A few weeks ago, my friend & fellow SCE member, Leslie, decided to bid on a raffle entry. She won and we decided we run the race together. I was using it as a training run for CIM and she just wanted to have fun. We decided to run it as a “fun run.” We ran the Presidio Cross Country Challenge a few weeks back and the hills destroyed me. Leslie and I decided to do some hill repeats in the in between weeks and thank goodness we did! (More to come on that).
Friday afternoon we headed up to pick up our race packets and we were in and out of the expo. Then Sunday, October 14, it was race day. I had my alarm set for 3:45am (yep) and I woke up pretty easily. I had an egg and a piece of toast (my new favorite pre-race meal) and headed off to pick up Leslie. We got to the city very easily, found a great parking spot, and jumped into the Hilton for some pre-race potty breaks. Then we headed to our wave and waited for the race to start.
It was cold and dark but not too bad. We started but had a very slow first mile just navigating the crowd. 25,000 runners ran the half & full this year, so lots of dodging. After that we settled into a nice pace and just had a good time. After a quick bathroom break we were through the Embarcadero, past Pier 39, and heading up the Presidio hills. I felt great on all of them. Yay for hill repeats working! We passed lots of runners going up the hills, which made us feel great. The race was flying by!
Soon we were in the beautiful neighborhoods outside of the Presidio and again climbing the hills. We had both forgotten the hill in mile 9, so that was a little rough but in mile 10 you get to fly downhill. Before we knew it we were zooming down miles 9 & 10 and about to head into Golden Gate Park. This year they skipped the Chocolate mile (good, I want my chocolate but it’s not fun to hold on to it while you run). And we sped into the finishing line (final mile 7:04). I pulled out my Miles for Mokie sign (it had fallen off my back around mile 9). I held it up as we crossed the finish line. Official finishing time: 1:48:36 (unofficial removing the potty break: 1:47:41). In fact six of our miles were under 8 minutes. This was a course PR for me and knowing that I wasn’t super pushing myself, just having fun, I was stoked!
Leslie and I made our way through the finishers area, picking up our Tiffany’s necklace and a lot of other goodies (including a full bottle of Neutrogena sunscreen and a yoga mat). We jumped on a shuttle (ok we shivered in line waiting but no biggie) and headed back to Union Square. After a quick change of clothes we were off. Getting in & out of the city was super easy this year!
After we picked up some breakfast and came home, I headed out for 7 more miles to complete the 20 miles on my training plan for today. Surprisingly, I also felt really good during that run, averaging just over a 8:30 mile.
So in conclusion, this was my favorite NWM experience yet. And this is definitely a race to run with friends! So much fun!! Oh, NWM you have won me back over