NWM 2012 finish line

Nike Women’s Marathon – Race Recap

The Nike Women’s Marathon is so much more than a race.  Its an experience, a celebration … it’s an event.  From the moment you enter the Expo-tique you are enveloped in a Tiffany Blue cloud.  You feel a part of something special and thrilling.  The Nike Women’s Marathon is a race that you savor, enjoy and do with your girl friends year after year.

I am going to break this recap into parts.  This part is about the race … tomorrow i’ll talk about the experience and of course the jewelry. 

Start Line

We left our hotel about 45 mins before 7am.  Donned in amazingly HOT clearance hoodies from Old Navy ($5 FTW) …

Please excuse my hot pink and green outfit. I’m color blind before dawn.

we walked the dark streets with the sea of women toward Union Square.

There were “corrals” designated by wrist bands, which had entrances.  These entrances were monitored, however once you entered the starting village there was nothing but chaos.

7:30 – 8:59 entrance

Its a sea of lady runners gone wild

I saw Stuft Mama amidst the madness!

Twin Mama’s unite!

And even bumped into an old friend from high school … Hi Nicole!  Hope you had a great race!

I moved toward the start line and hoped that the runners around me were of the same pace.  When the corrals are not organized, the start becomes more of an honor system for the runners.  Sadly many of the women did not understand this system.  In fact I heard more than one woman ahead of me in the 7:30-8:00 area say, “Im going to walk/run this race, but its super cool to be this close to the starting line”.  Oye.

Miles 1-5

  • Mile 1 – 9:46

So yeah, the first mile was a mess despite the fact that Meg took me under her wing and professionally weaved her way around the masses of walkers.  I added a good 1:30-2 mins to my time.

The good news is that the energy was EPIC.  Brightly colored, tutted women were ready to ROCK. Their smiles, cheering and singing was infectious.

  • Mile 2 – 7:42
  • Mile 3 – 7:52
  • Mile 4 – 8:05
  • Mile 5 – 8:05 (they handed out Shot Bloks! Score)

These miles went along the Embarcadero, past Fisherman’s Wharf, past the Boudin sourdough factory (torturously yummy scent of fresh sourdough baking) Ghiradelli Square up to Fort Mason and into the Presidio.  There were a few steep hills but they were short and not a big deal.

These were wonderful, scenic and easy miles.  I was trying to keep my pace around 8 min miles.  Clearly I did a terrible job.  I was pretty upset about the slow start and mile 2,3 were my little retaliation.

The first hill up to Ft Mason, this one was tiny in comparison …

Miles 6-10

  • Mile 6 – 8:15
  • Mile 7 – 8:50
  • Mile 8 – 7:44
  • Mile 9 – 8:48
  • Mile 10 – 7:33

My splits are actually pretty hilarious, you can see where the uphills were.  These miles were the bulk of the hills.  Just before mile 6 we rounded a corner and suddenly we were at the base of a mountain.  It was seriously steep.  Check out this pic from the NWM Facebook page.

Look at all those pretty colors disappearing into the fog

I kept a decent pace for the first uphill mile and felt strong, but the incline just kept going and I watched my pace increase.  Just after Mile 8 there was some reprieve with a steep downhill


I had heard that the hills ceased after mile 8, so I thought I was in the clear.  Incorrect.  Mile 9 was another massive one, and Mile 10 was sharply downhill again.

These hills were no joke, they made Harlem Hill look like a bunny slope.  Brutal.  My legs would be so sick of climbing that I would open up my stride on the downhills and beat up my quads.  By the time I was finished with Mile 10 my legs were tingling … never felt that before.  My neck and shoulders were also super tight, I think I was holding my neck and head weird.  Can’t wait to see those race photos.  Purdy, I’m sure.

Mile 11-13.1

  • Mile 11- 7:56
  • Mile 12 – 8:07
  • Mile 13 – 7:12
  • the 0.1 – 7:13

This is where I blank out.  I know there were some flat straightaways, a few were rolling hills, and a really narrow unpaved section where we entered Golden Gate Park.  The original plan was to kick it into high gear and race these miles, however my legs, brain and neck were so toasted by then that I was willing myself to keep near an 8 minute mile.  Finally in the last mile I found my racing legs.  I’m pretty darn proud of that 7:12 last mile.  That was not easy but I fought for it.

My original goal was to come in around 1:45 however that first slow mile and the rock climbing hills slowed me down.  I finished in 1:47:12 and I am darn proud of it.

The Finish Line

I waited at the finish for Addie to come through and we proceeded toward to little blue boxes …

why thank you, I would like jewelry now …

Side note: The mama runner … PR’ed by 6 minutes.  On the hardest course in existence. Amazing.  Congrats Addie!

Nice touch … firefighters in tuxes. Well played Nike

The finish line was another bonanza.  Tons of photo ops, hair stylists, Neutrogena face washing stations …

Face wash!! YES!

it was perfectly executed and a complete joy to walk around.  There are not many places I want to spend time sweaty, cold and in desperate need of an ice bath however Addie and I had to pull ourselves away from this finish line fiesta.  So fun.

Thank you so much to Yurbuds and Fitfluential for giving me the opportunity to run … it was challenging, exciting and absolutely a race that I will do again.

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11 thoughts on “Nike Women’s Marathon – Race Recap

  1. Way to bring it in on those last miles!! I also enjoyed the Neutrogena face stations at the end!! I agree that the energy of this race was really fun. It was nice to see all these women getting out there, so many doing their first races, and conquering those hills. Not easy, but definitely worth it!
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