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2008-04-03 8:24 PM

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Springfield, Illinois
Subject: The San Francisco Marathon
I just started training for San Fran on Monday. Hoping to find some other folks who have done this race before to get some tips on the course. Anyone out there?


2008-04-03 10:08 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Champion
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Yup, did this one in 2006.

Out of the 8 marathons I have done, this one is by far my favorite. I have since run faster marathons in many locations but this one remains the top race in terms of satisfaction level.

Anything you need to know, just ask.

My race report was posted on the old RWOL website and lost when the swapped out forum software but I think I still have the text of the report someplace. I will dig it up and post it if your interested

2008-04-04 6:19 AM
in reply to: #1314637

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Springfield, Illinois
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Absolutely! I can always use insight to help with training strategy. I'm glad to hear you liked it. It's a big investment in time and money and always a gamble with a race you've never done before.

I have an obvious question....how bad are the hills, really? See, Springfield is relatively flat and it's difficult to find hills to train on. Should I worry?

2008-04-04 11:14 AM
in reply to: #1314459

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Still trying to dig up my race report but it might be gone forever. I might have to write another one instead. (I still remember most of the race and even have all of my time splits)

For being a race in San Francisco they did the best they could to flatten out the course as much as possible. Still, there are plenty of hills to deal with but nothing monsterous.

The hill from Chrissy field up onto the bridge is steep but short. The bump in the middle of the bridge is nothing to worry about. the bumps heading through the Presidio are manageable. It seems like GG Park is where the real difficulty is. (We run a figure 8 in the park and there are a few long pulls)

The nice bit is that from about mile 21 all the way to the waterfront is a big bombing run to the finish. (All Down Hill) Just before the freeway, there is one uphill section that knocks the wind out of you but it is short and a bit steep.

Once you hit the water front, it is flat as can be as you wind around the ballpark. the cool thing is that the bay bridge is visible from a long way off and the finish is just beyond it. (Sort of a big carrot)

I turned a big negative split here owing to the fact that the last half is much faster than the first and ran my fastest mile to the finish.

The tricky bit is that many of the short steep hills don't show up on the course profile because the profile is not granular enough. (I think they took measurements at the mile markers)

Just train for hills. Tempo Intervals are a reasonable substitute for hill repeats but getting used to running up and down hills is the key. (Down can be more taxing than up)

I will try to either dig up my report or write something up this weekend

2008-04-04 12:03 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Springfield, Illinois
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
That's good stuff! This will only be my second marathon, and I'm training with a friend who hasn't done one yet. I wanted to do something other than Chicago again. Seems like everyone in Springpatch does Chicago. Every year. What race/s are you training for this year?
2008-04-04 12:13 PM
in reply to: #1315831

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Champion
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Cool, just be sure to spend a lot of time hanging out in the city. There is tons to do and it is very easy to get around.

As for training: I am still working on my fall marathon schedule but I will probably be doing Long Beach Marathon in October as a Tuneup. Then Santa Clarita in November, either Tucson or CIM in December and the Orange County Marathon in January.

I qualified for Boston last year so will also be doing Boston in April 09.

It sounds like a lot of races but my hope is to get my finish times under 3 Hours and the idea is to use a progression of races to get there. As long as I am improving, I will keep racing.

This is how I bagged my BQ Time last year. (I BQ'd in Tucson with the same series of races)



2008-04-04 5:36 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Champion
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Yea, I found it. I guess I had already migrated over to RunningTimes because that is where I found it:

http://www.runningtimes.com/forum/showthread.php?p=28095#poststop

It is not as long or detailed as I remember it but still seems like a reasonable view of the race

Oh, one part that I left out of the race report (because I did not want my marathoner friends to think I was mad):

On the back side of Golden Gate Park is a meadow with real buffalo grazing on the side of the road. As I ran by, I heard one of the buffalo say "Hey Kid, come here, let me whisper in your ear". What he told me turned out to the the secret to running.

You see, I took up marathoning because my run really sucked and I needed to learn how to run. What that buffalo told me changed my whole outlook on running. Yeah, I know, I was probably half out of my mind with exhaustion or it was really my marathoner friends talking.

But that is my story and I am sticking to it



Edited by WaterDog66 2008-04-04 5:40 PM
2008-04-04 6:09 PM
in reply to: #1315882

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El Dorado Hills (Sacramento), California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
It would be great if you did CIM you could pace me to my BQ qualifier

Edited by dulrich71 2008-04-04 6:09 PM
2008-04-04 6:23 PM
in reply to: #1316957

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Champion
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

dulrich71 - 2008-04-04 4:09 PM It would be great if you did CIM you could pace me to my BQ qualifier

I would be more than happy to if I end up doing CIM this year.

FWIW: I think that your already there (Fitness Wise) for a BQ. (based on your race times) Just gotta focus on ramping up and running a good race and you got it.

2008-04-04 7:12 PM
in reply to: #1316980

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Springfield, Illinois
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Mmm-Kay, I will definately be looking for those buffalo! I, too, want to know the secret to running. I feel  there's a punch line here somewhere....

And what's CIM?

2008-04-04 8:33 PM
in reply to: #1317058

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El Dorado Hills (Sacramento), California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
Jenni G - 2008-04-04 5:12 PM

Mmm-Kay, I will definately be looking for those buffalo! I, too, want to know the secret to running. I feel  there's a punch line here somewhere....

And what's CIM?

CIM: California International Marathon Dec. 7 in Sacramento CA. http://www.runcim.org/

Pretty nice course with a net elevation drop from start to finish. Although there are small rollers throughout the first half that can kill the legs later on. At least that has been my experience running it the last two times.



2008-04-05 4:25 PM
in reply to: #1317058

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Champion
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
Jenni G - 2008-04-04 5:12 PM

Mmm-Kay, I will definately be looking for those buffalo! I, too, want to know the secret to running. I feel  there's a punch line here somewhere....

And what's CIM?

No, no punchline, just a bit of fun to explain what happened to me out on the course.

You see, (And this is in my Race Report), SFM was my 2nd Marathon. I actually signed up for it before doing my first full marathon. I had a pretty rough experience running my first (LA Marathon) that I had seriously considered the idea that I just was not cut out for running.

Had I not already been signed up for SFM, I surely would have thrown in the towel and just gone back to running Triathlons. The secret that the "Buffalo Whispered in my ear" that day was that hard work and consistent training can overcome a lack of natural ability when it comes to running.

This is a message that a few of my marathoner friends had been telling me but I just did not believe them. Now I do

BTW: I ran ~30 minutes faster at SFM than I did at LAM 12 weeks before in spite of the greater course difficulty. As I said before, SFM was by far my favorite race in my short career as a marathoner.

2008-04-06 11:07 AM
in reply to: #1317880

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Springfield, Illinois
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

I too had a terrible experience at my first marathon (Chicago '06). Took eight weeks before I could walk without pain and three months before I attempted to run again. I was stupid to run with massive shin splints that only became worse. The first half was promising, right on pace, then my legs just fell apart. At mile 18, I had to start walk/run and finished in over 5 hours. I was gunning for 4:30. I spent last year re-building and working on the short game. I'm ready to try again and this time, I'm going to train differently. I realize I can't do it all and to stick to the game plan.

Unfortunately, I've already started to unravel. I'm signed up for a sprint distance tri, and I'm contemplating upping to the Oly distance that runs concurrently with the sprint. Problem is the tri is the weekend BEFORE the marathon. Not much of a taper, is it? What do you think? Should I stick to the sprint to save my energy, or do you think the Oly tri won't drain my reserves too much a week out? I'm sure I will become a couch potato during the week in-between, but will it be enough? I've never done a tri before so I don't know how much it will take out of me. Any thoughts?

2008-04-07 5:10 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Master
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San Francisco
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

i did this one too in 06 as my first mary.  was definitely hilly. Funny, I never made my race report public, but it's here.  Waterdog's is here and other RR can be found here.

Yes, it's hilly.  Crowd support isn't so great on the back end.  It's a beautiful run.

2008-04-07 5:16 PM
in reply to: #1318744

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Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
Jenni G - 2008-04-06 9:07 AM

Unfortunately, I've already started to unravel. I'm signed up for a sprint distance tri, and I'm contemplating upping to the Oly distance that runs concurrently with the sprint. Problem is the tri is the weekend BEFORE the marathon. Not much of a taper, is it? What do you think? Should I stick to the sprint to save my energy, or do you think the Oly tri won't drain my reserves too much a week out? I'm sure I will become a couch potato during the week in-between, but will it be enough? I've never done a tri before so I don't know how much it will take out of me. Any thoughts?

The "safe" answer is to stick to the sprint, but it all depends on your goals for the mary (just finish, race it and/or PR?), how hard you race, your base/fitness level, how quickly you recover.  I don't have any qualms doing a 13-mile run (training run, not race) the week before Big Sur marathon this year, but I'm not trying to PR or anything, just enjoy it and log some miles.

Also, you don't necessarily want to be a total couch potato the week before - reduce your volume, yes,  but not your intensity.

Make sure you enjoy San Francisco.  There's a lot to see and do here!

2008-04-07 7:32 PM
in reply to: #1321829

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Springfield, Illinois
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

Hey enginerd, thanks for chiming in. Nice to meet cha!

I know it's a tough question to answer. My gut says I'll be OK to do the Oly, but I won't fully know until I get there. The good news is I can switch from the Sprint to the Oly at the last minute without too much hassle. I want to do well on BOTH races (imagine that! greedy!). The other good thing is, I did SO horrible in my first mary, that beating that time should be relatively easy (provided I'm not stupid enough to run injured again) So, as long as I don't get lepto or break a toe on the boat launch concrete or wipe out on the bike or something, I think I will be OK.

I didn't really mean "be a couch potato". I tend to exaggerate sometimes! It FEELS like sluggling after so many weeks at high intensity!

Thanks for the insight. It helps to bounce questions off others, even if there are no clear-cut answers.



2008-04-07 9:25 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
I'm doing the SF marathon this year as well. Lucky for me, I get to run the Crissy Field, GG Bridge, and Presidio area on most of my runs (I live at Baker Beach).

Good luck with your training!

Edited to add: Thanks for the RRs, WaterDog and Enginerd... very nice!

Edited by LJR 2008-04-07 9:26 PM
2008-04-08 9:24 AM
in reply to: #1314459

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San Jose, CA
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
I have done the SF marathon a couple times...but not in many years, and I think they have changed the course from the last time I did it.  I was thinking of doing it this year, but don't think I will be able to.
2008-04-08 5:10 PM
in reply to: #1323036

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Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

runningwoof - 2008-04-08 7:24 AM I have done the SF marathon a couple times...but not in many years, and I think they have changed the course from the last time I did it. I was thinking of doing it this year, but don't think I will be able to.

a few years back, they did add back in going out across the GG bridge and back, which is nice to do.

2008-04-10 3:28 PM
in reply to: #1324533

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Elite
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San Jose, CA
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
enginerd - 2008-04-08 3:10 PM

runningwoof - 2008-04-08 7:24 AM I have done the SF marathon a couple times...but not in many years, and I think they have changed the course from the last time I did it. I was thinking of doing it this year, but don't think I will be able to.

a few years back, they did add back in going out across the GG bridge and back, which is nice to do.

My first time started on the otherside of the bridge and crossing it was in the first few miles...it was cool to do.  That was the last year they did it, before your afore mentioned "going back" to it.  The next year we didn't, but it was still a nice run...that was the year that the wind changed direction on me...I had head winds pretty much the entire run, we got to a turn around point about 4 miles before the finish, and I thought, oh thank god, the wind then died down, and a few minutes later it picked up going against me again...that was a tough run!

2008-07-15 2:16 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Nor*Cal
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon

I'm just up! It will be my 2nd marathon. woo-hoo!

Ran 18 miles on Sunday. I'm still little sore, but overall felt great after the run.

-ak- 



2008-07-29 12:15 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
I hope everyone is ready! Its now or never....

I'm pretty banged up but will run on Sunday. My quads and glutes are giving me knee issues but I'll be racing 16-18 miles and then shuting it down and jogging in....

Good Luck all....
2008-07-29 12:26 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
Good luck to everyone! One of my buddies--who's a top AG duathlete--is finally getting around to his first marathon at age 40 and SF is it. Really wanted to get up there for it, since he was out on the LA mary course supporting me this year, but can't swing another road trip so soon after Vineman. Looking forward to race reports!
2008-07-29 9:24 PM
in reply to: #1314459

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Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
I'll be volunteering, so I look forward to seeing lots of Beginner Triathletes out there!
2008-07-30 11:57 AM
in reply to: #1314459

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Subject: RE: The San Francisco Marathon
Due to injury I've been unable to do much running since the end of June. I will decide Friday whether to run the half instead... Kinda bummed, but should listen to my body.
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