The race started at 8:20am. They recommended getting there about 2 hours early, but our group was a bunch of rebels and got there an hour early. We took a shuttle that picked us up a block from our hotel. We made a quick coffee shop stop first.
The race began in Golden Gate park at the Music Concourse. I've spent many hours here at music festivals, but this was my first time running through the park. I used the porta potties the minute we got there and then we wandered around to watch the 5k winners
We also took some silly photos.
My soulmate made us point at each other.
We weren't sure why. Finally, around 8:05, we made our way to the corral. I did not want to shed any layers because I was freezing cold, but I'm glad I did because I ended up being the perfect temperature the entire race.
We ended up being in the very first corral, which we absolutely were not expecting. We took one last picture before we took off.
I'm really sad I didn't get any pictures on the course. It was absolutely beautiful. The first 5k was all downhill out of the park toward the bay. The second 5k was along the bay. It was breathtaking. I haven't spent any time at the beach in all of my time in the city, so running along the beach was amazing. The last 5k almost killed me. It was all uphill back to the finish line. I hadn't trained for hills. My last mile was the slowest, at 8:39 because I stopped and walked about .2 of that mile. I didn't get passed at all, so that was amazing. Otherwise, I felt great the entire run.
Boyfriend and my soulmate were at the finish line waiting for us to come in. I kicked it into high gear because I wanted to come in under 1:12. I am really proud of myself for kicking because I've been practicing my kick and it actually worked. UPHILL.
I crossed the finish line at 1:11 exactly. My Garmin said I ran 9.4 miles, which means I didn't run the tangents correctly, and I also had to make it say 9.5, so I kept going through the finisher's chute.
I stayed and watched her husband cross about 5 minutes after me.
Then we went and got our "finisher's mug" which consisted of chocolate fondue and hot chocolate. Boyfriend was ready for the hot chocolate after a long day of spectating.
I got it back and that was seriously the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted.
We took a little rest while we ate our chocolate.
Overall, it was a very, very well organized race. From the shuttles to the course markers to the mug pick-up. I never felt confused or stressed at all. It was also the biggest race I've ever participated in, with about 4,000 runners. I am now dying to do some larger half marathons.
After showering and changing, I was more than ready for breakfast. We went to this adorable little place called Grove where I had some great coffee.
My veggie scramble was awesome also. I always want eggs after a run for some reason.
After we said our goodbyes to my soulmate and her husband, we drove boyfriend's cousin to her work where we got some more coffee for our drive home. She's the sweetest person on the planet.
I adore his cousin.
Now we are on our way back to make it in time for family dinner at my dad's house. It was the most beautiful day in the city too. I could not believe it. Especially after yesterday when it was pouring.
I would totally recommend The Hot Chocolate series to anyone. I had so much fun.
What's your next race??