San Francisco Half Marathon Race Report

The Green Girl represented Team Jamba Juice as she ran over the Golden Gate Bridge at the San Francisco Half Marathon this weekend.

Rad Runner Girl and I flew up to San Francisco first thing Saturday morning. My sister, Patti, picked us up at the airport and we headed straight to the Expo. The goodie bags were reusable drawstring backpacks with spaces for us to fill in our bib numbers on the back. The Half Marathon shirts were an aqua blue with a drawing of the bridge with either 13.1 or 26.2 printed on the deck.

We browsed the booths and collected free samples. I picked up some replacement bottles for my Nathan Speed 4 hydration belt. I also ended up purchasing a Neoprene Double Pouch from iFitness to use on shorter runs.

As we walked around, I handed out Jamba Juice coupons to the Expo participants and even to some of the exhibitors.

After the Expo, we checked into the Hotel Vitale. I had stayed there last year and felt the convenience and ambiance were worth the price.

Next, we crossed the street to the Ferry Marketplace for some lunch where we got to meet up with another blogger, Jill.

After lunch, we walked around the Mission District. For dinner, our friends, Jackie and Janey, joined us for some burritos Papalote. For dessert, we stopped by Bi-Rite Creamery for some unusual ice cream flavors. I had a scoop of Balsamic Strawberry. My sister had her favorite, Ricanelas, which tasted exactly like a snickerdoodle.

When we returned to the hotel, we went through the usual pre-race preparations before we settled in for the night.

Rad Runner Girl and I were dressed and ready when my friend, Leah, from SparkPeople and her friend, Maria, knocked on our hotel door early the next morning. Downstairs in the lobby, we met up with Jackie and Janey before we headed across the street to the Starting Line.

I was in Corral 8 so my start time was an hour later. I hung out with Jackie, Janey, Leah, and Maria, for a bit and then I headed down to my Corral to meet up with the Sole Runners so I could cross the Starting Line with Babak, Betty, and Jim.

The race course started out northbound along the Embarcadero towards Fisherman's Wharf and then veered west towards Ghirardelli Square before passing Crissy Park and leading us to the Golden Gate Bridge.

I felt really good. My body was free of aches and pains - my hamstring soreness was completely gone.

Instead of using a set run/walk interval, I just ran until I felt tired and then walked until I felt satisfied. Since I'm a strong hill runner, I ran up every hill and walked down a lot of them. This strategy worked well for me.

I loved running across the bridge with the fog. The weather was absolutely perfect.

Before I reached the end of the bridge, the deck was re-opened and the runners were routed back up on the sidewalk. I was forced to maneuver myself between the oncoming runners and the walkers going in my direction.

By the time I looped back onto the bridge, the crowd had grown sparse. When I got to the streets, I discovered they were no longer blocked off and we were forced to obey the traffic rules. I may be a true back of the packer, but I never had to wait for the crosswalk signal to change before. Some intersections didn't even have signal lights or stop signs so we had to creep out cautiously and then sprint across.

Not easily discouraged, I maintained my pace and kept going. Despite the fact that it didn't even really look like I was still participating in a race, I knew I was making good timing.

As I was running through the Presidio, I spotted what appeared to be a large branch covered in pine cones.

Jackie, Janey, and Rad Runner Girl were waiting for me at the Finish Line. My official time was 03:10:02.

The post-race area was still well stocked with food and beverages for the runners. The blueberry scones in individual paper sleeves were amazing.

We took the shuttle back to the Embarcadero for the post-race party so I could stop by the Jamba Juice booth before heading back to the hotel for a nice, hot shower.

I was pleased that my second race representing Team Jamba Juice also went really well.


  1. Well done, Green Girl! It was so cool to meet you (and I made the blog :) ) - I wish we could have spent more time together...next time for sure. You are so totally cool and I think we'd have a blast together. I looked for you across the bridge in your red but didn't see you :(. Congrats on a great time, and that totally amazing California Dreaming accomplishment! You are the coolest Green Girl EVER!!

    (sorry about all my phone issues; I carried that dumb phone with me and it got wet and my messages were sporadically coming in and out! Hope you got my email...the "stuff" was amazing and I wanna get more when my heel is all fixed!!)

  2. Well done with your half marathon finish! That is so great! Pity they opened the roads so soon. Looks like you had a great trip.

  3. Good job! Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun!

  4. Congrats on the strong finish! That sucks they opened the roads so early. You have a great positive attitude.

    I want a blueberry scone now.

  5. Great job, and nice recap! Unfortunate that they decided to open the roads up while you were still at it, but nice job not letting it derail you.

  6. Great race! So funny you reversed the conventional wisdom by running up the hills and walking down. It's so good how running has no set rules.

  7. Jill, it was really great to meet you, I'm so glad we were able to work that out.

    Johann, Caratunk Girl, and Evolving, I couldn't believe the course was opened up so quickly. I couldn't help but laugh inside as I waited for the crosswalk signal.

    Leah B. and Runners Fuel, thank you!

    Kovas, I don't know why but I'm just a really strong uphill runner. I wonder if it's my big calves?

  8. Wow! Great job! It makes me want to run a 1/2 marathon! I love San Francisco, so it would be cool to run there. It was great reading your account of the day. Sounds like a truly successful race!

  9. Thank you, Heather! It was a beautiful city to run in and the weather was absolutely amazing.

  10. This race was so freaking amazing! Your outfit looked rad and so did your time! :) I am glad we got to experience such a wonderful race together I look forward to an endless amount with you!-jumps up and down!-

  11. Yay Green Girl! Congrats on your race- Sounds like you had a great experience..even if you had to stop at a stoplight! Although we didn't meet in person this time, I'm sure we will someday!

  12. Thank you, Rad Runner Girl and Her Name is Rio!

    And Rio, yes, I know we will bump into each other at one of these races. ::grins::

  13. Good job and thank you for a great race report! ☺ You did really well despite circumstances! CONGRATS! ☺ ♥ ☼

    {{{HUGS}}} Isabelle

  14. Thank you Angelina and Tricotine! ::big hugs::

  15. Sorry I missed you guys! Perhaps dinner in Long Beach? You guys had quite the tour too. I'm *really* sorry I missed out on all the sights of the city.

    I think a big hats off to the race organizers is in order. All too often, I've finished near the back of the pack only to get to the finish and find that there's nothing left to eat or drink. I thought they had done a really good job of planning to maximize the enjoyment of everyone on the course!

  16. Great work. I remembered that you were doing this half so came to your blog to see how you did. Glad to see that you finished and had an awesome time in SF.

  17. Glenn, I've been there one too many times when I get to the finish line and there's nothing left. I think the biggest disappointment has to be when they are out of medals. My neck feels so empty when everyone else had one and I don't.

    Thanks, un-Zen Runner! I highly doubt I outran any children, but a Green Girl can dream!

  18. Thanks for sharing your experience. I, too, will be running the first half marathon (I want to cross that Golden Gate Bridge) next year. There's plenty of area with inclines in my neighborhood where I can train to prep for those San Francisco elevation changes.

    1. You're welcome. Stairs are also a great way to prepare for hills.


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