The night before I left Seattle, I was in my friend’s birthday party. While at the party, I missed answering an unexpected call from Coach Rio! I was wondering why he was calling and how did he get my US cellphone number. I called him and found out that he will also be running the US Half Marathon as preparation for Fresno marathon.
Saturday, I was rushing to the airport only to find out that my flight to San Francisco was delayed by 1.5 hours due to the fog. I arrived in San Francisco Airport and took the BART from the airport to Embarcadero to meet up with Wayne. It was nice seeing Wayne again after last year’s VSO and New Balance Power Race. We stopped by my hotel first to drop off my things before meeting up with Dennis, Per and Rio for lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf. After lunch we then headed to Sports Basement to pick-up our race packets and do some bargain hunting ;).
Race day, Coach Rio and I jogged from the hotel to the starting line. After a few minutes, everybody from the “Philippine contingent” started to arrived. At 7AM we were off – Coach Rio and Wayne at the front while Dennis, Per and me at the middle. Since I wasn’t in good shape coming into this race and is treating this race as part of my marathon training, I decided to help out Dennis in pacing Per for a new PR.
It was fun running with Dennis and Per, we would stop at some points and take photos. As with my first marathon, I brought my camera and took a lot of pictures especially of us running on the Golden Gate Bridge. Everything was going fine until we got down the bridge. I started cramping first on my right leg and then on my left. It was about 5km from the finish line but it felt like I still need to complete 21 kms more. Dennis was kind enough to accompany me and give me his extra GU and Sport Beans. I was alternating between brisk walking, running,and stretching on the sandy trail. Reaching the Marina, I told Dennis to go ahead and catch up with Per. I reached the finish line with Coach Rio, Wayne, Dennis and Per cheering me on.
Running the Golden Gate Bridge is one of my awesome running experiences. Thank you to Dennis, Per, Coach Rio and Wayne. Hopefully on my next races, I will bump in to my other friends from the Philippines.
some photos c/o of Dennis. more photos here