seeing them gave me the boost I needed to keep going. Mile 18 - 20: 7:49, 7:52, 8:11

The Great Highway

Miles 21 - 24 were around Lake Merced. If I would have known how bad this section was going to be, I would have asked the Parentals to be over here. It was dead. I was tired. It was raining on me. There were a lot of cars. The lake was nice though. At one point this guy came out of nowhere and was running right next to me for about a mile. Then he just stopped. I am not sure what that was all about. Maybe I looked tired? Like I needed a push? Well it worked; I was trying so hard to get away from him and to have a little space between us that I picked up my pace by a few seconds. Mile 21 -24: 8:14, 8:13, 8:09, 8:06

Miles 25 to the end were back along the Great Highway. This part was fun, because all the runners behind me were coming the opposite direction. I had a few friends running and I looked for them, but never saw them. Also, I saw two guys that had ridden my bus into the city that morning! What a small world it was shaping up to be! Mile 25 - 26.2: 8:08, 8:15, 7:59

Still feeling good!

Then I was at the end. Almost. First I had to muscle my way through a bunch of walk/jogging half marathon people who were sharing the finish line (and the 200 feet or so leading up to it) with me! Then I was over the line, and this cute fireman in a tux gave me a little blue box. I could have hung out with him longer; why is the box giving portion so short and the run so long? It should be the other way around.

And then I was done. I was wet and cold and hungry but I felt great!

Final Time: 3:29:16
Overall: 46/4452
Gender: 30/4051
Age: 9/837

A few fun facts: *Dried Apricots = good fuel! This may be my new favorite! * I did not pee once. * Total elevation gain (according to Garmin) = 5000 ft (can that be right?) * Elevation loss = 4860 ft *Fastest time = 2:56 (M) and 2:59 (F) * From my loose calculations, about 3% of the people in this race BQ (compared to 35% in the Santa Rosa Marathon) *

Tell me how you feel about firemen. What is your favorite type of dried fruit? Have you ever seen footage of yourself running?


  1. oh my gosh-that is amazing-what a great time! you look strong in the photos..i generally try to look strong in my photo-but haven't often seen myself run.
    firemen-yes please-although -not the ones here in kuwait, i have to say

  2. Wow, congrats on another very good, strong marathon! Last picture of you is great!

  3. Congratulations!! That last picture is great. Love your comment that the box part should have been longer.

    Great job dealing with a crowded start. It totally comes across in your voice how much you prefer smaller races. :-)

  4. Wow, Kyria! Awesome pace and amazing time for such a tough, hilly course! I love that you used dried apricots... I've done raisins a few times, and will have to try apricots. I cannot to gu. Congrats on another impressive marathon done!!

  5. Damn, girl, you are such a rock star! Congrats!

  6. Even though I love big races, I hate the crowding at the start. It was almost an hour from the time the first corral started to when my corral started when I ran Rock & Roll San Antonio half a couple of years ago. And of course I had to pee by then because I have such a weak bladder. I can't imagine going a whole marathon without having to stop to pee!

  7. Loved reading your post! And seriously great time and great job! I would love to be able to run under a 3:30, even if just once:) This is a race so many have mentioned to me to run, one of these days I'll have to give it a try! Congratulations on your finish!!!

  8. Wow you are awesome Kyria! And I just have to say you look awfully good to be in the middle of a marathon:) no fair!

  9. Check you out being all 7:this and 8:that and thumbs up and all. Congrats on a huge sub-3:30! That's pretty amazing, especially on that course. Great job!

  10. Wow! Another incredible race. Those SF hills are brutal. I did SF as my first marathon and I was not as well trained in the hills as I should have been. D.i.e.d. Worth the pain though--such a great city to run in. :)
    Congrats on a great marathon!

  11. Another super speedy marathon for you! Great job on the race and I agree the time with the cute fireman should be more drawn out. Shouldn't they also take you to get water and a cool towel?

  12. Nice work! You were so strong and consistent during this whole raced and the photos of you are great!!

    I did not go to the bathroom during the marathon in DSM either! I went twice during my last one in PDX! Kind of funny. I think I need to explore a new fuel. The gu's were beyond old by the end. Too sugary!


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