I could not have asked for a more perfect trip to San Francisco. The weather was picture perfect, the food was fantastic, and the Nike Women’s Marathon was one of the most organized and exciting races I have ever run. While I get over major jet lag after only one hour of sleep on the redeye home, I thought I would share some of my trip with you.
This was my first time in San Francisco. I have been all around San Fran in past trips to the west coast, but I had never spent any time in the city. I was surprised how small the actual city is — only 7 square miles! That made seeing most of the city in a three day trip fairly easy.
The first two days in the city, I didn’t carry around my camera. I’m kicking myself now!! I missed taking photos of some of the cafes, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Sausalito. The city is much cleaner than most large cities I have visited, and they are very conscious of waste. Every cafe I went to, where we were responsible for cleaning up after eating, had a compost bin, a recycling bin, and one for waste. I never saw anything made of styrofoam, bags were not always free at check out, and I was never handed a plastic bag. I’m sure this isn’t the same in every shop or cafe in San Francisco, but in Atlanta, where I live, I have yet to see a compost bin anywhere, and plastic is almost always the options at check out.
Sausalito is just across the Gold Gate Bridge from the city. From downtown, you can rent a bike and ride it across the bridge to the quant little strip of shops and restaurants stretching along the bay. After you ride to Sausalito, there is a ferry that will take you and your bike back to the city. We did not rent bikes and ride across the bridge, but I hope to next time I visit San Francisco! There is also the ferry to Alcatraz. Again, I did not make it there, but hopefully there is another trip soon. :)
I made the trip to San Francisco for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I was running a with a good friend, who was running her first half, and Nike Women’s put on an amazing show for her and the rest of the 25,000 participants! She didn’t pick the easiest course for her first half. Take a look at this elevation chart.
It’s fairly hilly in the Atlanta area, so we are used to hills, but on this chart, they looked more like mountains! They were challenging, but the extra challenge made it fun. One friend of mine, after seeing this chart, said, “find an escalator at mile 7.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it, but I was tempted to log roll down mile 10.
Everything from packet pick-up, to the race finish was perfectly organized. At the start, port-a-potties are in each corral, about 20 of them….obviously, a race geared towards women. ;) The course, while hilly, was beautiful had plenty of entertainment along the way. We ran the race with Team in Training, for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and they had cheer stations all over the place. The energy was unbelievable! Something I have not experienced at a race since the New York Marathon.
The only thing better than crossing the finish line myself, was watching a good friend cross the finish line for the first time! The look on her face was priceless. Then sitting there at the finish…a little blue box in the hands of a local firefighter in a tuxedo. After picking up our little blue box with a beautiful Tiffany’s finisher necklace, we walked around to see what they had at the finish, and they had it all!! From face wipes to clean your face, a hair makeover station, a changing area, massage tent, food, drinks, a stretching tent…they didn’t miss a thing! Start to finish, this race was perfect, and it raised a total of $10 million for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!
First things first after the race, FOOD! We found a small cafe close to our hotel where we grabbed a quick bite. Check out the sandwich I had….
Hummus with layers upon layers of fresh veggies. The first thing I did when I came home was run to the store to buy everything to make this again. Another popular menu item there were roasted beet salads. I will be making some of those soon, too!
Then we decided to walk up to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. The problem with walking around San Fran is you may end up walking up and down massive hills…and that’s exactly what happened to us! We started walking up Mason Street, and ended up hiking a massive hill, but the view at the top was worth it.
Here is where we walked from….(starting on Market Street up Mason Street)
Here is a look down one of the streets to our right from the top. The Oakland Bay Bridge in the background…
And here is what we were walking towards…
After a long, hilly walk, we made it to Fisherman’s Wharf…
I was sad to leave San Francisco after a quick three day trip, but there is no place like home. The city left me craving fresh veggie sandwiches, roasted beet salads, signing up for another large race, and a commitment to reduce waste in my house.
I have a feeling I’ll be back for another Nike Women’s Marathon in the future. Maybe next time I’ll tackle the full.