- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
This was my first full marathon and it was an overall great experience. There are a couple points to consider when signing up for this marathon and some minor things Nike could certainly tweak in the future.
The "metal" is a beautiful Tiffany's necklace that can be worth all day, every day! An exciting alternative to the traditional race metal.
The start was pretty organized... easy to check bags and the music really set the mood for the start. Also, really great start location as it is centrally located.
The aid/fuel stations are amazing- Nuun, shot blocks, water, fruit. Really awesome especially when battling all these hills (see below).
The course travels through a lot of beautiful park areas of SF that you don't usually get to see as a visitor.
The Expotique was a pretty big con- the crowds were SUPER overwhelming and the vendors/swag available were majorly underwhelming. For such a larger race, I'd expect a lot more vendors. For instance, I made the major mistake of not having time to buy fuel before traveling to SF. The only products available at the expo were CLIFF goos/shot blocks.
Hills- god the hills. I was anticipating the hills in the first 16 miles but thought the course would flatten out in the last 10 miles. Even though the hills were not as steep from 16-26, my legs were so tired that it still felt like I was going constantly uphill.
The finish was a mess. The shuttles that NIke provided were NOT included in the race registration price (I believe they were charging $20 per person) and there were NO easy ways to get back to the downtown/financial district area. We ended up walking (aka crawling) up some major hills in order to find a public bus to get back to the hotel.
Lastly- my chip did not work and my friends/family at home couldn't track me using the app. It took several weeks of following up with Nike and their tracking partner to get this fixed and to finally have an official time. Such a weird thing to happen after such a great marathon experience.
Overall- this is a great race to run if you want to explore SF more and are not scared away by HILLS and quiet streets.