5am on Embarcadero, the still dark boulevard was bustling with athletics preparing for the run. It took 30 minutes for my middle wave to propagate to the starting line. There the bell ringer ringed the ceremonial cable car bell. Ding. Ding. Ding. Off we go.
We filled the familiar San Francisco streets and waterfront, overran the hill by Fort Mason, passed the Philz Coffe truck that was already opened in Marina Green. Then we scaled the hill that lead to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was fog shrouded, completely fog shrouded. While we were running on the windy bridge deck, the fog horn was blowing the deep deep sound below. Just another day at the Golden Gate. And this day I was running on it.
We went pass the residentals in Richmond and arrived at the Golden Gate Park. Here we splitted up with our half Marathon friends. The atmosphere changed a good deal. Now people had thinned out with only half as many runners going down a much wider road. Tall trees flanked both side of the road still shrouded in fog. It was tranquil and peaceful. It was magical.
As we returned to the city streets, the sun had finally broken through. People gathered on the street to cheer the runners. There were band stands. Some people offer few drink to runners. I had high fived at least fifteen people along the way. It was such a festival. Their encouragement helped me to squeeze my last bit of reserve. I kept going and made it to the finish line.
Big thanks for RUN365 for organizing the training. And big thanks to the coaches and pacers. It was such a wonderful experience to run with you in the last few months.