The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2013

Posted by Lauren

Remember how I said I did something crazy last weekend? That whole “two half marathons in two days” thing?

Salinas Valley Half Marathon on Saturday in Soledad.
Giant Race Half Marathon on Sunday in San Francisco.

Here’s what happened after I finished the first set of 13 miles on Saturday.

I joined Nicole, my dad, Lauretta, and 60 other family members at a campground in Morgan Hill for a few hours at the annual Family Reunion extravaganza. I made it just in time for the water balloon toss. Let’s set the record straight: my teammate (NICOLE) popped the balloon, not me. :)


After some games, resting, and food prep, it was time for the potluck dinner.


Once I had plenty dessert, I said goodbye and headed north to San Francisco. My pal Krizia totally helped me out on Saturday night. She let me crash at her house, park in her garage, made me coffee in the morning, AND drove me to the race start. Thank you!!! I am a spoiled friend!


I found a spot in the corral and then spent 10 minutes lightly stretching. I was definitely sore from Saturday, but I didn’t feel terrible. As soon as the clock struck 7, I realized my Garmin was still off. D’oh. I decided to start running anyways and waited for my watch to locate satellites. At Mile 1, I pressed start and just pretended I had a 12-mile training run to complete. #MindGames

giant race start line

Miles 1 & 2 run along the Embarcadero, starting at AT&T Park (aka home of the SF Giants!) – past the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf.


Bay Bridge & Fog = Duh

giant race route

The next 1/2 mile was a fun, short hill (looks like I blazed through it at a 11:50 pace?) that came with a much more enjoyable downhill section near Fort Mason. Miles 3 – 6.5 we ran towards the Golden Gate Bridge, with Alcatraz to our right and the beautiful homes of Marina Green on our left.


“The Torture Will End”


At the turnaround point I saw the 1:50 pace group was not far behind me. They passed me at Mile 7.5, but I didn’t really care. I walked up half of the Mile 8 Fort Mason hill, again pausing just a second to adjust my knee braces. Mile 9 – 13 were much like the first 4 miles: flat and doable. I’m happy to say that this course is less tiring than Salinas Valley!


Ferry Building on left

giant race 2013 race photos

As I approached the ballpark, I heard a thundering group of runners behind me. A guy kept shouting motivational quotes to get the group to sprint. This was probably the only point where I wouldn’t let someone run past me (one of my pet peeves = when someone passes me 4 feet from the finish line). I kicked everything into high gear and sprinted in at a 4:42 pace. SHEESH.


Finish line in the outfield. Can’t be beat.


Race bling!



Official time: 1:51:49 – pace: 8:32

giant race 2013 results

35 seconds faster than Salinas Valley. How’s that for consistent?

Mile splits (last 12 miles ONLY!):

giant race mile splits last 12

giant race speed elevation

After the race I met up with Kristine for a much deserved brunch at The Plant! Not going to lie, at mile 7 I started daydreaming about brunch…


Kristine is amping up for the Chicago Marathon and did 2 miles to the start + the half mary to cover her training plan’s 15-miler. Needless to say, we both devoured our meals and still felt full. I went with the Pacific Northwest Eggs Benedict – two poached eggs, wild smoked salmon, herbed creme fraiche on an english muffin. Damn, it was REALLY good.


Clean plate club.

Did I explain yet why I ran two half marathons in two days? It’s because I ADORE Salinas Valley and I CHERISH the Giant Race. For some reason, the Giant Race organizers moved the race up 5 weeks. I was in a pickle and didn’t want to choose between the two. It’s like asking our mom to pick her favorite daughter… she can’t! (Oh wait, maybe she can – and did – when she picked Nicole to be the Maid of Honor! Ugh, devastating.)

I ran the 2012 Giant Race with a cast on in 1:44:41.
I finished the 2011 Giant Race in 1:39:37. (shout out to with Megan and Brian Wilson!)

Last year I was plain ol’ happy to run considering I had a fractured wrist on the mend. And the year before I managed to snag 3rd in my age group. I’m a little nostalgic for the speedy days, but I think I can get back to that point someday. This year? Just happy to reach the finish. And that’s okay too.

Question: When’s the last time you challenged yourself to do something out of your comfort zone?


Comment (1)

  1. Kelli H

    That’s so cool you met up with Kristine!

    Good job on your time! You’re pretty much a running rock star in my eyes.
    Kelli H recently posted..Jason’s 21st BirthdayMy Profile


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