Rock ‘n Roll San Francisco – race recap

Preeta and I at the expo

I love the Rock ‘n Roll race series. I love their energy and their medals (you both knew I would mention medals…)!
Due to my injury in 2013 I wasn’t able to run any of the RnR races last year, so this was my RnR come-back race.

I decided to make a weekend out of it. Now, I live in the Bay Area, therefore staying overnight in SF isn’t really necessary, but I thought it would be great fun (and it was!).

I started off on Saturday with a visit to the Expo and… I don’t know how this happens every time, I spent way too much money…

But aren’t these sweaty bands cute??
I am going to try to keep them sweat-free by not wearing them while running.

retail therapy

There is nothing more fun than “playing tourist” at home.
I walked way too many miles the day before the race, but it was all well-worth it. And wasn’t I supposed to do hill training before the race??
(You both say hill training is important, right?!)

The sea lions were out:

One sea lion to another: “Why are all these humans hanging out here every day?”

A leisurely walk along Embarcadero:

Selfie with my new sweaty band (which isn’t sweaty yet)

No! No! I hear you both shout. You are supposed to rest the day before a race. Yes, I hear you. And you are both right, but it was such a fun day. Too perfect to pass up on.
I did take it easy on the food: no ice-cream before the race, no Miette macarons before the race (you should try them though when you are at the SF farmer’s market next time!).

I found a new coffee roaster at the farmer’s market: Sightglass coffee. I loved their coffee. And coffee is good before the race!!

OK! Finally the race day shenanigans!

It was a VERY EARLY start! 
Shuttles took us from the finish line to the start line in the morning. The race started at 6.30am. We had to be at the finish line for the shuttle by 5.45am at the latest. I don’t like to stress out in the mornings so my alarm went off at 3.50am! (Monday morning’s alarm at 6.15am felt like a sleep-in suddenly…)

It was a QUIET race!
I have done my share of RnR races and love them for their energy, the music on the race course and the cheers from the sides.
This race was different.
The first 4 miles led up to the Golden Gate Bridge through neighborhoods and I am guessing that RnR didn’t get permission to have music bands on stages at these early hours in the day. Therefore, the early stages had quiet artists on stages: jugglers, people on stilts. It was cute, but not really giving off much energy and vibe. Good try, RnR, but it didn’t work for me.

The Golden Gate Bridge!
Leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge there were hills with beautiful views (you could nearly forget you were running hills…). It was a beautiful route. I ran it last year as a training run and I think you can run it again and again and it will always be beautiful.

This was an attempt to capture the views downhill:

And this was an attempt to capture myself mid-run with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I think I succeeded. 🙂

Then we ran the Golden Gate Bridge.
2 lanes were closed off for the race. When I ran the US Half Marathon SF last year we also ran across the bridge, but had to run on the pedestrian walkway.
Running on the car lanes felt a little crowded and tight, but you both know I wasn’t attempting a PR, so all was good and on the way back I did the annoying thing of stopping and taking a selfie on the bridge. (I did try to stay out of runners’ way!)

Hills! Hills! Hills!
The rest of the race is better left uncommented. Let’s just say: I don’t like hills (let’s say: I love the views from hills, but not the part of running up…). After we crossed the bridge we ran through the neighborhoods to the Civic Center Plaza and trust me: it was uphill the whole way!
At some point I was sure we were on the top of San Francisco (literally) only to find after the next corner it was uphill again. I wasn’t happy. My IT-band wasn’t happy. The finish line was all I could think of.
Even the bands that finally played music couldn’t cheer me up much.

But then I reached the finish line and life was good again!
It was a beautiful day after all spent with my running buddies in the sun in the beautiful city of San Francisco. Who could stay cranky? 🙂

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