Sunday, November 13, 2011

Race Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon

Fifth Nike event - fourth time doing the half. It was not quite the fun experience I remember having in past races and I realized it's because I ran the race as a "VIP" runner the other four times which completely changes your whole perspective. Special start area tent, special gear check, start corral right behind the elites, private post-race tent in the finish area with a hot brunch, changing rooms, etc. Those were the days!

But this year definitely had its fun moments since many of my friends were either running it or spectating it - I was glad I was able to partake in the festivities!


Only a ~women's marathon would have a Paul Mitchell salon in the middle of the expo

Foot massage without the foot spa and pedicure seems odd to me.

Another fun female-friendly exhibit - get a skin consultation from Neutrogena!

Sadly, my name did not make it to the wall this year.

Free breakfast buffet at Niketown! Didn't buy anything but thanks for the grub, suckas ;)

This is the first year I didn't buy a NWM hoodie. But if I had, it would be this one. I think Jeri would approve.
Race Day

Race morning did not go very smoothly. Moving on!

Naomi and I in our start corral :)
How I knew we were in the wrong corral
The race kicked off with Beyonce's "Run the World" (which I would later hear at least two more times during the race - quite the girl power song!). As we approached the start line, we were excited to see Kerry along the sidelines and she quickly joined us as we started the race! Very fun!

It was crazy at the start trying to dodge other runners and avoid the walkers. I eventually lost both Naomi and Kerry and just settled into my own comfortable pace. There was something comforting about running such a familiar course. I knew where all the hills were and I am proud to say I ran (ok, slowly jogged) up all of them up to mile 6.  By the way, I really loved the drum corp at the top of that hill.

Once we got to mile 7, I was a lot more lenient with my walking breaks - um, I mean, pauses to take some scenic photos.

I didn't really need this pic. I just needed a break from the hills.
Oh, by the way, this is my first race running with my new iPhone 4S so yay for easy self portraits!

I had heard that Katie and crew would be cheering around mile 8. My first thought was, "Aw, man, that's right in the middle of the hills. They're gonna catch me being all wimpy!" But then I realized it was really a good location for a pick me up. So once I got close to mile 8, I forced myself to keep running until I saw them because I did not want to be caught walking!

Finally, I heard it. The beautiful sound of our friend, the cowbell. I looked in the direction of the cowbell and saw this sign:

Pic stolen from Jana
From the sign, I looked down and sure enough, there was Katie along with Page, Jessica, and Dennis! I was so excited to see friends on the race course! And then as soon as I got a good distance past them, I was FINALLY able to take my walk break. Heehee.

The rest of the race was pretty much the same old stuff.

Jazz hands / sashay pic - Check!
My new pet peeve with races is when spectators think it's OK to cut across a race course. If they're able to time it so no runner is affected, then fine. But there were people cutting across the course right before we turned right onto the Great Highway to the finish line stretch. I had to pull a Naomi and angrily bark out a "STOP!!!!!" so people would stay out of my way. It worked. I still wanted to club them though.

zoom zoom out of my way
Official Results
  • Chip Time: 2:31:15
  • Pace: 11:32 min/mi
  • Overall Place: 6144 out of 16444
  • AG Place: 605 out of 1831

I was pretty proud of myself with this time considering how challenging the course is. Woot woot!

Post race area was pretty fun - Neutrogena was back again and it was nice to have their products on hand to clean up a bit.

Afterward, I wandered around a bit and stumbled upon Aron and Kristin at the sand dunes.

Thanks to Alisyn for the pic!
Later, a bunch of us met up for a tasty lunch at Beach Chalet conveniently located right by the finish line. It was a great place to get away from the crowds.

With Courtney and Kerry
gulp gulp

Monte Cristo, yum yum!
While there, I finally took a good look at my new Tiffany necklace! It's cute. (But I still think the 2010 one is my favorite.)

We also got cute race shirts. I am a fan of the color, cut, and material... maybe not so much the design (compared to previous years - they usually have such cute designs!)

Another nice surprise of this year's event was not having to deal with the dreaded shuttle from Great Highway back to Union Square. In previous years, I had to wait for over an hour just to get on the bus! This year, we were spoiled with private car service from Roadbunner and her BF. Thanks, guys!!!

oops. bet they got a lot of sweaty parking tickets that day.
And in case you're curious, here are all my Nike necklaces to date:

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
I'm good on Nike races now... don't think I need to experience that again. And of course, I realize by my passing on future NWM races, the Tiffany necklaces are just going to get cuter and cuter. *sigh*

If you want to read more about this year's half, check out some race reports from my awesome running friends:
If I missed yours, let me know!


naomi said...

Oh man, I missed breakfast at Niketown! I didn't know spectators were also running across the course! I'm glad you told them it was unacceptable (because you know I would have!) :)

Great job - and you're pictures look badass!

Layla said...

You are so funny -- "I still wanted to club them." Hahaha! I loved the pictures, and man, Nike has stepped up the expo since 2008! I still don't think I'll run it again, though.

RoadBunner said...

Nice job!! That is quite the collection of necklaces there. Maybe I should sign up next year since you aren't so I'll get the guarateed-cute-design necklace :P No problemo about the ride.

A said...

I seriously love your jazz hands. :)

Jeri said...

as soon as I saw the green hoodie, I thought...oooh that's cute. and then saw your comment about me approving, and had to laugh. :)

love the race report, and you have quite the collection of necklaces. too fun!

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justsoyouknow said...

I've been dying to join this kind of race, aside from the fact that i will lose some of my unwanted fat, i loathe for freebies too lol.
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