Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The San Francisco Marathon July 26, 2009

I love this race and city. Finished with my PB time of 4:25:57. This is my second go around for the SF Marathon. i enjoyed it so much last year that I was determined to come back and. I recommend SF for any marathoner or first timer. The hills are challenging but not ridiculous. The Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular and the scenic run keeps your mind in focus. This is a very organized event and the city is very hospitable. Started the race relatively outside my hotel door: The Harbor Court Hotel. This is beginning to be a habit for me to stay at the starting line. It makes the early preparations much easier. The weather was foggy (as usual for SF) until the last third of the race when the sun burned through and the temperature rose to 70 degrees.
The hills in that third in the Mission District really hurt my quads and I had to fight through the pain. Ultimately it shaved a few minutes off my time.
Running along the Pacific, to Vista Point, Fisherman's Wharf, The Presidio, Golden Gate Park and the Haight is what makes this marathon so alluring. I would like to return next year again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


July 25, 2009

On Saturday before the race went outside the hotel, The Harbor Court which is on the Embarcadero and incidently on the starting and finishing line (as it was in Pittburgh). This only works on "loop" courses as opposed to point to point as in New York. Stumbled on to a Food Market Fair outside the Ferry Building where I experienced a to die for egg sandwich.
Spent the morning patrolling the many stands of both produce, fish and cuisine fare.

Took a cab to Chinatown and Sam Wo's for lunch. Very inconspicuous and "earthy" place.
Here you have to walk through the small kitchen to get upstairs to your table. Had a very suitable bowl of wonton soup. Photo is the kitchen with the stairs on the right, and yes it is that small.
Later to the ferry ride to Sausilito and took some great shots of the bay and bridges at the same time thinking that I will have to run over it tomorrow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Pittsburgh Marathon :: May 3, 2009

May 3, 2009

The Pittsburgh Marathon was absolutely fantastic. I returned to my adoptive city, though I only lived there for 4 years I have a very comfortable feeling in the "Burgh". This race was very challenging and I finished with my best time yet for the 26.2 mile run: 4:27:04. I managed to stay at the Hampton Inn on Smallwood Street which is at the starting and finishing line, since this is a loop course. Of course no trip to Pittsburgh is complete without a visit to Primanti Brothers on 18th Street in the Strip District. Went there two times and had the famous Primanti Sandwich. Also took a picture with Toni Haggerty who was featured on the Travel Channel and Food Network.

The Race:

Very nice weather conditions except for the rain which occurred from mile 12 through 19. I ran a conservative but steady pace. Since this was my third marathon, I am getting very comfortable and recognize how to run these races. The crowds were very enthusiastic. We went through the North Side, crossed the Ohio River on the West End Bridge, ran the South Side and then crossed the Monongahela River into Oakland. Passed my Alma Mater, the University of Pittsburgh and headed up towards Shadyside, Point Breeze, Homewood, East Liberty, Bloomfield and back downtown to the finish. I did hit the wall at mile 22 but was able to run through it. This course was actually hillier than San Francisco which I will run again on July 26, 2009.