Race Recap: 2015 Nike Women???s Half Marathon San Francisco

Me in the "WE RUN SF" sign at the 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco.
Same sign as last year- love it!- Union Square, SF.

I LOVE the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco! It is a very unique experience not only??because it’s run predominantly by women, but??also because Nike takes good care of its runners providing the best experience possible. Yes, I love being spoiled especially when I pay $200 to run 13.1 miles!

This year, race organizers initially??announced that they would??mail race packets. But two weeks before the race they sent an email saying that you would have to go personally to Union Square and pick up your own packet. Things seemed very confusing and honestly unorganized.

We also found out that this year they would not offer the famous and highly anticipated Expo. Instead they decided to do a Scavenger Hunt in Union Square. The challenge was??to go to different locations around Downtown??and earn??one of the seven earrings available. If you wanted all of the earrings you needed to go to all of the service stops.

List of Scavanger Hunt clues on where to find your 2015 Nike Women's Half earring.
List of Nike+ Services – Spread out in seven different locations all walking distance from each other in Downtown SF.
Picture of the seven different earrings to find for the 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon.
These were the earrings, please note they are NOT Tiffany.

Personally I missed the old Expo where you’d find everything in one spot and where you were able to feel the excitement and anticipation of all the runners.

Lots of elevation changes at the 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco.
Tough course, especially mile 10!

Finally it was Sunday and my amazing husband dropped me in The City. It was crowded! 25,000 runners cramped in downtown SF, yikes! There were portapotties and bag check in each corral, as well as speakers playing music, awesome environment!

With 25,000 women at the 2015 Nike Women's Half, it was expected to have long lines!
With 25,000 women at the 2015 Nike Women’s Half, it was expected to have long lines!

And off we go! First we went through the narrow streets of downtown. It was awesome seeing all of the people cheering and supporting the runners. It got hilly pretty fast! I mean this is not an easy race by any means!

Donut holes handed by a stranger, yes please!
Donut holes handed by a stranger, yes please!

After mile 2 the entertainment started: different choirs, bands, organizations, motivational quotes and groups of people cheering holding creative signs. It was awesome! I wasn’t feeling very good, my throat had been bothering me for a few??days. That’s why I had to bring my water bottle — I needed to drink water quite often — and I had to carry a bag??of tissues as well. Even though I didn’t feel strong enough to have a good race, there was no way I was going to miss it!

Running motivation :)
Running motivation ????
Creative signs that make you smile for sure!
Creative signs that make you smile for sure!
Amazing bands and volunteers kept us entertained at the 2015 Nike Women's Half.
Amazing bands and volunteers kept us entertained.

Then the most feared hill came around mile 10, oh god why??? It is almost 1 mile uphill! And you suck it up and take it by the horns! Support??was??awesome, LOTS of cheering, music, cow bells, even a DJ playing and cheering the exhausted and miserable runners.

The toughest part of the 2015 Nike Women's Half: Mile 10 all uphill!
The toughest part of the 2015 Nike Women’s Half: Mile 10 all uphill!
Motivation at mile 10 of the 2015 Nike Women's Half: "The best version of you just crushed that hill."
Motivation at mile 10: “The best version of you just crushed that hill.”

Everything that goes up must go down and so we started heading down all the way to Crissy Field right by the Golden Gate Bridge (gorgeous!). By mile 11 I was done, I was so tired and dizzy, my body was confused, it was already struggling with cold-like symptoms and I was demanding physical strength to keep running, so it simply shut down.

Volunteers representing different cultures, had to stop with the Mexicans!
Volunteers representing different cultures, had to stop with the Mexicans! Andale!

I sat down for a while on the side-walk questioning my sanity. I was 2 miles?? away from finishing, so close and yet so far! But??I was not going to quit so I pulled myself together and sucked it up! I saw they were giving away chocolates and that helped to keep me going.

Free chocolate at the 2015 Nike Women's Half, very much needed!
Free chocolate, very much-needed!

I couldn’t get to the finish line fast enough, and finally after a right turn there it was The Finish Line! As soon as I crossed??it, I picked up my necklace and threw myself to the grass.

Crossing the 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco Finish Line
Crossing the 2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco Finish Line
Barely finished, exhausted and in pain!
Barely finished, exhausted and in pain!
2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon goodie bags.
Goodie bags, yes!
2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon goody bag contents.
2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon goody bag contents.
2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon finisher's necklaces.
2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon finisher’s necklaces.
Long lines for 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon merchandise.
Long lines for 2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon merchandise.
2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon water bottle.
2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon water bottle.

I didn’t have the energy to explore the finishers tent where they were selling Nike Women’s Half merchandise, the lines just to get in there were extremely long, so I headed to the buses after picking up my bag. Then it was over, I did it and I earned my necklace!

It's all about the 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon bling!
It’s all about the bling!

Wearing my 2015 Nike Women's Half Marathon finisher's necklace.Once again the 2015 Nike Women’s Half Marathon was a great race!

Unfortunately, we recently learned from Nike’s spokeswoman Haley Bakker that this popular series will not come back to San Francisco in 2016. It’s disappointing and I’m sad but at least other cities will be able to experience this race.

Which city will be the chosen one???

Celeste Baird

About Author:

Wife, mother, runner and food lover. My motto is "I can't fail if I don't quit", so yes I am stubborn. I love adventures and challenges specially if they involve having fun with my friends and family. I've been running since 2012 and done quite number of Half Marathons. Currently training for my second Marathon! Slowly but surely!

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