A little (okay, a lot) overdue, but better late than never, right?!
From October 2013 through this past June, I had the opportunity of a lifetime – to be a SF Marathon Ambassador.
Duties included writing blog posts, wearing SF Marathon gear (provided by SF Marathon), tweeting about the race and working expo booths at nearby races. I had a blast doing all of the above, and one of the best perks of all of the above activities was getting to know fellow ambassadors from all around the country. I had the opportunity to get to know via the Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes IRL, a number of the ambassadors who have definitely inspired me over the past year with all of their accomplishments and perseverance in running, other sports and life in general. It was truly an incredible group of ambassadors. And of course, all of these wonderful experiences culminated in the fabulous SF Marathon race weekend June 14-16.
Friday, June 14, Meg and I headed up to SF after our morning run to work a shift at the Tech Center with fellow ambassador Chris M. The 3 of us, aka #teamninja, had a chance to tweet up and meet up a number of times throughout the course of ambassadorship, and it was exciting to get together again. And of course, get together with all the other ambassadors and tweet lots of photos…
After working the tech booth, we hit up the Expo to pick up race bibs and eat our way through the Expo (that’s what expos are for, right?!) – or at least Meg & I did, and the 3rd ninja just mocked us mostly in his blindingly bright Sketchers. Afterward, Meg & I picked up lunch, headed to my friend’s house where we stayed and then got ready for the Ambassador dinner, which was a ton of fun.
Basically the dinner was an opportunity for the SF Marathon to say ‘thanks’ for all of our work, and for all of us to get together and for many, finally meet IRL for the first time, and for others to catch up. The dinner was held at Osha, the food was great, and the people were even better.
Saturday, June 15, Meg & I got up bright and early to do our shakeout run before heading to the morning info session where we helped runners figure out logistics for race day, and answer pretty much any other random question runners might have. After a loooooong morning, we had a tweet up at the tech center, which involved more tweets, photos, and lots of tired ambassadors.
Then, it was time to hit WholePaycheck with Meg & Daniela and we headed back to eat sushi dinner before hitting the hay at — yes, yes this is completely true — 7:00pm. But hey, with a 3:45am wakeup call, it was perfectly acceptable.
Sunday, June 16 was raceday and we had to be there briiiight and early for the 5:30am start as Meg was running the first half and in Corral 1, so her start time was 5:32am. Since I was only running the 5k, I had until like 7:30, but it was still fun to hang out and see everyone get excited/ready for their events.
And then finally after hours of hanging out in the VIP area (as ambassadors we were gifted free access, which was amazing and totally worth the $100 — if I have extra income in the future and am presented with the option of VIP, I will TOTALLY take advantage of it. Clean, FLUSHING toilets? And delicious pre- and post-race food? Sign me up!), it was time for my 5k.
I had my sights set high for the 5k. It was flat (my dream 5k course), and I my paces had been increasing, however as soon as the gun went off, I knew I was doomed. My legs were heavy as cement. And holding a 7:00 pace (10 seconds slower than my PR pace) was hard. I finished in 22:30 (which is NOTHING to cry home about), but it was about 1:30 off my goal time. But still, I pushed as hard as I could, and that’s all that I can ask for. I didn’t leave anything behind — a 22:30, that was all I had.
Afterward, we headed over to the marathon finish to see some of the ambassadors finish. Chris K was pacing the 3:05 team, and Keith S. came in just ahead, and Chris M. finished right behind with a nice PR. And then we hung around a little bit longer, before heading out. But not before taking a few shots of the am-BADASS-adors…
And not before I was able to see Pavement Runner finish while running my cooldown. And he knocked out a fantastic course PR!
And then, Meg & I hopped in the car (which was parked at our super rockstar 4-blocks-from-the-start-on-the-street-so-we-had-free-parking parking spot) and headed home. We were both exhausted, but it was a wonderful, fun, friend-filled, race-tastic weekend. Let me tell you, SF Marathon knows how to put on not only a fantastic race, but an incredible race weekend. I am definitely looking forward to another SF Marathon weekend (whether its next year or further down the road) and tackling another one of the courses — whether its the 1st half, 2nd half or full. Its definitely a race I’m going to keep coming back to.
Have you ever run the SF Marathon? What is your favorite race weekend/race ever?