Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon Race Recap
Three months ago I had a very happy runner day! Since that day I've been planning my 2016 Rock 'n' Roll Race calendar with three things in mind: fun, travel and bling.
By the end of March I was totally prepared to rock the socks off the Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon. But the morning before RNRSF I decided to go run a 10K in Sacramento then stay up all night working on a DIY project.
Dumb, but dedicated. I dialed in my gear, slept a couple of hours and drove to SF ready to crush hills and drink mimosas.
First stop was the VIP parking lot. Wow, was that nice! I was so worried about traffic and road closures that I arrived in the lot a little too early, but early enough to chill, stretch and get my gear in order. Then my friend showed up and we hopped on the bus to the VIP breakfast area. The VIP breakfast location was perfect. It was literally right in front of the start line. The vibe was calm and mellow, as it should be that early in the morning. The breakfast options were light and varied - from hard boiled eggs and bagels to fruit. I chose an egg and a cup of coffee to get me going. I really appreciated the bag check!
My goal for this race was to get on the Golden Gate bridge early enough to stop for photos. I've run along the sidewalk of the bridge before during the inaugural RNRSF, but this would be my very first time running on the actual road of the bridge and I was really excited about that.
I wasn't worried about the hills. I run hills all the time (hello, I live in a town with "Hill" in its name) and the scariest hill of this race I had conquered 2 years ago during the Nike Half Marathon. No Biggie. Except for the part that this was the first half marathon I'd be running since my injuries last November and my recent clearance.
Dumber, but hella dedicated. I took off running dead set on gobbling up all the hills. But first, let me take a selfie with some hippies.
OK, time to get serious again. This course was no joke. The elevation gains were large. I my kept my strides short and strong and my head up.
Then came the Lincoln Hill. You know, that hill.
The hill was as gnarly as I'd remembered, but it was also filled with loads of positive energy and uplifting people. It is in these moments that I remember why I love to run.
Somewhere after mile 4 we made it onto the Gate. I had been Periscoping so my pace slowed considerably and I took the time to soak it all in. One of the last moments I shared with my brother was driving him over this bridge. I hadn't been back on it since. I wished he was there with me again, and in retrospect, maybe he was. The weather was perfect and I was happy and pain-free. I hadn't felt that way in a long time.
I had to force myself to snap out of my head. I put my phone away and ran past the 10K mark to the Marin side of the bridge where a photo shoot ensued.
Emelia met me on the Marin side of the bridge and stayed with me for the second half of the race. I'm always glad when she's willing to run with me! The hills were ridiculous - even for me! Fun, but bananas.
Towards the end of the race there is a street where runners are diverted in one of two directions in order to let traffic flow. If you were diverted to the left you were faced will non-stop hills, if you stayed on the right you were rewarded with a flat course to the finish. Guess which side we got?
The side with the schmega hills. Thanks, Universe! Just before the finish line, the runners from the flat portion of the course joined us and we all ran downhill towards the finish line.
Sweaty, salty and happy! Time for the VIP tent!
The VIP food service area was covered by a giant tent and featured drinks, fruits and desserts, breakfast items and several small snacks. Seating outside of the tent was plentiful and in a really nice area. We ate like champs and each enjoyed one mimosa before they ran out of champagne and bacon. Insert sad faces here.
We listed to a couple of bands before we decided it was time for each of us to get back home to our regularly scheduled programs.
The VIP lot was just a block away from the finish. If you are driving into the city for this race I definitely recommend purchasing the VIP add-on. It is absolutely worth it for the parking, bus, private areas and convenience.
Great bling, great tech tee!
- Did I enjoy this race? YES!
- Was it challenging? HELL YES!
I recommend this race for more experienced runners or runners who are willing to set a high incline on the treadmill and train accordingly. The location is perfect, the sights are gorgeous and running over the Golden Gate is a bucket list item worthy of training your ass off!
Remember, if want to register for this or any other Rock 'n' Roll race, use my code "JINDY" for $15 off registration!
Disclosure: As part of the #RocknBlog team I was provided with a complimentary race entry. As always, opinions are completely honest and 100% all mine.