The San Francisco Nike Women’s Marathon

The main reason for taking this trip had arrived: Running the San Francisco Nike Women’s (half) Marathon, now in its seventh year. It’s the world’s largest all-women’s marathon and half marathon, with 22,000 participants — of which about 1,000 are men.

So many people try to enter this race that it’s easier if you enter as a team. About 50 women from Hawaii, mostly Boca triathletes, got together to form a team. We even had custom-designed running shirts!

I was lucky: At the start line, a woman began talking to me and it turned out she was about my pace. We ended up running together the whole way, which was especially great when she was coaching me up the many treacherous hills. Thanks to Virginia Rosales and the cool weather, this was the longest I’ve run nonstop all season, and I could finish in under three hours. Here are the highlights:

Nike Women’s Marathon 2010

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Some of the women in our group — mostly from Boca Hawaii — who ran the marathon or half marathon.

I’m not going to lie, there were many hills on this run, and they’re not very gentle on the quads. If you’re from Hawaii and want to train to run this race well, I’d recommend you do a few Tantalus runs. Also, make sure you bring a warm but throwaway jacket for the finish line, because the line for the shuttle to get back to Union Square was literally a mile long, uphill. You’ll be standing in line for a long time, sweating all over your jacket for a longer time than is recommended.

Other than that, I thought it was a neat run and was glad to get so many wonderful things at the finish line!

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You can read all of Melissa’s blogs at www.nonstophonolulu.com/urbanmixplate. Follow Melissa on Twitter@Melissa808, on Foursquare as Melissa808, or email at Melissa@nonstophonolulu.com.

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