Monday, July 31, 2006

San Francisco 1/2 Marathon: 1hr 38min*

Dean Karnazes, author of Ultramarathon Man, signs Julie's copy of his book.

1 hour 38 minutes and 7 seconds*.
*includes an emergency approximately 9 minute potty break.

102 out of 3859 runners overall.
89 out of 1744 men.
26 of 611 in my age group (35-39 males).

The Whole Story (Mostly)
The weather was perfect for an early-morning race. With just a few high clouds and a slight chill to the air, we headed down from our room at about 5am. The race was scheduled to start at 5:30am, but our wave was for 5:40. The five of us who stayed the night (me, Julie, Jenny, Tamara, and Jenny's kid's soccer coach, Tom) met up with our other running friends who had driven in from Pacifica (Michelle, Vicky, and Carol).

Running across the Golden Gate Bridge, glancing out over the Bay as the sun rose was wonderful -- beautiful!

I'm not sure if it was something I ate or drank, but I had major gastrointestinal problems and had to take a 9 minute emergency potty break. I "held on" for as long as I could until I had to make a mad scramble up a hillside for a bit of privacy. I couldn't even make it to a porta-potty. So, if I could subtract that 9 minutes, my time would've been a much more respectable 1 hour 29 minutes. I didn't have any other problems really although I felt a bit sluggish and had a hard time breaking 7 minutes / mile, even on the flatter sections. Also, the battery apparently went out on my foot pod even though it was a recent replacement and it has a multiple hour warning where it flashes red instead of green, so maybe it got left on by accident, but it was useless deadweight during the race. So, I didn't know what my pace was at any given moment.

bib #16778

Other interesting things: there were many runners dressed in costume. One was wearing a Roman warrior costume that included a breast plate (front and back), shield, and spear. Another runner was carrying a serving tray with a fake bottle of wine glued to it. Another was a clown. Our local celebrity, Dean Karnazes, the ultramarathon runner, also ran the marathon in just under 4 hours which was very respectable considering he ran the Badwater 130 last week.

Besides the race, it was fun relaxing and visiting with friends and enjoying myself without having to be concerned about Claire. Thank you, Jennifer, for watching her this weekend. We also got to see Dean Karnazes talk about his experiences and try to inspire others towards challenging themselves.

For a brief picture tour of this weekend, with commentary, please visit:

My splits were:
Mile #1: 7:36 weaving way through crowds
Mile #2: 7:24 avg. with mile #3 due to not seeing mile marker. crowded.
Mile #3: 7:24
Mile #4: 7:09 somewhere around here I started feeling problems "down below"
Mile #5: 7:05
Mile #6: 8:08 some hills getting on to the bridge
Mile #7: 7:05
Mile #8: 6:58 finally broke 7 minutes.
Mile #9: 17:06 emergency! stopped for a while behind a bush. #$%! What did I do wrong?
Mile #10: 6:21 had a huge downhill.
Mile #11: 7:42 hills?
Mile #12: 8:02 and more hills?
Mile #13: 6:38 picking up the pace towards the end
Mile #13.1: 0:34 had a bit of a sprint for the last couple hundred feet

Food diary: In spite of our best efforts, we had a really late dinner. I think we started eating at 9pm. About an hour before the race, I had a banana and a chocolate flavored Power Bar, and then a few bites of yogurt. I was thinking as I was running that the yogurt was a mistake as was a little bits of dried fruit the day before. In hindsight, I wish I had skipped some of the fruit from the day before and gotten up earlier and had coffee (caffeine has a strong laxative effect on me) and tried to get things "cleared out" earlier.

Of our group:
Ron: 1:38:07
Tamara: 1:56:46
Vicky: 2:01:33
Julie: 2:03:35
Michelle: 2:05:33
Jenny: 2:07:34
Tom finished somewhere in there in the middle.


theseamonster said...

Sounds like a great race!

How cool that you got to meet Dean (again right?). He's doing 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states (on his website). Classic about someone doing the 1/2 in full Roman costume.

Ron Little said...

Yes, I met Dean Karnazes once before, on The Relay. He's a genuinely warm and friendly person.

Yeah, the 50 50 50 event is pretty amazing. This is what I wrote in an email to our little running group here:

Dean Karnazes is starting his 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days tour on September 17 and anyone can sign up to run with him.
He's running in California in San Francisco on October 3, 7am start. He says he'll run the marathons in between 4:30 and 5 hours for each. It costs $100 and includes support and a signed copy of his book. It's not clear if the profit goes to charity or not, although he's promoting his charity, Karno Kids on the registration site. Other dates include:
Portland, OR on 10/1
Surprise, AZ on 10/5
Overton, NV on 10/6