Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Every runner has that one race that started it all. That one race that challenged them in ways they never knew was possible. For me, that race was the Nike Women's Marathon in October of 2006. This race catapulted my love for racing. 

When I was in college, I volunteered with Tri-California, a racing events company based from the Central Coast in California. They are an amazing company who hosts different races in the state. I happened to volunteer for them at the Nike Women's Marathon and was placed at the finish line. Seeing all those women cross with so much emotion, tears, sweat, and sometimes blood, made me change my outlook. I was probably at my highest weight and unhappy with my overall health when I decided to start training.  I was fortunate to have the support and motivation from two of my college friends that decided to sign up with me. It also helped knowing I was getting a Tiffany's necklace handed to me in a silver platter by a gorgeous fireman in a tuxedo at the finish line. Definitely a perk for this race!

The training took over my life for 4 months. I had no idea how out of shape I was. It had been years since I had raced or really trained for anything. And carrying all that extra weight really made it hard at first. One of my friend's was running the race with Team and Training so she forwarded me their training schedule as a model.  My weekdays were taken over with short runs and cross-training while my weekends were taken over with long runs. Basically I had no life for four months. But when I crossed that finish line after running 13.1 miles of San Francisco hills, I couldn't help but be proud of myself for accomplishing what many will never do.  Since then I have ran that same race two other times and I can't help but look back at how much I have accomplished since then. 



The Pro's of the Nike Women's Marathon:
  • They offer two races, the full and half marathon. 
  • Beautiful course throughout San Francisco.
  • Tiffany's necklace instead of a medal...given by a gorgeous fireman in a tuxedo!!
  • Free shirt given at the end of the race
  • Race geared for women
  • Amazing support staff
  • Great crowds and cheering stations
  • Offers shuttles for spectators and runners
  • Sufficient water stations
The Con's of the Nike Women's Marathon:
  • This race is now a lottery system. There are no guarantees for entry.
  • Hotel prices hike up during race weekend in San Francisco
  • They have more than doubled the amount of entries they allow making the race feel quite claustrophobic for the first few miles.
  • It is expensive
  • If you don't love hills this is not the race for you.


                                         



This race holds a special place in my heart. I continue to place myself in the lottery every year in hopes of getting in. Anytime someone asks me which race I recommend, I always say this race. You can't beat getting a personalized Tiffany's necklace for running.


Do you have a favorite race? Which one?

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