Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nike Women's Half Marathon Race Recap

WARNING: This is NOT the recap I was expecting to write. I was planning on being WOWED by the weekend and thrilled with the experience - but unfortunately that was not my reality. I know I am getting ahead of myself, but just in case this is a bucket list race of yours and you don't want to be swayed away from it, I wanted to give you fair warning.

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Yesterday I posted about some of the tourist adventures the hubby and I went on while in San Francisco (with a city that expensive, you've gotta make the trip worth it). Feel free to check it out here if you haven't read it yet. Since I already touched on what we did throughout the weekend that didn't involve the race, this post will strictly be about race events.

We saw a couple of signs while we were walking around,
but not as many as I would have expected with
25,000 runners coming to town... 

Apparently I really like the Vanna White pose... And, yes, you CAN see
Ryan's shadow in the picture ;) 

This was in the Niketown store in Union Square (And did you
spot Ryan's reflection in this picture too?!) 

Packet Pick-Up


Friday afternoon Ryan and I made our way to Packet Pick-Up. It was only a few blocks away from our hotel, at a local Westin, so it was easy to find. I was very surprised when we got there because it was EMPTY. I don't know if it was because they offered early pickup throughout the week and local folks took advantage of it or if not everyone was in town yet, but I was able to walk in and grab my bib in 3 minutes flat.

There were a few signs around Union Square directing
folks where to go, as well as "Ask Us" volunteers

Since your bib number was not preassigned, you could go up to any of the
volunteers who were free and they could get you your stuff

Maybe I was expecting more fanfare...

I did really like this sign, but that was about the only cool race thing I noticed

Obviously you know I stop for photo-ops

But really it was just a "picture frame" and a container with
the course map painted on the back of it...

Had to get the hubby involved (PS He picked the back-to-back
pose!)

I have to say, I was a little surprised (and maybe a bit disappointed) that were wasn't an Expo per say. The only thing going on at the hotel was picking up your race tank top, a few safety pins, and your bib. Now, to be fair, I normally don't buy anything at race expos, but I do still enjoy walking through to check out the vendors and the newest running gear on the market, so was a bit shocked when there wasn't anything like that for this race.

Shakeout Run


Saturday morning I joined the Nike+ Run Club for a shakeout run. There were two time slots (7:30am and 9:30am). I signed up for the earlier one (originally it was because one of my girlfriends was coming from the East Coast and she would have been up due to the time change, but once she wasn't able to make the trip I stuck with it because then Ry and I would still have all day to enjoy the city). We were told check-in would being at 6:30am so I left the hotel around 6:15am. It only took me about 10 minutes to walk over to the meeting area, which was great. I snapped a couple pictures and then made my way over to the check-in (which already had a line forming).

Hotel hallway selfie

The sign was much cooler at night (but you just looked like a silhouette in front
of it so you couldn't really get a picture with it)

They didn't actually start letting folks in until closer to 7am, which, by that time, the line was wrapped around the block. I don't know if they just weren't prepared or what the delay was about, but it was pretty lame. Once they let us in, we went through a fairly quick check-in line where they scanned our passes and we were given bracelets to split us up into smaller groups. We were then corralled into said groups and left to wait in the fenced off areas until closer to 7:30am.

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You can see me to the right of the pacer (Morgan), who is wearing the volt yellow shirt.
I've got the aqua tank and black trucker hat on.

One of the Nike+ coaches gave a little talk and introduced some of the pacers and "special guests" that would be running the race with us. It was pretty difficult to hear the speech because they only had a blow horn, so when the coach would turn to address the other side of the promenade, we no longer could hear him (and vice versa). It's not like we really needed to get hype, seeing as we were only going out for a 2 mile run, but it would have been nice to have everyone hear what they were saying.

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They released groups of about 25-50 runners along with a pacer out of the corrals at a time to start running the streets (hoping to keep the runners spread out and not too congested). Now, I know I am beyond spoiled living where I do and being able to run along the beach daily, but I guess I never really thought about city running. Man alive, you have to start and stop so often that I don't know how you can get into any type of a rhythm. We kept the pace slow (9:00-10:00/mile) and ended up doing a little over 2 miles by the time we got back.

Source

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What am I doing in this picture?! It looks like I saw a spider and am frightened... 

I guess I was expecting a little more for a sponsored shakeout run (and maybe that should have been my clue to adjust my expectations). When we got back to Union Square nothing seemed very organized. There were people standing in line in different areas, but no one knew what they were waiting for. I realize the space was limited, but signs or announcements would have been extremely helpful. I ended up getting in one line and got a external battery to charge your phone from Verizon (but it didn't come charged...), but opted to skip the food line since it looked like it was just an apple and a bar of some sort.


To be honest, I think I would skip the shakeout run in the future and just do it on my own. At times it felt like the pacers were just trying to sell us on using the Nike+ app or buying Nike gear...

Nike Women's Half Marathon Race Recap


Let's be real, this outfit sort of put itself together... I mean, you know I had
to rock some #WeRunSocial gear and the Tiffany Blue Sparkle Athletic skirt
was perfection. Being close to Alcatraz I had to wear the Jailbreak Pro Compression
socks
(they are my FAVES). A black Handful bra, a turquoise reflective Sparkly
Soul headband
, a black RoadID, an aqua Momentum Jewelry Wrap, and my
Garmin Forerunner 220 rounded out the outfit.

The race started at 6:30am and they recommended you arrive at least 45 minutes in advance to make sure you had enough time to go to bag check, use the restrooms, get to your appropriate corral, etc. I left the hotel around 5:15 and was over to the starting area around 5:30am (I know, I probably could have waited a bit longer, but I would MUCH rather be early than rushing). The weather was gorgeous - about 63*, although I probably could have done with a little less humidity (but, with the summer we have been having, I am totally used to it by now - even if I don't prefer it and whine about it every chance I get). I meandered around a bit, got some water, and took a couple pictures while waiting for the race to get going.


I found my name on the Niketown window! Thankfully it was close to the
ground and I could find it easily!

Pavement Runner had given me the heads up that this race can get very crowded. There were 25,000 people running in it (23,000 females and 2,000 males), many of which were running a half marathon for their first time (and some of them were corralled incorrectly or had not put in the training). With that being said, I tried to get up as close to the front as I felt comfortable with. I didn't want to get in front of the super speedsters and make them have to weave around me, but then again, I didn't want to spend the first few miles weaving myself. Somehow I ended up very close to the front (like within 5 or so rows from the starting line - the gun time and my start time were only about 2 seconds different), but it seemed to work out okay.


The corrals seem to extend on and on


Soon enough we were off to the races! I went into this race NOT expecting a PR (personal record). I knew it was a tough, hilly course, so I wanted to run it STRONG, not necessarily fast. With my BQ (Boston Qualifying) attempt in 3 weeks, I was more using this as a training run and a great way to see the city.

Source

As I mentioned, the course (well, the city in general) is hilly. Obviously that effected my pace from mile to mile, but overall I was very surprised at how steady I kept my speed. I didn't study the map or elevation chart that much, but did remember there were hills at mile 2, 8 and 10. I figured I would brace myself for a decent climb every 2 miles and then if it didn't happen (like at mile 4 and 6) I would be extra happy.

Elevation chart from my Garmin Connect information

Official results from my timing chip (Look at how consistent those 5K times are!)

Splits and elevation change information from my Garmin Connect account

I have to say, this course was one of the most beautiful course I have run. I mean, THERE IS A WATERFALL AT MILE 4.5 FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Running through Golden Gate Park was amazing - it smelt of yummy trees and you almost forgot you were in a hustling and bustling city. And, although there is a beast of a hill at mile 10 that tends to keep going for about a mile, you get to see the Golden Gate Bridge up close and personal. I caught myself saying "Wow" and "This is amazing" many, many times while running this one.

Running through Golden Gate Park

The crowd support throughout the majority of the race was pretty lack luster. I'm not sure if it is because people were still sleeping, because it was difficult to get to some of the parts of the course, etc, but I was sort of surprised at how few spectators were out. Of course the #WeRunSocial crew rocked a cheer zone around Mile 8 - it was so awesome to see familiar faces and get some great high fives. And the November Project HELD IT DOWN at the Mile 10 hill (which was MUCH appreciated!). There were even some Nike+ Run Club members there that were running alongside some of the racers to keep them motivated and moving up the hill.

Of course I will stop for a mid-race selfie! It gave me a bit of a breather on
the hill ;) Thanks for the picture Pavement Runner!

Overall, I would say the course was beautiful, but the race was average. Sure, instead of medals we received a Tiffany & Co. necklace (but I have actually seen folks online complaining that they wore it for a day and the medal is starting to flake off), but other than that, I didn't feel there was anything super stellar about the race in and of itself.


The course was adequately staffed (although I was in the first 500 runners, so I can't say how the back of the pack experienced the aid stations), there seemed to be plenty of port-o-potties along the way (there were even signs telling you how long until the next set of restrooms), but I guess I was just expecting more (which was probably my bad for going in with too high of expectations, but it was what happened).

After the hill at mile 10 I sort of felt like I was flying,
even on the flat portions ;) 

For a lottery race that costs over $200 in registration fees, and especially one sponsored by a huge company like Nike, I thought I would walk away wowed and wanting to do it year after year. Of course, as always, I am thankful I was able to get in and run the race, but for me, I think this race is a one-and-done.

Like I said, I just wanted to finish strong... And I
think you can tell from this picture that I
accomplished that goal!

I've been trying to think of what would have made the race or my experience better. Maybe if you were doing a girls weekend and the race was just an added bonus (instead of the main event) or maybe if you got more perks (i.e. more gear, discounts at stores, etc) or maybe if there were shuttles included in your registration since it was a point-to-point race (you had to pay extra and I even heard spectators at the start asking everyone they could about where to catch the shuttle that they paid $40 for and no one knew...) or maybe if there were more cheer stations on the course and you felt a little more celebrated or maybe if there was a post race festival (when we left, we saw a "Victory Village" but nothing was going on there) or maybe if you are a die hard Nike fan... Or maybe it's similar to runDisney races... People are willing to pay so there is no need for the company to adjust things.

Flying to the finish!

I did appreciate the free race pictures (I have said it before, I think ALL races should do this and just increase registration cost by like $5 a person to cover the photographers' time on the course) and the fact that when we crossed the finish line we got our goodies in a reusable bag rather than having to try and carry everything separately. Another plus was the reusable water bottle that they gave us (already filled with water) and having refilling stations around the finish line. TWO THUMBS UP FROM ME on trying to be a little more green!

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PS How AMAZING is it that Women's Running caught a picture of me handing out
high fives and used it in one of their articles?! 

Now please hear me out. I am NOT trying to talk anyone out of running this race! I just want to let you know that I think I came in with high expectations (potentially unrealistic and possibly my fault) so let this be your warning so you can adjust yours accordingly. I know a ton of people love this race (and the series itself), but I think for me, I was expecting to be treated a little more like professional athletes (seeing as Nike has experience in that realm) and it was sort of just like any other race, just with a big price tag.

Not that I really cared, but they actually got rid of the firemen handing out the
necklaces this year as well. You could stand in line to take photos with them
in front of a backdrop. I opted out and just took a picture with one of the quotes.

PS Please know that I HATE feeling like a Debbie Downer and not loving the race, but I gotta keep it real (not only for my readers, but also for me when I go back to potentially register for the race in the future {my memory is CRAPTASTIC, thanks to my fibromyalgia, so if I don't write it down or take photos I won't remember}). 
If you have any specific questions about the race, please feel free to let me know!

22 comments:

SD Mom said...

Yes! This is why I think the Rock n Roll Tourpass at $199 is a MUCH better deal! At least the city is gorgeous!

As good as it Gets! said...

Carlee, I totally get it. I was lucky enough to be able to run with 7 other friends. The race was secondary. The best memory I have of the race is the race announcer saying to focus on the miles that got you there, not the miles ahead. The course wasn't as difficult as I expected. However, the lack of expo, nothing in your pick up packet and just general poor communication took it's toll. Your review is honest and accurate.

Cathie G said...

This was my 3rd Nike women's half in SF. The 10 year anniversary race was amazing! Do, I had to do it again. Last year was good. We did the shakeout run but the spread wasn't near what it was in 2013. Again, had a great weekend so we entered the lottery again. This year, huge disappointment. Didn't like the scavenger hunt for the earrings. We did get 4 of the 7. A plus was the laces we were lucky enough to score. I just don't understand how, with 25k runners, they release 1000 earrings and 400 laces. And, we have to traverse all over town and stand in line listening to their shpeal. We decided to skip the shakeout run after attending the ntc event the night before. We woke up on race day super sore from all the walking we did. The only reason I came away from this weekend with a positive outlook was all the fun I had with my girlfriends. We had a blast together. Don't know if I'll sign up next year, but, if my girlfriends are in then I'll do it with them. If this was my first Nike SF race I would be feeling pretty jipped.

Alicia Lagendijk said...

This race has been on my bucket list for the past couple years, but it always falls during my boys' birthdays, so I haven't done it yet. I appreciate your review. At least, if and when I do run it, I can have some more realistic expectations of what to expect. I can say, I'm pretty surprised by some of the things you mentioned. The important thing...you had fun! At least it looked like it ��

Anonymous said...

It's was my first Nike ( but 6th half). I seated myself properly...which was a mistake since 10000 ahead did not (okay that may be an exaggeration).
I took the course slower than average, seeing all the sites ( first time to SF).
The course was packed and by the time I finished the lines were so long I didn't get fireman or backdrop photos. I also couldn't get into the finishers boutique. Those lines were 45-90 minutes long.
I left saying I have no desire to do that race again. (Sadly it was my daughter first ever half and she loved it and wants to do it again).

I thought your recap was generous. You didn't mention that they changed packet pick up 2 wks before. You also didn't mention they had us running all over to collect limited supply earrings.
Thanks for the recap

Mattie said...

I've thought about doing a Nike race, but the idea of having that many runners and waiting in corrals for such a long time (from what I've heard) is a big deterrent for me.

So I have to ask...what has been your favorite half marathon course?

Alicia Parker said...

rry, this will be a long comment. First, I totally applaud you for being an honest blogger, especially since Nike is a big company. It seems silly to applaud, but I know many many bloggers who wouldn't dare speak ill of Nike for fear they may miss out on free whatever. Okay, so like I mentioned on Facebook, I LOVED Nike DC. Not only because it was my first half, but because the course was beautiful and every little detail was thought out by Nike. My friend and I compared our Nike experiences (Mine in DC and hers in SF) and I couldn't believe the stark differences in race quality. DC had an expo. Granted, I didn't take advantage of the services bc there was a long wait, but I still got to scan my Nike+ app and get some cool free hair ties and still walk around listening to the music jam and feel the excitement and energy. Second, there were two shake out runs offered (one Thursday night and one Saturday morning). We ran with Joan Benoit and they had a 2 mile and 4 mile option and planned the route beautifully so we got to run around the reflecting pool and it was a small, intimate group. I think the reason your shakeout run was such a cluster was A. More people, but also Nike offered the one earring if you did the run, so many people probably showed up for the earring only, which is silly and Nike should just give the earring out at that location and not jam up a run for people who genuinely want to get a good shake out in. Next, the Nike store in Georgetown had awesome employees and a plethora of merchandise so it wasn't a frenzy over items. They also didn't try to sell sell sell which I have heard from SO many people that the whole weekend seemed like a sales gimmic. Now the course in DC was 13.1 miles of beautiful scenery and spectators cheering you on EVERY WHERE. Honestly, I've never been to a race (Seawheeze included) where every single inch of the 13.1 miles had people, bands, entertainers, etc cheering you on. It was incredible. At the finish there were lines, but not more than 5 minutes each and we got quite a few post race food items and necklace by ROTC guys. My necklace does tarnish, but I use either the Tiffany cloth/bag to wipe it or use baking soda and put in in tinfoil and it works beautifully. I heard that 2 years ago, or maybe it was last year, women were waiting over an hour in light after they crossed the finish line (which came to a dead stop) just to get a heat sheet and water bottle, and another hour just to get the necklace. In addition, the course map for SF wasn't released very quickly. In DC we had a lot of info and in plenty of time. Granted, Seawheeze, like I said on IG, gives you way more bang for you buck and once you do Seawheeze the differences become glaringly obvious. That being said, if Nike did DC I would absolutely do it, it was a complete 180 from Nike SF. There were so few complaints about DC, but the last 3 years I've heard SO MANY complaints about the SF event. It just seems half ass and thrown together in SF. I also think 25,000 runners in that city is far too big. Gareth and I spent, including hotel and airfare from Montana, $1,500 for 7 days in Washington, DC because we got incredible Nike hotel rates, we walked everywhere, all the attractions are free, and so all we had to buy when we were there was food. I've never done SF and never will. My friends all say the same thing "yeah, it was fun. More fun than a $35 local half marathon? No". Literally the only thing that I think keeps people coming back is that necklace. If it weren't for that necklace it not only would be just another race, but a bottom of the barrel race.

Alicia Parker said...

P.s. I heard people who did early packet pickup got their shirts personalized, lots of freebies in their packet pickup bag, and an extra earring. I don't think that's fair or supports out of town guests. Also, the waiting 7+ hours to collect a single earring at various locations just seems ludicrous. Why not just give everyone a pair in their packet and not make women stand in line after lime the day before a run?

Leslie @Triathlete Treats said...

I've done this race a couple of times. Not sure why I go back every year. I didn't get in this year and was bummed. I just love going to San Fransisco!! It is definitely very expensive for what you get. Not much!! The logistics are insane and as the years go on it gets worse and worse. Not sure why a company that big can't get their shit together!!!

Briana said...

Thanks, as always, for keeping it real. I love visiting SF and think it's a very spirited place, but when I did RNRSF in 2014, crowd support was very thin (save for a few sections)--the Nike course went through many of the same areas. Not sure if it's the neighborhoods or if the locals get behind other races instead... Sorry to hear you didn't have a better experience. I think you will love SeaWheeze (for all the reasons Alicia mentioned)--awesome bang for the buck.

Jen Rawson said...

I really appreciate this honest review. This has definitely been a bucket list race for me. I appreciate that the course was beautiful but for the price tag I certainly would expect more out of the overall experience.

Coach Henness said...

Sorry for the long rang but...I have no problem being a Debbie Downer - and I've written about how much I dislike this race twice on my blog so, your honest recap just proves to me why I like your opinion so much. The POSITIVE thing about this race, to me, is that they have been a long time partner with Team in Training and many of my running friends will always love them for that. So. One for the nice column. I did the race in 2011 and 2012 (I think?) and in brief...I hated the "expo" but realized Nike isn't going to pay to have competing brands sell goods - they try to funnel you to their Niketown Store (makes sense) where everything is expensive and...Nike. I was surprised the first time too but realized it's just business. The old course was fun (looks like the new one is better though), but the atmosphere at the mid-to-back of the race was CHAOS! Stupid crowded. All the motivational signs back then were about running to "look good in your skinny jeans" and other cheap male ideas of "women empowerment". They did not make me feel like an athlete, but like a princess trying to run. They used to have on course gimmicks (like a swap your bra ecxhange at mile 5) but that was always gone by the time I ran through. Anyway, all that to say...I think it's entirely reasonable to expect Nike to put on a weekend event worthy of a $200 race fee. They have the tools and resources. Yet it still sounds like they miss the mark for those of us who run a lot of races and have seen what can be done. Personally, it feels all smoke and mirrors to me and everyone I know who loves the race always mentions 1) a weekend with their girlfriends and 2) worshipping the brand. To be honest, now that I live in the Portland area and NIKE is everywhere, I think it's a company culture thing. They still don't approach female consumers well. They see either elite athletes who happen to be women (Olympians) OR they see girls who like to dabble in sports. There are no in betweens and since that is where I self-identify, that is why I still fail to connect with the brand. I think if a company like Brooks asked the same registration fee and put on an event like Nike, they'd be accused of robbery. :-D Peace love and Just Don't Do It!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for keeping it real. Among my local friends, I think I'm the only one who doesn't go nuts over the Nike race because of the little blue box. (I have a few of them, I like some of the designs. I'm just over this race.)

Nike SF has never had a real race Expo. In the past there was an "Expotique" that had race sponsor displays, and some services (e.g. hair braiding, nail polish) with VERY long lines. The first year I went there were some freebies, but there was basically no swag the last time I ran this race. (There was no expo per se, of course--but I thought that was announced in the sign-ups because someone else told me it was. Lousy communication is one of my complaints about the Nike races.)

I did go to the SF shake-out run last year, and it was a similar gigantic line of people. They required an RSVP but there was only one time slot (if I recall correctly). Beforehand there was a necklace reveal (I didn't like last year's design much) and we all milled around inside NikeTown. The PA system was awful, so I couldn't hear anyone speaking. This surprised me because it's a store, they have a whole store PA system but they were using a portable! It looks like your shake-out this year had WAY more people in it. When I got back from the shake-out last year, the food was gone but they had some bottled water left.

Most of the SF races seem to have pretty lame crowd support (with the best showing by the November Project at Rock 'n' Roll SF). I'm not sure if this is because there are so many races, or if the residents hate runners, or are just too cool to come outside. I remember running through an entire section with "quiet" signs last time I did Nike SF.

The last time I did Nike SF I also had problems trying to run, as I kept getting trapped behind lines of walkers who blocked the entire course (left to right I mean--no room to pass). I'm all about the slow runners, all about walk breaks, and proud of anyone who walks the whole course. But there was zero attention to race etiquette, and eventually I gave up.

The Nike DC race was totally different in terms of feel. It had a similarly meh "Expotique" with the race branded gear all at the Georgetown Nike store. But the DC course was amazing, and there was better crowd support. There were almost no lines at packet pickup, even during the peak hours I volunteered.

I'm not sure why Nike doesn't do this race better. I suspect because there are people who will run it no matter what. I haven't entered the lottery the past few years because there are other races that do a much better job--from tiny local ones to huge Rock 'n' Roll types.

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Can I talk you into leaving a review on BibRave.com? You can even put a link to your blog in the review!

Robin said...

Carlee, I've always been told this race was so fabulous thanks for being honest. You had a great time for such a hilly race & im very proud of you. But thanks for the head's up. Too spendy. I can buy my own silver necklace ��

Ashleigh said...

Hey!! It was good to see you out there :) This was my third year doing the race, and although I was busy with other events and didn't spend too much time around Union Square/doing the Nike biz stuff, I could see how it was disappointing. Especially because I found one of the specialties of the Nike races in the past was how they personalized the experience even with 10-25k runners. I think not having an expo really diminished this experience because the Nike expo's were unlike any others I have ever attended.

Juliana said...

thank you so much for being so honest!!! that is a high price tag and it seems like not much return. i think i would still want to do it once but will go in with proper expectations

Anonymous said...

Carlee's recap is pretty much spot on. It was a downer, this is coming from someone who has run the Nike Women's Marathon back in 2007, and 4 other halfs (2019,2011, 2013 and 2015). It was such an awesome race back in 2007. The people cheering along the way was probably 30 times the crowd back in 2007. Also the perks along the 2007 race was geared towards women (think spa day...mind you this race is not known for being serious/competitive)...Nike sock change at mile ~10 (they handed out pairs of pink nike running socks that I still have) and had chairs out to sit and change your socks, Neutrogena refresh station (make up wipes, sunscreen, etc -2013) along the way, towel hand-out at mile 18, oranges handed out at mile 8, massages on the route (forgot which mile), the chocolate at mile 18, and other hand outs...blocks, energy bars, lip balm etc. There was music everywhere and the route went through the wharf area instead of the Tenderloin (ugh!). One of the biggest disappointments was that there were no firemen at the race...I know, you might say they were there, there were guys in tuxes. But, I was told by the person at the Nike info table at packet pickup that they were just guys in tuxes...not firemen. I might add that they were not as impressive looking in past years...I hate the idea that Nike pretty much lied (well didn't tell us) that they pretty much hired a bunch of guys to pose firemen in tuxes. I'm so glad I experienced this race back in 2007 and that was my bucket list marathon. The entry fee was definitely worth it back then. This year's race was a waste and Nike has really cheaped out! Nancy

Alissa W said...

This was my 5th Nike race, and it was the worst AND most expensive of my 9 halfs. It actually made the hour wait for a t-shirt and necklace in 2013 seem like not such a big deal. The lack of transparency and sympathy was unacceptable this year. If things change, be honest and apologize. The communication was passive and didn't really address any of the major issues. I felt like the course energy this year just seemed "off". I saw some people on Facebook had a great experience so maybe it was just me. I also have an issue with the way Nike only seems to use younger, athletic models for their advertising when in reality it's amazing to see such a diversity of women that participate in the race. I'll always be grateful that this was my first half marathon in 2011 since it jumpstarted my love of racing and self care, but I can't continue to support a company that has all the resources in the world available to them and can not execute effectively or fairly.

Devon DeMars said...

Wow, great pace! Especially with all the hills!! But I'm sorry it didn't turn out to be what you were expecting, that's always a huge bummer :( I appreciate your honest review though, because I've always thought this would be such an awesome one to run but now, maybe I'll save my money for another race. But congrats on your accomplishment overall and good luck on your upcoming race ;)

FirstRace said...

I completely agree with the accuracy of your blog post on the Nike Half Marathon in SF in Oct 2015. This was my first race and I had expected more...MUCH MORE, especially from a sponsor like Nike. I have been to the New York and Chicago marathons and the expos, cheering crowd, swag was so much better than what we received for this race
I was completely disappointed with the lack of communication on the website, lack of Expo, and the poor execution of the event. From the poor sound system at the Shakeout Run to the long lines (everywhere!) by routing runners thru the city to stand in line for hours only to be disappointed when the Fire Marshall is called because the lines were deemed a "Fire Hazard" (didn't the organizers think through this?). While the idea sounded great on paper, the execution was terrible. There were only two to four scanners at each location, which meant very long lines for runners to stand on their feet the day before the 13.1 mile race!
On the day of the race, I enjoyed myself. It was great to see all the training come to fruition. Race course was beautiful (through GG Park, Presidio, Base of Golden Gate Bridge, Chrissy Fields and the Marina) but the continued long lines to take photos with the Tiffany guys/Firemen and Finisher tent, I had to breath another sigh...LOUFLY for that matter! #NikeFail

FirstRace said...

I completely agree with the accuracy of your blog post on the Nike Half Marathon in SF in Oct 2015. This was my first race and I had expected more...MUCH MORE, especially from a sponsor like Nike. I have been to the New York and Chicago marathons (as a spectactor) and the expos, cheering crowd, swag was so much better than what we received for this race
At a S200 ENTRY FEE, I was completely disappointed with the lack of communication on the website, lack of Expo, and the poor execution of the event. From the poor sound system at the Shakeout Run to the long lines (everywhere!) by routing runners thru the city to stand in line for hours only to be disappointed when the Fire Marshall is called because the lines were deemed a "Fire Hazard" (didn't the organizers think through this?). While the idea sounded great on paper, the execution was terrible. There were only two to four scanners at each location, which meant very long lines for runners to stand on their feet the day before the 13.1 mile race!
On the day of the race, I enjoyed myself. It was great to see all the training come to fruition. Race course was beautiful (through GG Park, Presidio, Base of Golden Gate Bridge, Chrissy Fields and the Marina) but the continued long lines to take photos with the Tiffany guys/Firemen and Finisher tent, I had to breath another sigh...LOUDLY for that matter! #NikeFail