Sunday, November 8, 2009
San Francisco Half Marathon (Nov 1, 2009) - Post race
This was supposed to be Per and my first half marathon race together but with the impulse joining of Globe Half Marathon a few months ago, this will instead be our second half marathon together. But what set this apart from the other one, other than it being in a different country and time zone, was that it is our first half marathon as a married couple and that was evident by the names we put on our personalized bib numbers (reflecting our surnames).
My goal here is simply to help Per achieve a new PR for the 21km. I will accompany her again and will be bringing my camera with me to make this race even more memorable. To make this race more enjoyable, Rio, Wayne and Wilbert will all do the half marathon race too. Per mentioned it is like running in the Philippines due to the familiar faces. I could not disagree.
Race started on time and immediately it was a climb up. It was hard to run in this cold weather as it takes a longer time for the body to warm up for the race. Legs felt tight from the wind and the cold but after 2km, we were all running comfortably. Wilbert acccompanied us in this race, doing it as part of his weekend long run and that was great. After running for a few km, we finally headed to the most anticipated part of the race and that was the Golden Gate Bridge.
I have seen this Bridge before but never envisioned running on it. It was a surreal feeling and I was just glad I bought the camera with me. I just can't stop taking photos (by my count, about 120 photos were taken in this race!). There was a point where we craved for water as water stations here were situated every 2 to 2.5 miles (unlike in the Philippines which had water every 2.5 kms.) But the cold weather helped us not feel tired. Pretty soon, we've crossed the bridge and went on to the turning point. More hill climbing. More downhill rolling. And then it was back to the bridge for the three of us.
We were all doing a good pace and I felt a PR was achievable for Per. That in spite of all the stops we took for a good photo shot! Unfortunately, at one point, Wilbert started getting cramps on BOTH of his legs. I told Per to run ahead to the finish line and leave us be. I remained with Wilbert in case he needs help. I wanted to see him finish as much as I wanted Per to finish. So we did some run walk strategy and some leg stretching. It was just 5kms to go but I can see that it was the hardest 5km for Wilbert that day. The sandy trail did not help as harder to run in this terrain. One good thing out of this was that we saw two seals near the beach area and that was a rare sight.
At 19km point, Wilbert was confident enough to run the race to the finish line and told me to go ahead. I gave him my GU and power beans and wished him luck. And I ran the fastest that I can in the hopes that I could catch Per. I did reach her about 100 meters before the finish line (and therefore got a negative split) and we finished the race together at 2:50. A new couple PR! Wilbert came a few minutes later. Congrats dude! :)
We got a finisher medal each, some chocolate milk, water, food and took more photos. It was a great race and we will never look at Golden Gate Bridge the same way again!
Congrats also to Rio and Wayne for their fast finish times.
Onnwards to Fresno!
Below are a few samples of photos we took that day :)