Friday, April 20, 2018

Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Race Recap 4/8/18

Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Race Recap 4/8/18
This was my third year running Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half marathon! You can check out my recaps of my past two races here and here. It was another fun one and it was neat to see the changes they made with the course! Turned out to be a perfect day to run on the Golden Gate Bridge!

PACKET PICKUP: The expo for packet pickup was at Pier 35. I was hoping to make the werunsocial meetup at 3pm but like last year the traffic getting into the city was horrendous. I guess I didn't learn from last time, but now I know that if I want to make the meetup, I will need to leave at least 3 hours earlier than the scheduled time. I ended up getting to the expo around 4pm but I was still able to catch some familiar faces for a pic. :) Bib and shirt pickup was smooth and fast. It was neat that they added a name wall so runners can search for their names. I browsed through the booths pretty quickly since I didn't really need to buy anything. The kids spun the wheels whenever there was one, but we ended up not staying very long. All I know was that it was less than an hour because we knew that the first hour was free for the parking garage we stayed at. :)
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon expo 2018
RACE DAY: Me and the fam stayed at Comfort Inn by the Bay which was about a mile away from the start line. This year the race started at Pier 39 so it was different from last year where it started in Golden Gate Park. Start time was scheduled for 6:15am but I wanted to meet up for the pre-race werunsocial pic at 5:27am so I got up around 4:30ish and left my hotel around 5:10ish. Being a mile away, I jogged to the meetup area and it didn't take me long to get to Pier 39 between corrals 6 and 7. It was again great to see familiar faces and meet new ones. 
Photo Credit: @werunsocial
Of course we had to get a circle shot of everyone in their Pro Compression socks!
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Pro Compression socks pic
There was a lot of time to kill after the pic, so a lot of us just hung out and chatted. I figured I'd start out with the group since a bunch of us were in the same corral and then part ways. I was thinking I would run a solid race but once it was 6:25am, 10 minutes after the scheduled race time and we were still standing there, I wasn't too sure anymore. 
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Start line
We ended up starting the run at 6:30am. At that point, I wasn't as focused on running and in the mood to just have fun. There was a hill not too far from the start after we turned from Mason Street onto Bay Street. For someone that isn't used to hills, it's a nice little challenge.
It was fun to see these guys in Elvis costumes and even Elvis on stilts as we headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Elvis
After about 3 miles in we came upon the Wear Blue Run to Remember mile. This is always a touching part of the course. The signs on the side are a tribute to service members that have been killed in combat and have made the ultimate sacrifice. When we got to the signs I mentioned to Daniell (who I ran the whole race with) how I really liked this part especially with the volunteers holding the flags and I wondered if we'd see them this race.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Wear Blue mile to Remember
Low and behold, not too much further as we headed up a hill to get up towards the Golden Gate Bridge, there they were. The wear blue volunteers with the American flags. It is a really cool part of the race because they are there cheering you on and their cheers are helping us get up the steep hill. I got a nice boost of energy from their cheers.Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Wear Blue mile to Remember
Not too much further from the hill is the Golden Gate bridge. It's really neat to get to run on the bridge, but for some reason this year, the street was not closed off for us and we ended up running on the sidewalk of the bridge. I didn't like this aspect of the race since it became congested at times and for those that wanted to pass, it was very hard to because of how narrow the space was. Also, having ran the race the past two years, it was just disappointing to have to run on the sidewalk vs. the actual street.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon running on the bridge
Anyway it was around 6 miles where we did the turn around. But of course I had to stop and get a shot with the bridge behind me. It was such a beautiful morning! I loved that we could actually see the bridge and it was sunny!
This year I think there were more bands on the course which was neat.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon band
The turn around was much different this year than previous years as we went down onto a trail and actually went under the bridge before climbing back up and onto the bridge again but on the other side. The pic below was my favorite part of the race because it was so beautiful. The views were amazing.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon trail part
To get back on the bridge, we did have to run up another big hill, and it was neat to see some signs with some facts about the bridge as we got to the top of the hill.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon uphill climb
 Here we are back on the Golden Gate bridge.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon golden gate bridge
As we got off the bridge, we headed down to Marine Drive where we got to go back and look at the bridge another time before making a turn back towards San Francisco Maritime Historical Park where the finish line was by.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon golden gate bridge
Me and Daniell stopped to take a pic at this fun photo op.

Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon I love SF photo op

Me and Daniell happy to be running on such a beautiful day. 

It was great running parts of the race with the werunsocial crew. We kept bumping into each other which was fun. It was easy to spot any of the crew because of the socks. :)
Here's my finish pic with Daniell. :)
We finished at 2:21:14. Not bad considering we stopped twice for the porta potty and made multiple stops for pictures! It was so much fun running with her! Thanks for the great company Daniell!
 Here are more pics with the crew!
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon werunsocial crew
Photo credit: @werunsocial
Photo credit: @ross.707
Overall, another great Rock'n'Roll San Francisco! The only thing I didn't like about the run was not running on the actually street of the bridge, but other than that, it was all good. I liked the new course. I think there were less hills than last year, but not certain. I enjoyed the beautiful day. Post race treats were the usual bottled water, chocolate milk (which is always awesome after the race) and some snacks. This is a race I still recommend for anyone. It's always so cool to run on the Golden Gate bridge. The bling had a pretty cool design this year too!
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon medal 2018
Hope to see you on the course next year! Happy running!

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