The Spirit of the Marathon

Heading across the U.S.A. to document the Spirit of the different Marathons that each state has to offer. From one runners point of view.

-The site also serves as a Marathon visual guide.

-Send us an email to get Toky to run/document your Marathon.

If you like the Marathon Photo Essays and would like to help me create more, please donate through PayPal. All donations will be used for entry fees and travel expenses.


Check out our friends at:
"We Are All Smith"

Search

Additional pages

Twitter feed

Find me on...

San Francisco Marathon (Getting there & Expo Photo Essay)

San Francisco Marathon ExpoBackstory:

I’ve completed three Los Angeles Marathons and one Nike Human Race. On my last LA Marathon back in March, I decided to take my camera with me and do a photo essay. I posted it on my blog and tweeted about  it. Over the next few days my photo essay was seen by more than 6,000+ people (the Marathon had 26,000 runners) and was re-tweeted over and over again. The best part of it all was all the comments that people posted as replies to my photo essay as well as all the emails I received from runners that were grateful someone had done this for them as they could use it to show their families and friends what it was like on the course. It also helped me realize we all tend to have the same thoughts as we are running.

Since then I’ve wanted to go run different marathons across the USA and document the spirit of each city. Thanks from a little help from the organizers of the race, I present you: The Spirit of The San Francisco Marathon Part I (“Getting There”).

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

My flight was delayed 1:30 hrs because of “fog” in San Francisco…. Once we landed I could see what they meant.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Cool airport in SF. Second only on my list to the San Antonio, TX one. I love airports!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Hopped on the metro from the airport to the San Francisco Design Center, where the Marathon Expo took place. This was my first sight as soon as I stepped out of the metro. “Dorothy, we are clearly in San Francisco!”.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Walked about five blocks from the Civic Center station to the Design Center. As you were walking towards it you could see more an more people heading over there. Other out-of-towners, like me, were wondering if we were heading in the right direction. We GPS’d it and we made it.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

The Expo was divided in three areas. Goodie bag/bib pickup, exhibitors, and lecture area/activity/yoga area.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This place was TINY. Not chaotic or crazy, but it would have not hurt for it to be a tad bit bigger. I hit about 7 people with my backpack! (sorry folks!)

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

First things first, pick my bib and my timing chip.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Loved all the young volunteers. They knew their stuff and were excited to be there.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Awesome to see so many volunteers! I made a point to include this image on the essay because I truly admire the kindness and effort that all volunteers put into this. For me marathons are about two things: running and community. This particular marathon made that very clear to me and I will touch on that subject again on other images in part II of the essay. But for now a BIG “THANK YOU” to all the peeps that donated of their time and effort pre, during and after the marathon.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Got my bib, timing chip, t-shirt and goodie bag. Gotta say…. this was a neat goodie bag. Not plastic (yay!), reusable, well-designed an cool. I will certainly re-use it often.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This are half-marathoners picking up their shirts. Dark blue for the full marathon runners and light blue for all the half marathon runners.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Next up, the merchandise area. I was really blown away by how cool the merchandise was. The San Francisco peeps know how to design stuff and it was evident in ALL their merchandise. All the materials were great, soft and moisture wicking, but they also looked really cool and wearable. Two thumbs up!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Even the water bottles are rad! You will probably be able to pick some of the stuff you see here: http://www.thesfmarathon.com/shop.php

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

On Monday, the day after the marathon, when I was doing a little sight-seeing I saw 6 people wearing this jacket!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

One last one. I will definitely be picking some stuff online.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Alright, next up, the lecture area. Pictured here: Dane Rauschenberg with his lecture “Ignore the Impossible”. You can read more about Dane here: http://www.danerunsalot.blogspot.com and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dane_Rauschenberg. This was my introduction to Dane and I’m already hooked reading his blog. Before Dane, my running hero Dean Karnazes gave his lecture. And I missed it. Damn FOG!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This time around I made an effort to visit every booth and check out what each one was about. Everything from t-shirts, socks, massages, marathons in other cities, juices, socks, improving performance, etc.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This guy for example is making custom shirts with your bib number so that way you don’t have to wear the paper bib.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This was super cool. An old-school photo booth! You can check out the photos taken at the booth here: http://sanfranciscophotobooth.smugmug.com/Photo-Booth/SFMarathon/13083865_rrQk5#948233074_uMZW6

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

LOVED LOVED LOVED this. The DIY area where you were provided with cardboard, markers, crayons, glue, glitter, etc.. and you could make the signs for the people you were going to cheer for. That was a really cool detail of the expo. Just as the photo booth, the good design in all products and other little things I would see during the race that made me appreciate the care that the SF marathon organizers took in all the little details.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Another area of the Expo was the Lululemon Athletica yoga class. Let me tell you something… I do my best running when I also do yoga. I haven’t done it in a while but seeing this was a good reminder that I have to get myself back into it. Yoga aligns your body, it makes you feel light as a feather when you run. During the height of my yoga-running training two years ago I did my fastest 26 mile training run in 4:09 hrs. I haven’t been able to top that :-(

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Also, a bunch of my female friends love to wear this stuff. So I didn’t even know they also have a men’s line. Yesterday I stopped at their store here in SF and was pleasantly surprised at their men’s selection. You can tell their stuff is designed by people that practice what they preach. I bought this tank that is made of a fabric called Silverscent that makes the absorbed sweat (because it’s also moisture wicking) not stink. But also, the fabric in-front of your nipples is different to prevent chafing! Amazing!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

So anyways, back to the essay! I was meaning to say that Lululemon peeps were there offering free “Yoga for Runners” classes.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

It was neat that every exhibitor was also giving away free samples. That’s how I’ve come across some of my favorite products. Someone gave me a sample at an expo and I got hooked.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

C-r-o-w-d-e-d!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

That t-shirt cracked me up! Little did I know that I would have that thought over and over the next day!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This is a two-thumbs up not only for the organizers but for the City of San Francisco. Everywhere you go, the street, the restaurants, the hotels, anywhere, people RECYCLE! And the appropriate trash cans are not only clearly labeled but they also have photos that make it so much easier to know which thing goes in each bin. Bringing that aspect of the City into the expo AND the marathon was really neat.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This was what I got hooked on at this expo. I only drink protein if it’s in some sort of -chocolate- form. So far, I do my own shakes because I haven’t found a chocolate drink that I like, until this from svelte. The girl at the booth said to me they are available at Whole Foods. I haven’t seen them yet, but I will definitely go see if they are available at my local Whole Foods in LA. Seriously, try the chocolate one. YUMMY!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Interesting thing. No Adidas, no Nike, no K-Swiss, no Reebok, no New Balance, no Asics….. why no major athletic brands sponsoring the marathon or present at the expo? I have no clue. Skechers which is a brand that to be honest I didn’t even know had running shoes was there. I’m curious to try their selection. I have a friend that does swear by the Shape-ups though.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Alright, I think I’m all “expoed” out.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Great expo, lots of people, lots of things to try out.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

On my way out and to the hotel. Something that I hadn’t experienced before because I’ve only run marathons in the City I live in, are the shuttle buses. Right in-front of the expo a big shuttle bus was driving people to and from the expo to the Hotels. Being an out of towner I really appreciated that.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Now at the Hotel this is one of the views from the 10th floor of the Hyatt Embarcadero.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

This is the view from my room! I could see the start line from my window.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Goodie bag! I had to take a pic of the contents of my goodie bag once at the hotel now that I had the time to examine it. We even got olive oil! Oh and the IronMan muscle gel also came in handy that day. The bag is on the left and the t-shirt is on the right. Everyone was carrying their blue bags all over the City on Monday.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Another view from the hotel.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

And another one. San Francisco is just a beautiful City. Mixing the marathon purpose of the trip with going to a City you’ve never been at was amazing! It really makes me want to travel-run more. I really suggest to all of you runners to pick a City you’ve always wanted but have never visited. Find out if the have a marathon and when, and then visit-run. You will not regret it. Somebody should start a tourism campaign based on this idea.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Ok, now I know I’m in San Francisco for sure!

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

After checking in, I went to see the surroundings and see where the start-finish of the marathon would take place. The area in-front of those two short buildings would be the start and finish areas.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Lots of runners everywhere. Some locals. Some visiting. Some doing a “last run” before the marathon the next day.

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Before I went back to rest, I made sure I knew the area where my corral according to my bib number would be situated. I’m a fan of “dry-runs” ;-)

The Spirit of the San Francisco Marathon

test

Now, for the end of Part I “Getting There” I have a confession to make. On Thursday night I went for a run and I slightly twisted my ankle. On Friday it hurt more and on Saturday it hurt A LOT more. So much so that for a very slight second I considered not running. BUT, I couldn’t do that. I don’t mind the pain, in fact I’m one of those people that I like it. Actually, I think all runners like physical pain a bit. Pain makes you feel alive. It helps you overcome obstacles and train and endure and grow. So, thank God there was a Walgreens across from the hotel. I bought every pain gel, creme, spray, pill they had. I came this far… my ankle is not going to stop me. This happens to all runners, several times. To me personally I think I psych myself up every marathon… because usually something always goes wrong! But anyways, everyone sprains their ankle while training at some point… mine just happened to be now, one day before. I decided that if I couldn’t run, I would walk and if I couldn’t walk, I would crawl, and if I couldn’t crawl, I would take photos at the start-finish line… All I knew is that -I- don’t quit. If my body does, that’s another thing….. (End of Part I)

Recent comments

Loading posts...