San Francisco North Face Marathon Race Recap

San Francisco North Face Marathon race report is long overdue, but here it is….


small glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge

Several months ago my husband signed up for the San Francisco North Face 50 Miler. I figured if he was going to run the 50 miler, I might as well sign up for the marathon and use it as a training run, plus running beats sitting around for 7-8 hours waiting for him to finish.

In October my husband decided he wasn’t going to run. He had a slight injury, took 2 weeks off, and wasn’t really able to train for this race. A week before the race he decided we should go and he was just going to have fun. I understand most of you don’t put the word ‘run’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence, especially when talking about anything over 3 miles.  When my husband decided to run I was SUPER excited! We left Thursday before the race and we were able to spend some time with family, which was awesome. Friday we headed to pick up our bibs and checked in early to our hotel to rest before race day.

Rise and shine came way too early … YAWN … We arrived at the race start just after 3:15AM. My husband’s race started at 5AM sharp. That gave me just over 4 hours to freeze despite sharing a small fire-pit in an attempt to keep warm with lots of other runners. It’s amazing how many friends you can make in four hours. People came from all over to run this race. It was really neat. I got to hear about the course and stories of previous years. Let’s just say I was SO thankful it was not raining.


marathon course profile

Finally 9AM rolled around!! I stood at the starting line excited to get moving and to warm up. First mile of the course was a welcomed down hill. My feet and legs were so numb I could barely feel them. We hit the first hill at mile 2. The climb was just over a mile long and we went from 40 feet of elevation to 670 feet of elevation real quick! What did I get myself in to? I ‘warmed’ up quick, but it took my legs about 3-4 miles to get into the groove of things. Little did I know I would be running that same hill at mile 9 again! Surprisingly, I felt better the second go around at it.


walking down the stairs, pictures don’t really do it justice

On this course you were either climbing up or running down. There was nothing flat about it. Most of the course was fire road with a few single-track sections, but definitely not technical. Oh and there were stairs, at least a 100 of them you had to climb down. I guess you could consider that technical. Around mile 16 we hit the longest up hill. It was about 2.5 miles long. Oooffff.

good thing I wasn't headed to Oregon

good thing I wasn’t headed to Oregon

I tried to keep in mind this was a ‘training’ run, but I also always want to do well on a race. On a course like this I had no problem walking most of the hills, running where it was runnable and flying down the down hills. The course was very scenic and I tried to soak it all in. Some how I manage to take over 40 photos!! (If you know me you probably aren’t that surprised!)

The last 2 miles of the race was down hill and I enjoyed every minute of it. Overall I had a great time during this race despite how rough it was. I practiced eating about every 5 miles, taking in more food around mile 18. Never once did feel like I was going bonk so my nutrition plan worked. My ultimate goal is the San Diego 50 Miler coming up in just over 4 short weeks (YIKES!), but running long and figuring out your nutrition needs on a course like this can really make or break a race.

the views were incredible!

the views were incredible!

The elevation gain on this marathon course was 5055 feet and I finished 4:56:51. Surprisingly, I did better than last month’s Mount Laguna Marathon by 4 minutes. Go figure! The San Francisco North Face had way more climbing, I walked a lot more and probably took too many photos. Maybe I am on to something!

After I took a week off I ran 18 miles, which was rough!! I definitely didn’t feel 100% recovered. My quads were still feeling a tad beat up. This past weekend I ran 28 miles on Saturday and 24 miles on Sunday. I went into Saturday’s run not sure if I was going to be able to complete the mileage and unsure of how I was going to feel. Thankfully, I have the best running husband and friends that really pulled me though this run. I honestly couldn’t have done it without them. Completing these 2 recent back to back runs has me feeling a tad more confident for the 50 miler. I can do this!

one of my favorites!

one of my favorites!

This coming weekend is my peak week and then I get to TAPER! One of my favorite words! Looking
forward to getting to the starting line of the San Diego 50 Miler!






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