Nike Women’s Half 2012

The Nike Women’s Marathon (NWM) is a HUGE event where Nike takes advantage of the female love for girls’ weekends.  They have thought of so many ways to make girls weekends super awesome… so many little details that make women so happy… for a price, of course.  I would just LOVE to get my hands on some revenue analyses for that event.  But… for one weekend, I prefer to put my analytical, judgmental, cost/benefit business mind to sleep.  I just stop judging and start running.  This, of course, would be dangerous if I lived my whole life like this, but I feel okay about this informed decision I am making to be an ignorant consumer. 

I started my weekend off with an evening flight from Boston to San Francisco.  I got in around midnight and took BART to the St. Regis San Francisco, where Maryanne was snoozing and my mom was waiting up for me in bed.  The hotel was super nice!  It is officially my favorite thing in the world to wake up in the morning in a room with friends, knowing that you have nothing to do that day except whatever sounds fun.  And I got to do that TWICE this weekend. It is the best feeling. 

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We went to a super cute restaurant by our hotel called The Grove that had amazing breakfast! Then we spent the day shopping, talking, and checking out the race setup.  This was my second time at the NWM (my mom and I did it in 2010), so I knew a little bit about what to expect.  I still think nothing quite prepares you for the way 25,000 women can take over a city when they are all out to have an amazing girls’ weekend.  And there is no way to really expect the new ways Nike will attempt to think of every little detail.  Nike Town in Union Square was just as overwhelming and amazing as I remembered,  The store turns into a platform for female-themed motivational posters, wall-shaking club music, and more race garb than you could possibly sell.

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It is really fun and really exciting and really makes you feel like you are part of a big empowering event.  They also have every registered runner’s name printed on the storefront for the weekend!DSCN0879

Since the expo line was super long, we decided to keep shopping elsewhere for a few hours.  Big mistake.  OOPS, sorry mom and Maryanne.  I think that was my idea… When we came back, the line was looping around Union Square MULTIPLE TIMES!  WHAT!!?? What are you doing, Nike?!  You are bigger, better, and more organized than this!  Right??!! It was a disaster.  It didn’t ruin my day or anything because we just chatted in line, but I sure would have been fine doing something else for the hour-plus wait.  Emily came and met up with us in line (cutter!) to spend the rest of the weekend with us!  Well, Nike… every time you piss me off, you seem to come up with some way to make me forget about it…

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I MET KARA GOUCHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and there’s Shalane right next to her!!!)DSCN0884

I’m not even kidding.  This was SOOOO AMAZING!  There really is nothing else to say.

We had a great pre-race dinner at Burger Bar in Macy’s in Union Square.  I had the veggie burger with avocado and a fried egg on top, and we all shared the fry sampler.  Yummm… so much better than pre-race spaghetti.  Then we went back to the Grove (breakfast restaurant) for a huge chocolate chip cookie! 

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The rest of the night was full of gossip, girly secrets, and giggling before we all settled into a short anxious pre-race snooze. 

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Race morning was the usual frenzy of excitement, nerves, and everyone’s pre-race routine needs being met.  We went to Starbucks and then to the start line.  There were so many people.  Unreal. 

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you can see yourself if you look at my cheeks or chin!

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But my mom can’t see anything!

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It was crowded the whole time!  The race was full of good music, great varied scenery, and the usual friendly conversation among runners. 

It was also full of irritated women who had paid over $100 for registration alone and just wanted to have a good time, but who were ALL overwhelmed by an over-crowded course.  I won’t rant too much because I am also one of those women who paid to travel to SF for an expensive race, and I would also like to have a fond memory to go with my credit card bill, but OMG really!!?? Really!!??  The thing I love about that race is the way it brings women of all abilities out to enjoy a healthy activity with friends.  But the think I hate about that race is the way it is FULL of people who don’t usually run races.  I am sure they are great people… maybe (I’m not actually sure), but when you put that many people on one course, you NEED race etiquette.  People who don’t race don’t know that suddenly stopping and walking in the middle of a path up a crowded steep hill = I will punch you in the face, scream horrible foul names, and make you feel like an idiot.  Of course, I mostly resisted that behavior, but I was not always on my best behavior.  AND I HATE THAT.  I hate that such a great event turns into such a catty bitch riot.  But it does. 

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The city was amazing, of course!  My mom, Emily, and I  ran together for the whole thing, accomplishing our only goal!  Maryanne and her baby on board finished at a healthy pace behind us!  Race success!photo

I’m not sure I’ll do it again.  I’m excited to try Lululemon’s race in Vancouver, CA, and I want to try for some new destinations.  But OMG… I had such a great weekend.  The race recovery included SF soup company, a spa day with my mama, shopping, and more good food and laughter.  I love those ladies! 

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3 Comments on “Nike Women’s Half 2012”

  1. Emily says:

    We are sooooooooo awesome!!!!!! Luv you Kate, and luv you more for taking pics and posting and being the amazing lady that you are. Thanks again for a great weekend and even better memories! –Em

  2. Blair says:

    Awesome job, ladies!


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