Nike Women’s Half Marathon 2015

Running in San Francisco

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This past weekend over 20,000 women conquered the hills of San Francisco for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. We cheered on many of our friends who were participating in the race, espIMG_2411ecially our staff members and all of our training group participants who we have been coaching since this Summer. When it finally came to race day, everyone was feeling strong and motivated. It was a much anticipated morning and a finish to be very proud of.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day in the city, not a cloud in the sky nor fog to hinder the breathtaking views along the course. Before sunrise, race participants filed onto the starting line alongside Union Square where the race commenced up Post Street.

As the minutes ticked on towards the 6:30am start time, music and cheers exhilarated the crowd. Once the starting pistol fired, thousands raced out of Downtown to begin the course througIMG_2358h the Tenderloin and on towards the Richmond. At every corner, a singing choir, drummers, San Francisco residents and volunteers were awaiting to cheer on the massive group as they scaled Golden Gate Park out towards the Avenues.

The natural lighting was especially beautiful. As the sun rose, the pink hues of the sky illuminated the neighborhood as the group swept through the rolling hills of the Richmond on towards the Presidio. Neighborhood residents woke up early in the morning to watch the event and to support all the runners before they conquered the hardest part, Lincoln hill.

The tenth mile is the most infamous of the most receIMG_2349nt Nike Women’s Half Marathon course. Many dread the tenth mile, but it was definitely the most dense in cheerleaders. Music blasting, inspiring posters, and hundreds of enthused spectators helped everyone conquer what they have all been training for. IMG_2347Lincoln is a steep and lengthy hill, that winds all the way up to a gorgeous view of famous San Francisco landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. As opposed to previous years, the fog did not obstruct the inspiring view up ahead that encouraged each participant to power through.

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Our staff members conquering the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

After Lincoln, it’s all downhill for the eleventh mile that leads out to a fast and flat finish through Crissy Fields and onto the Marina Green. The morning sun illuminates the city skyline as you wind your way past the Warming Hut and out along the Bay. The finish through the large expanse of Marina Boulevard allows for a huge crowd to meet you at the finish line. The cheers and excitement lift you through the very last part of the course and before you know it, you’re passing right through the finisher’s shoot on towards the chocolate milk and foil blankets leading you to your much deserved medal, the coveted Tiffany’s necklace! There’s really nothing like a little blue box to congratulate you at the end of your run.

IMG_2343The Nike Women’s Half Marathon is a special race, bringing women from all over the country, even all over the world, to experience the beautiful landscape of our city and to finally conquer what they have spent months training for. It’s an empowering experience bringing elite athletes, habitual racers, new runners and walkers all in one space to cheer each other on. As a participant, you feel truly celebrated and even among the thousands of others in the race, very special! Congratulations to everyone who crossed the finish line last week, it is a great achievement to be greatly proud of. We hope to experience it all again with you next year!

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Let the Lights of the City Skyline Guide You Along the Embarcadero

Running in San Francisco

Everyday one can find flocks and flocks of runners racing each other pier by pier along the concrete stretch between Fisherman’s Wharf and AT&T Park. With the iconic view of the historical  Ferry Building and a flat stretch of concrete that extends for miles without a stop light disturbing your training, the Embarcadero tends to be a huge favorite amongst the San Francisco running community. Yet with all its attractions (weekly Farmer’s Market and Giant’s games), it can get pretty hectic along the bay making the traffic so dense that many runners are put off by the constant dodging.

So rather than clipping countless shoulders while out on a run, how about soaking in the city skyline after the sun sets?

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Ferry Building

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Burning Man Light Sculpture

After all the young professionals file out of the Financial District and the tourists make it back to their cruise ship, the street lamps turn on and brighten up an empty path of miles and miles for you to conquer. As you race towards the ball park you have the city skyline lit up on your right, the Bay Bridge light show on your left and nothing blocking you as you keep moving forward.

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Pier 7

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AT&T Park

Nighttime at the Embarcadero is an ideal opportunity to get in some speed work or a peaceful long run. There are plenty of checkpoints along the way like the light sculpture from Burning Man or Cupid’s Span buried right off the Bay Bridge that remind you of the beautiful city you are so lucky to be running in.

And if you’re eager to catch the game you can even take a little break in the park’s standing room. Most people forget about this opportunity to watch the game free of charge. You’ll feel like you’re standing in the outfield with the team as you face the stadium from underneath Levi’s Landing.

So with all these perks, what are you waiting for?