Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nike Women's Half Marathon 2012

The Nike Women's Marathon / Half Marathon is one of the hardest races in the country to gain entry into.  So many people want to be part of the event, Nike has to set up a lottery system for entry.  Only about 1 in 5 who seek entry actually get into the event--unless you are part of Team in Training!  If you commit to raise money to fight cancer, you are guaranteed entry into this most sought after event.  That is how I got in!  In total, there was over 9,000 Team in Training participants in the race, raising over $14 million dollars to fight cancer.  We made up over 1/3 of all participants.  Nothing like a sea of purple running to fight cancer!

I met my team bright and early in the hotel lobby.  Since our hotel was right at the race start, we got to sleep in a little bit because we could walk to the start.  It was so nice to have my local "Yorkies" coaches there with us. As we were lining up for a Team picture, Coach Barb had each one of us say just one name.  She told us to say the name of one single person we were running for that morning.  It was so moving to hear the emotion in the teammates voices as we all said our one name.  I could barely get out Katilyn's name without a tear.  It was a great way remind us of the real reason we were running that morning.

The team broke up and headed to our assigned corrals in smaller groups.  I was with a group of amazing ladies.  We had a great time waiting for the race to start.  It took us over 28 minutes to cross the start line.  Thank goodness this was a chip timed event!  The first two miles were on the city streets of San Francisco, heading toward the Embarkadero.  The view of the San Francisco Bay was amazing, although it became very evident that the word of the day was quickly become fog.  It was so foggy that morning, that we could only see about a quarter mile out.  As we ran through the Presidio, all of the runner were eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the famed Golden Gate Bridge.  Unforgettably, this was a marvel we would not be blessed to see that day.

The course was tough, but simply amazing.  That word does not do it justice, but is a true description.  The first really tough hill was around mile 5.5.  This is where the best bridge view should have been, but due to the fog the bridge was not visible   If you read my post yesterday about the Inspiration Dinner, you will remember Annalyn.  I just so happen to run into her and we chatted for the half mile up the hill.  It was so great to get to know her better.  After the top of this crazy hill, was about a mile of winding down hill, along the San Francisco Bay.  At the bottom of the hill, we ran through a very cute San Francisco neighborhood that contained what I was told was Robin William's house.  We made a sharp turn around mile 8 and there is was--the tallest, steepest hill yet.

Once we got to the top of this hill, we turned a corner and there it was--the most beautiful and breath taking second of the race.  I got my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.  It looked like it came out of a book.  It was pure nature.  The waves were crashing against the cliffs.  The seagulls were flying around.  Pure magic!  At this second, I also ran into some teammates taking pictures.  When I got to the bottom of the hill, I could see race village--but I was only on mile 10.  After I left my friends, I ran my a LLS staff cheer station and saw my Central PA staff person, Stephanie.  Around mile 11, we turned into Golden Gate Park to run our last two miles.

In Golden Gate Park, my friend Coach Barb helping out TNT participants.  She ran about a half mile with me.  We chatted about the amazing course like it was a training run.  It was so nice to have her on the course waiting for me.  It really energized to run my last mile and a half.  By this time, I could see runners who already had finished the race carrying their finisher bags, wearing their finisher shirts and holding little blue boxes.  It was tough to not look at the shirt of the bag, but I was determined I was not going to look at necks!  I did not want to see at Tiffany necklace until I was looking at the one I had earned myself.

The finial mile went pretty fast. By this time in the course, spectators had lined up and were cheering the runners on.  As I got closer and could see the finish line, I ran faster!  I once again could see the Pacific Ocean.  The crowd really had me going.  My mind was on getting my blue box from a hot firemen in a tux.  I crossed the finish line strong and chose the guy I wanted to give me my box.  What do you think, lol?

After I got my box, I got my finisher bag, and then my finisher shirt.  I continued on through the finisher chute to get some waters and a banana.  I stopped by and washed my face at the Neutorgena face wash station, picked up my bag from bag drop, then went to the Team in Training tent.  This is where I found a minute to stop and check out my medal--my Tiffany necklace!  I love it.  It't even better than I hope.

After a stop for a sandwich and some food in the Team tent, I meet my team on the beach.  Some of them took an "ice bath" in the ocean, but I chose not too.  After that, we walked through the finisher merchandise tent and then rode the bus back to the hotel.

Best medal ever!
The Nike Women's Marathon was an amazing event!  It was the most breathtaking course I have ever run.  There was not one boring second of this race.  There was always something beautiful to look at. The course was for sure my favorite I have ever done (but don't tell my runDisney friends I said that.)  The support on the course was also spectacular.  I had 9,000 teammates/ new family members cheering me on on the course.  There was hundreds of TNT coaches on the course.  I could not go half a mile without seeing one of their green shirts cheer on all of the runners.  The NWM in San Francisco is going to be a yearly event for me.  I can't wait to do it again next year!

The firemen!
A dream is a wish...



  1. Congrats on getting your Tiffany.. My friend did the Marathon! She said it was beautiful too!1

  2. Congratulations on the race and hitting your fundraising goal. And thank you from someone who has been personally touched by cancer. Go Team!

  3. Congrats! I am hoping to run this next year.

  4. Congratulations! I am blown away at how many TNT people ran this race and how much money you all raised. That is truly amazing!

  5. Thank you! The race was truly amazing. I can't wait to do it again next year! TNT has been such a blessing in my life. I have made so many friends--a whole new family.

  6. Just read this as inspiration for next weekend's NWM in DC! Thanks, Amy!

  7. Congrats Amy!! I'm definitely putting this one on my race bucket list! Keep inspiring because you're fabulous at it! ;)