#52 - San Francisco

 

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What a long strange trip it’s been – Grateful Dead
 

This whole weekend was awesome. Awesome hotel, awesome food, awesome race, awesome shopping, awesome city – just fucking awesome. I’m downright giddy to have completed a HM a week for a whole year. The best part was sharing the experience with my awesome husband. Thanks Tim, your awesome. OK – I promise not to use the word awesome again for the rest of this post.

Tim made this whole weekend a birthday extravaganza. We got a fancy room for 2 nights, went to a couple posh restaurants and went shopping. I loved our hotel. It was high end (for us) without being pretentious. The lobby had free wine during happy hour. The bed was so comfortable that I threatened not to get up for the race Sunday morning.

#52 - San Francisco

I highly recommend this charming hotel

#52 - San Francisco

In the hotel lobby, race morning

This HM echoed our first HM in many ways. Both Eugene and SF are iconic, large races and we decided to run both together. Just like our first race, I was moving slower than was comfortable for Tim and just like our first race, Tim’s afib kicked in during the last 5 miles. We also held hands as we crossed the finish line in both races.

#52 - San Francisco

Just a few blocks into our last HM

While this was the best possible race for us to end our adventure with they did have some serious issues. The parking at the expo was a giant cluster fuck. They really needed someone directing traffic. It took over half an hour to get out of the parking lot. Luckily, Tim can be an aggressive driver when he needs to be. I don’t think I have ever seen a parking situation so messed up. The expo itself was ok, nothing special. Because we got there about an hour before closing it was winding down. We did get about 10 bags of potato chips. They just kept giving them to us.

We got to sleep until 5am. It will be so nice to sleep in on weekends again. Our hotel was about a half mile from the start. It was a nice walk.

We goofed off a lot during this race. This is going to be a photo race report.

#52 - San Francisco

Tim veers off course to stick his head through a hole

The crowd support at this race was great. This girl screamed loud for everyone. She was adorable. Our wave started a full half hour after the first wave so she must have had a sore throat by the time she was screaming for us.

#52 - San Francisco

If I had her energy I would take over the world

Scenery wise this was a most incredible course

#52 - San Francisco

Yep – that’s a nice view

We met a really amazing guy, Dennis Cannon. He was running the full marathon while fighting cancer. He is still going through chemo. We have met a couple of people who started running after beating cancer but this is the first time we have met someone who was running while they were still going through chemo and fighting cancer. He was a really nice guy as well. Way to go Dennis. We wish you all the best.

#52 - San Francisco

#52 - San Francisco

Awesome Beyond impressive

I got all excited when I saw the bridge. Dennis asked us if we wanted him to take our picture. At first we said we didn’t want to interrupt his race but he insisted that it was no problem. I’m glad we did.

#52 - San Francisco

This is my favorite picture of us

We saw quite a few runners in fun costumes.

#52 - San Francisco

#52 - San Francisco

Running on the Golden Gate Bridge was a highlight of the year for me. Everyone who has been reading me knows that I love to run on bridges and this is my favorite bridge. I find it amazing that they were able to close 3 lanes of traffic, over the bridge, for runners. They even had a buffer lane between traffic and the runners.

#52 - San Francisco

#52 - San Francisco

Traffic Control was excellent. The police stopped traffic for runners. This woman was my favorite. When we slowed down coming up to the road, she yelled at us to keep going, that she was here for us and we were more important than cars. She was so enthusiastic and cheerful that she made both of us happy.

#52 - San Francisco

She appeared to get a malicious delight from stopping traffic

I’m not sure where these pictures were taken because they are two of the free photos but I like them.

#52 - San Francisco

Just look at that flying ponytail

#52 - San Francisco

Just look at that flying ponytail

Unfortunately, Tim had an issue with his afib. I don’t think he appreciated me taking pictures of him walking.

#52 - San Francisco

#52 - San Francisco

We ran by this cool sculpture in a playground. Tim got a good picture of it and I managed to get, what I thought was a good picture of Tim, getting a picture of the sculpture.

#52 - San Francisco

#52 - San Francisco

I ran ahead to get this unbelievable picture of a guy who was juggling while dribbling a basketball.

#52 - San Francisco

How do you do that?

Over the year I have seen a lot of interesting and funny signs but this guy took silliness to a new level.

#52 - San Francisco

His beer belly made the cat look 3D

We held hands and ran across the finish line together. Kudos to this race for offering free photos. Although we look like hell this is a special picture.

#52 - San Francisco

What a happy couple

After the race we noticed this cool music area that was powered by 5 bicycles.

#52 - San Francisco

Bicycle power

#52 - San Francisco

Tim did his part

This race had a major snafu involving the challenge medals. The challenge medal was an extra medal for doing both the Surf City and The San Francisco HM. Tim got his medal while I ran off to find a bathroom. While I was in line to get my medal they announced that they had run out of medals and would have to mail them. Usually, I don’t care very much about medals but this one was a really cool beer opener.

#52 - San Francisco

Tim gets a challenge medal

UPS had the brilliant idea of consolidating the drop bags at the end. That meant that some bags were not where they should be. They called the last bus while Tim was trying to find our bag. That meant that after getting our bag and trying to get my medal we didn’t have time to eat or get our free beer. I thought the buses were poorly timed as there were still a lot of people on the course. I hope no one got left behind.

#52 - San Francisco

Look – our hands are making a 52 (because we’re dorks)

There was a really long bus line but that was ok because we got to meet this nice couple. They emailed me a picture with a happy birthday note.

#52 - San Francisco

We have met so many cool people

Cons

  • Traffic nightmare at packet pickup
  • Ran out of challenge medals
  • Bag check was a mess at the end
  • Last buses were leaving before we had a chance to eat or drink a beer

Pros

  • Running over the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Nice course through San Francisco
  • Wonderful volunteers
  • Enthusiastic traffic control
  • Fun crowd support
  • Wearable long sleeve tech shirt (logo free)
  • Free pictures (special shoutout to Hoka)
  • Sent race results and pictures via email
  • Lots of port-o-pots before, during, and after race
#52 - San Francisco

Rose garden by the bus line

I really enjoyed this race but I am not sure if I would recommend it. The race itself was well organized (and that is what is most important) but the before and after was a bit off. If Tim hadn’t been driving I would have taken hours to get out of the expo parking lot. The drop bag mess up, lack of challenge medals, and the last buses leaving around 10am, added up to a race that didn’t seem to care much about slower runners. There were a couple things that made this race a challenge. As you would expect in SF it was hilly. It was also windy going over the bridge. That said, the race itself was stellar. The volunteers were amazing and they didn’t run out of anything. If you love SF and want to run over the Golden Gate Bridge as much as I did this race is for you. I loved it in spite of hills, wind, humidity, and a few snafus.

It was nice not to have to rush back to our hotel, take a shower and get on the road, after the race. Sunday night Tim took me out to a nice restaurant. It had a great atmosphere, our food and wine were excellent, and we had a sweet waiter.

#52 - San Francisco

Check out the ceviche served in half a coconut

Our waiter didn’t speak the best English and somehow got the idea that we were celebrating our anniversary. He brought us free cake. Tim called it my birthday cake.

#52 - San Francisco

Happy Anniversary

Yipee – we don’t have to run this weekend!

I will have a last blog post that sums up the adventure so please read my last post next week.

Doesn’t a record number of pictures deserve a record number of comments? Only 1 more chance to make Sharon happy by leaving a comment. I love comments almost as much as I love being done with this project.

#52 - San Francisco

19 Comments

  1. I see someone already wrote about your awesomeness, so I’ll just extend a hearty congratulations on completing your project! I’m thinking about trying to get to the Sydney Half Marathon next May, but that’s a long shot. It has a bridge. Just sayin’…

  2. When you guys said you were going to do 52 HMs in 52 weeks I thought you must be crazy! Well, here you are having completed what you set out to do, and you confirmed what I originally thought!

    Great pictures and you look good in all of them, especially the one with the two of you holding hands. Congratulations, and I hope you will continue being crazy for a long time to come! Stay in touch, and if/when I get to SD I will let you know so that we can get together.

    Best wishes,
    Michael

    • Thanks for commenting. Please do let us know if you are ever in SD we would love to get together. Reading my comments has been making me homesick for Tucson. I don’t know when we will be in Tucson again but when we are we need to do a yoga gang happy hour.

  3. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. Did I mention that you guys are AWESOME!!!

    I disagree about the finish line pic, I think it looks great. Except that you’re being chased by an oompa loompa in a pith helmet. The other free pics are AWESOME too. I can’t believe some crazy person is running with a sousaphone, but I LOVE IT! The Avatar lady is adorable.

    I hope you got to sleep in this weekend, and enjoy every minute of it. Thank you for taking us all on this adventure with you! I hope classes are going well. DO call and give an interview, you are inspiring and interesting, and yes, I’m gonna say it, AWESOME!

    • Oh and P.S. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!

    • Thank you so much. Meeting you has been one of my favorite things about this adventure. I re looked at the picture and you’re right Oompa Loompa. You will be happy to know that we were behind her and ran her down at the finish. Let’s plan to run a race together sometime. I also love to travel to races. We must keep in touch. Although I haven’t known you that long I think of you as a good friend. I think you get more of Tims jokes than I do.

      • We will definitely run a race together. I love running in new places too, I’m sure we’ll find one to do. Did you get my contact info? I can resend it or post it directly someplace (I have no safety concerns, nobody’s stalking me. I can barely get my husband to call me…) Tim and I are both from NY and also of a similar genetic makeup, I don’t think I can NOT get his jokes! ūüėÄ

  4. Jacqueline Wohl

    A big hearty congrats! Miss you lots. By the way, I’ve continued running. Up to 3 times a week most weeks. Still slow (but steady). Happy Bday!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jacqueline it is so good to hear from you. I’m glad your still running. I think about you and my life in Tucson a lot. As much as I like San Diego it doesn’t feel like home. Please if you are ever in town again let me know. Now that we are more settled in we could stay up late. I would love to see you play if your still in the band. Keep in touch.

  5. Happy Belated Birthday Sharon, and congratulations to you both on finishing your final race! I still remember Tim telling us of your plans and I told him I thought you were both nuts – add ‘committed’ and ‘dedicated’ now too :O) Jeez, what the heck are you going to do with all that spare time on the weekends now?

    Let us know what comes of that interview – whether it is an article, podcast, etc, that is way cool.

    You and Tim don’t look like hell in that picture, you two look GREAT. Thanks for sharing a whole year of your lives with us, and I am looking forward to reading about your adventures on the Blerch Marathon next!

    • Thanks Nancy. Tim sure knows how to make my birthday special. As I’m in school and Tim works a lot filling up all our free time is not going to be a problem. I still haven’t contacted the company about the interview because I feel nervous but I should. Two weeks and we start training for the marathon. Tim says hi.

  6. Loraine Chapman

    Congratulations! You did it! And you look great. I love the picture of you running hand in hand with Tim. Hope your feet heal quickly and Tim’s a-fib settles down.

    • Thanks I’m sure once I stop running every weekend my feet will heal properly. I’m not crazy about the finish line photo but really glad we posted it we almost didn’t because of the facial expressions. Have fun in yoga.

  7. Fantastic photos and what a way to finish your 52 races! Way to go and I am so very proud of you! I find it hard to believe you always take time to take photos, which adds so much.
    Loved every single one and especially the gal directing traffic.
    Yes you meet some very cool people racing and that is what I miss most of all.. some stay with you forever.
    You both look so glorious and happy and loved the ones holding hands as you crossed.
    Will look forward to the marathon blog so keep running and training, take care of your feet.
    AND, what an AWESOME husband Tim is.. he treats you so well! AWESOME, YOU HEAR??
    Off to the gym and do 45 to 50 minutes on the treadmill and then breakfast out. It is soooo humid out here,
    We had a great Italian dinner with friends last night and ended with Sambuca so was a bit out of it when I woke up but your blog got me going.
    Lots of love,
    Double JJ’s

    • Hi Jane. We took way more photos during this race than any other. If you look at our time you can tell we spent a lot of time goofing off. I hope you are doing well. Say hi to everyone at the gym for me. As always we miss you guys and send our love.

  8. WOW, you two! This was the best blog since the first blog. I actually got shivers up my back when I saw the photo of the two of you with my favorite bridge in the background. Please, can you get me a a 5 x 7 copy of that photo? Dean painted a picture of that bridge, which I have on my wall. I would love to put a copy of the photo of you two awesome (oops!) people on the wall next to the painting. There are several other photos I’d like, too, I’ll talk with you about them.

    I loved the guy with the Right Here, Right Meow outfit!! And the guy dribbling the basketball reminded me of the juggler we saw at your HM in Huntington Beach – running a marathon while juggling. The coordination of these people boggles my mind.

    It was so wonderful for me to see photos of “my” City again, the glorious fog, the beautiful neighborhoods, the food!!!! I really felt like I was there, the photos are just magnificent.

    I am so very happy for both of you that you ended your epic HM project in the best City in the world (sorry, San Diego!). And you had such a wonderful birthday/anniversary/HM/fun fest.

    I love the medal. It’s the absolutely best metal that I’ve seen. It needs to be in a beautiful picture frame, maybe Tim can come up with a really creative frame for it.

    Now, time to rest and take care of those feets of yours Sharon, and that a-fib, Tim. I have a photo I wanted to post here, but it won’t copy onto my comment section, so I will email it to Sharon. You’ll know when you see the photo what it means and where it came from. (Mysterious, hm?)

    Sending you big hugs and love and just such pride that I know two such wonderful and AWESOME people! Love you both, and hope to see you soon, very soon!

    • Thanks Marilyn. We will definitely send you the picture. We also think of SF as our city. I checked out the email picture. Awesome. I’m sorry it didn’t copy to comments. Unfortunately this is the first weekend we don’t have to run and I have to spend it studying. Monday I have two tests. We will talk soon. Tim and me send our love.

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