San Francisco Rock & Roll Half Marathon

The sign read:

“It’s Sunday Funday – you’re doing it wrong”

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Nice medal!!

Yeah, we were. This race was brutal. The most brutal race I’d ever ran. In fact, the course was changed and revealed after many runners had already signed up, expecting the same course as last year. In fact, it was a reversal of last year, with lots more added hills, as if it needed more.

This R&R Half started much earlier than most. I assumed it was because of the portion crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Start time was 6:30am. I caught a free shuttle at Civic Center at 4:30am, so I got up at 3:00am to make sure I had everything together. And of course, just as I left the apartment building, I realized I forgot my watch. Thank goodness I had lots of time. I made it in time to catch the first bus.

The organization was great. It was short of the Hot Chocolate 15k, but I don’t think any race could be as well produced as that one. The SF Hot Chocolate was stellar in every area and I hold it in the highest esteem.

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Ocean Beach at about 5am

Here are my Pros and Cons of the race and some final thoughts. First the Pros.

PROS:

– Great organization. They kept everything simply explained and the corrals were easy to use.

– Nice expo, really enjoyed that.

– Great medal and t-shirt. It’s probably the best race t-shirt I’ve ever seen.

– Lots of porto-bathrooms.

– Good amount of water and aid stations scattered throughout the course.

– Volunteers rocked

 

And now for the Cons:

– The course. It was released late, and I wonder why. This course was nasty, nasty, nasty. I will not run this race again if they have it on the same course.

– Not much good music. It’s supposed to be the “Rock n Roll” Half, but the only music they had pre-race was disco and dance. That’s NOT rock! Lucky I had my own music. There were a couple good bands along the course, but aside from them, the rest of the bands/DJs were again, not rock.

– Post race snacks were weak. Lots of water, good, bananas, good, milk chocolate, good, pistachios, good. But Cheese-Its? Power Bars? Not interested.

– Post race event at Civic Center. I was happy to finish, of course, but the whole after race event seemed to be too low-key. The band playing was awful. They were some sort of whiny alt band, and didn’t fit into the general vibe of the morning. I mean, if you’re the ROCK & ROLL HALF MARATHON, wouldn’t it fit to have a ROCKIN’ band to get finishers moving? At least that’s what I would think. Plus, I really expected a bit more food goodies, which I already mentioned. Or maybe a few more vendors, like a coffee stand. That would have been nice. This is San Francisco after all.

But, with everything considered, it was a good race. I do have some observations and opinions that I wanted to share. Now, these are just my opinions, so if yours are different, that’s awesome.

– Walkers really need to stay on one side or the other. I don’t care which side, just stop dominating the entire length of the course. I’m not that fast of a runner; yet, and it irritates me when two or three walkers will walk in a row without considering anyone else trying to pass them. And yes, we runners will pass you, unless you’re a speed walker. In that case, nevermind.

– if you follow that Jeff Galloway methd of wogging (it’s not running, it’s not walking), for the love of all things right in this world, LOOK BEHIND YOU before you stop running to walk!!! I nearly ran into no less than five woggers today because, they, along with most walkers, thought there was no one else in the race.

– Not a fan of tutus. If you like them, good for you. Same with running skirts, no thank you.

– I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Ultimate Direction Hydration Vest! I didn’t see anyone else wearing one, but it worked beautifully for me. I never had to stop at any of the water stations, and since I carried my own gels, I was good for the entire distance. It was also big enough to carry my phone’s battery charger and cord, so I had music the entire time and was able to get a couple pics at the end. The best part was avoiding the gear check-in.

– Why or why do people still use plastic garbage bags pre-game?? I thought that went out with the 90s. In SF of all places, I don’t want to see such waste. It is really that difficult to to go Goodwill or another used clothes store, buy a cheap sweatshirt and then toss it aside when the race begins? They’re all picked up and donated back. NOTHING is wasted. Plastic garbage bags, on the other hand, are nothing but waste. It makes no sense.

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My medal and bib

I’m sure there’s more I can write about. I’ll do that in upcoming blogs. My week this week will be off to a slow start. I have Monday and Tuesday off. No workout tomorrow, but I look forward to either hiking or swimming Tuesday, not sure which yet. Have great workouts and great weeks!

 

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2 comments

  1. I agree with everyone you said! The Pros and the Cons. The 3 am wake-up and early shuttles were rough, but the amount of hills were rougher. Great volunteers, great views, great organization, but I can’t do enough training hill repeats to do that race course again!

    1. RIGHT??? I think if I had had another month or two perhaps I would have been better off, but I came down with illness in March, so it didn’t help. It really bothered me that they didn’t reveal the course until after they started accepting registration. That was a little underhanded imo. It made me think they weren’t sure how people would react to the course change.

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