Tag Archives: Nike Women’s Marathon

Race Review: Nike Women’s Half Marathon, San Francisco (October 18, 2009)

NIKE WOMENS MARATHON 3I was on the phone with a Nike representative. They were flying me out to San Francisco for a “global running summit,” to preview their Spring 2010 running collection, and the event coincided with the Nike Women’s Marathon, the largest women’s race in the world. Would I like to run the half or full while I was there?

“Um, I’m a guy?” I asked, bewildered. Turns out that the race is open to all genders, and that a couple thousand of the 20,000 or so runners are guys, so I figured I’d go ahead and do the half. “The course is really beautiful,” she told me, referring to the San Francisco scenery.

At the summit, Olympian Kara Goucher, who’s America’s great hope for the women’s marathon at London 2012, appeared along with Beijing gold-medalist and Chicago’s record-setting champ, Sammy Wanjiru. Goucher, whose gentle charisma and blazing speed has made her the new sweetheart of the running set, was asked about her next race. She responded she’s on “a hiatus” and that she and her husband were “trying to start a family,” after which she’d return to racing in preparation for the Olympics.

That, more than anything else over the weekend, drove home the spirit underlying a women’s marathon: no male racer in the prime of his career has to make room in his training routine for considerations like pregnancy. Men like Wanjiru can focus on just one thing which, in his case, is his mission to break the world’s record. Continue reading

Head for the Hills

It’s sunny. 70 degrees. I’m in San Francisco. Nike’s flown me out for this weekend’s “Global Running Summit” and, while I’m here, I’m signed up to run the half in the Nike Women’s Marathon, just a week after finishing my first marathon. After yesterday’s exuberant run in Chicago, I’m starting to think, should I try and do the full marathon again this weekend? Once I start thinking that way, it can be trouble.

Running in San Francisco’s a whole ‘nother deal than Chicago. I step out of my hotel downtown and see a hill across the street. Of course I want to run up it. Halfway up, sanity returns for a second—I just did a marathon Sunday, and I’m racing Sunday and I don’t EVER run hills. What if my muscles react in such a way I can’t run Sunday? I turn off the hill and follow what seems to be a flat course. Then I turn toward “home”—my hotel—and have little choice about course, since a wayward run and I’m lost. Look at this: I have to ascend Nob Hill whether I like it or not. Epic. Soon I discover that running down a steep hill is a challenge of another kind.

Providence has intervened. I’m sticking to the half on Sunday.