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Monday, October 19, 2009

Best Race Ever - Nike Women's Marathon

Barely on any sleep right now after arriving back in the Springs around 1AM this morning, but I had to write and let everyone know how great the party was in San Fransisco. We arrived at 8am on Saturday morning (after waking at 3am) and quickly picked out our rental car. We were anxious to get to the "expotique" in downtown San Fransisco. Scheri drove with great confidence, and got us there in no time. As with many large cities, the streets all went one way. So we ended up circling the streets over and over, which led to great site seeing! Trolleys, high fashion stores, and lots and lots of people filled the streets. It was amazing and spectacular, and so much fun. We found a parking lot that wouldn't cost us an arm and a leg, and went for it.

The "expotique" was nicely put together. After experiencing race directing, I have a huge appreciation for the big and little things that go into a race. I can't even imagine how pleased this director must be. From the bouquets of flowers that were color coordinated with the races colors this year (purple, yellow, and reddish pink) to the enthusiastic volunteers to the Tiffany designed necklace (haven't taken mine off), all of the details were well thought out. We rode bikes with blenders that had smoothies in them, took pictures, and grabbed freebies. The weather was great, and we actually had beautiful sunshine. We headed over to the "wall" on Niketown that had every runner's name on it. (I will add pictures later, after Scheri downloads them.) We decided to eat breakfast and then hop on a trolley. The funny part about this is that I laughed at a family because they hopped on and pulled out some passes...I thought, "Silly people, you don't need passes!" Scheri and I were posing, and hanging off, it was like we were in a movie. Only to find out that the trolley takes you to the bottom of all of the hills, dumps you, and IF YOU DON'T HAVE THAT PASS, you have to walk back up! We ended up stumbling across the ticket booth and found out they were $11. Yikes, we decided that was enough trolley riding!

We thought it would be fun to check out the race route. So we jumped back in our rental, and went for a drive. It began in downtown, went north for just a bit, the wrapped around the edge of San Fransisco (by the water) heading south. The route went past fisherman's wharf, had views of Alcatraz, up some hills (ouch), along the beach, up into Golden Gate Park, views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and back along the beach some more. It was the best course I have ever ran in a city! After checking out the course, we headed over to Janice's house, our friend Val's aunt. She was so accommodating and had an amazing house and garden. We took a short nap and were ready to go again. She drove us to the world's crookedest road, Lombard Street. We drove down it. That evening, we enjoyed a nice dinner with Janice at a local restaurant within walking distance and went to a local market. Finally, off to bed for some sleep and preparation for race day.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, or not so bright, we were out the door. Janice was kind enough to drive us to the start. Scheri and I were doing this race for pure fun, and pure fun was what we set out accomplish. Enjoying the course every step of the way...taking pictures, talking, and laughing, we had a blast! The race itself was perfect. We were anticipating a 3:45, but decided it would be more relaxing to slow down and actually soak it all in, so we ended up doing a 3:55. Coming into the finish with NO long run pain was a plus in addition to the Tiffany designed necklaced that was handed to me by a gentleman in a tuxedo. (Did I tell you how much I love the necklace? A girl runner on it with the saying "run like a girl.") We walked over and got a massage, went to the stretching tent and did some great stretches, and finished it off with a walk on the beach and leg dip in the waves! There are some goofy pics to come of me still running along the beach, joking with Scheri about how I could do more running if I had too. We decided to take the "Muni" back to Janice's. This is public transportation, on a track, but not really a train. We met so many people during this ride home and found that San Fransisco people are some of the most friendly people we had ever met. Always moving and going, we showered and got dressed as quick as we could to go to a street fair with Janice. I got some cherry blossom socks, Scheri some souvenirs for her kiddos, and some to-go dinners to take to the airport. Zooming back to the airport around 6PM on Sunday, we arrived just in time to eat and catch our flight. The second the plane took off, I closed my eyes and didn't open them until we arrived in Denver at 10:30PM. Drove to Scheri's and then to my house, and crawled into bed for a few hours of sleep. My birthday is today, so Scheri made sure to wish me a happy birthday at 12:01AM, and I couldn't of asked for a more perfect birthday weekend - or 35 hours, except to have my family or minimally, Marc with me. There is always next year! (Of course I want to go again.)

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