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@runnerbee

San Francisco, CA Raving since 2017 active 8 months, 1 week ago

About Me

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My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Nagoya, Japan Mar 11, 2018 4:55:13
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Sep 9, 2018 2:01:17

Future Races (24)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Auckland, New Zealand TBD
Marathon Austin, TX TBD
Marathon Banff, Canada TBD
Marathon Chicago, IL TBD
Marathon Barcelona, Spain TBD
Half Marathon Berkeley, CA TBD
Half Marathon Paris, France TBD
Marathon Two Harbors, MN TBD
Marathon Lorne, Australia TBD
Marathon Jackson Hole, WY TBD
Marathon Jerusalem, Israel TBD
Half Marathon Livermore, CA TBD
Marathon London, United Kingdom TBD
Marathon Arlington, VA TBD
Marathon Tromso, Norway TBD
Marathon Staten Island, NY TBD
Marathon Oakland, CA TBD
Marathon Idaho Springs, CO TBD
Half Marathon San Jose, CA TBD
50K Calgary, Canada TBD
Marathon St George, UT TBD
Marathon Tokyo, Japan TBD
Marathon Valencia, Spain TBD
Goofy Challenge (39.3 Miles) Lake Buena Vista, FL TBD

Past Races (11)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon DE Amsterdam, Netherlands Oct 18, 2020
Marathon Vancouver, Canada May 3, 2020
Marathon Oslo, Norway Sep 21, 2019 5:27:43
Marathon Big Sur, CA Apr 28, 2019 5:07:30
Marathon Honolulu, HI Dec 9, 2018 5:06:35
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Sep 9, 2018 2:01:17
Half Marathon Fremont, CA May 5, 2018 2:14:05
Marathon Nagoya, Japan Mar 11, 2018 4:55:13
Half Marathon Milsons Point, Australia Sep 17, 2017 2:01:32
Marathon San Francisco, CA Jul 23, 2017 5:01:16
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 8, 2017 4:57:03

My Raves

Expo: Centrally located across the street from the Oslo City Hall and the Nobel Peace Center. Packet pickup was seamless. Race entry included bib with timing chip and drawstring bag; … MORE

Expo: Centrally located across the street from the Oslo City Hall and the Nobel Peace Center. Packet pickup was seamless. Race entry included bib with timing chip and drawstring bag; I paid an additional 100 NOK for the race shirt as memorabilia.

Race start: held just outside the Expo; I couldn’t find the signs for bag check and had to ask one of the volunteers for directions. The bags were not held by the volunteers but instead they served as security guards to the area. In my opinion I prefer them checking in the bags instead of us organizing our own and walk in/out by ourselves for security purposes. There were only two waves for marathons (9:25am for elites and 9:30am for everyone else). Additional corrals would be helpful as it was a bit difficult to pace in the beginning of the congested race.

Weather: 20 degree Celsius with little breeze. A lot warmer than I expected in Scandinavia for the fall.

Course: A lot more challenging than expected. The course essentially repeated the half marathon course which made it a bit more predictable and lackluster. The race passed by Vigeland Park and downtown Oslo with never-ending rolling hills in 200 ft+ elevation. As a road runner, the worst part about this was running in a combination of asphalt/cobblestones/gravel which mirrors that of a trail race. I constantly found myself slowing down to keep my balance to avoid any injury. Saw someone running barefoot, kudos to him but ouch!

Aid Stations: Water/electrolyte at every station and bananas/pepsi at later stations. Red bull and coffee mixed with pepsi (weird combo) was provided at one point as well.

Crowd Support: Perhaps the best part about this race. Spectators shouted my name many times (printed on bib) with words of encouragement in Norwegian to cheer me on. Amazing people and great vibe!

Race Finish: Pretty standard with medal upon crossing the finish line as well as snacks/bottled water/bananas/bread.

Final Thoughts: My performance was disappointing due to cramps and lack of preparation for the course (combination of rolling hills and uneven running surface as described above), but the crowd support was definitely first class. This course is not PR friendly and due to the repetitiveness (running the half marathon course twice) I don’t recommend this race overall.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This course is notorious for the hills so I knew what I was getting into but boy was it brutal. Won the lottery as a first timer on first try … MORE

This course is notorious for the hills so I knew what I was getting into but boy was it brutal. Won the lottery as a first timer on first try (my friend as well) so it seems like this race is not too hard to get into.

Packet pickup: Expo was held at the Monterey Conference Center (nice venue). Race shirt was nice and merchandises were plentiful. Everything seemed to run like a well oiled machine, but given that this was the 34th time of organizing the event, I could not believe the organization screwed up on the emergency contact information on the back of the bibs. The contact person on the back of my bib was a COMPLETE STRANGER with the same last name as mine. The information probably got misprinted a few bibs down as there were others with the same last name as mine on the race. Same thing happened on my friend’s bib. Not sure how many people noticed, but such mistakes should not have happened at a major race like this.

Race Start: Took the race shuttle from hotel to the start line for about an hour in the dark. Lines for port-a-potties were horrendous, but bagels/coffee/water/gatorade were provided so that was nice. Apparently there was hot chocolate too but I didn’t find out until it was too late.

Weather: Blessed with great weather this year. Heard others said it was the third time since inception to have no headwind (only tailwind). This might explain the increase in the number of sub 3s this year compared to last year (40 vs 27).

Course: Started downhill with rolling hills after. The elevation chart downplayed the number of hills after hurricane point. Course marshals were constantly present to ensure runners stay within the running boundary (turned from double lane to single lane after the first few miles). Kudos to them and the volunteers for making this a great experience despite the monster hills. Some volunteers personalized my experience by calling out my name (printed on the bib) and a course marshal expressed concern for my apparent fatigue. Can’t say enough thanks to these amazing people! Oh, and there was a strict cutoff time so if you didn’t make it to mile 21.2 by around 11:50am or so you’d get picked up by the shame bus, yikes!

Scenery: Bixby bridge was iconic as expected with a pianist playing “What a Wonderful World” – however, after that the scenery was mediocre. I admit that I might be a bit biased coming from the San Francisco bay area so the coastline was not new to me, but the scenery was overhyped in my opinion.

Aid stations: Water and gatorade at all stations. Gels provided at miles 12.2 and 18.9. Bananas were provided after mile 10 and strawberries were provided at one of the last few stations. At one point I got a handful of skittles as well which was a nice energy booster.

Race finish: There was a fly zone at mile 25 which was misleading as some thought that was the finish line (false hope). After battling the last hill, I did one last sprint to the finish and got the infamous ceramic medal (if you read the magazine they gave you at the expo you’d see a similar archaic design for the 2012 race; in fact the 2012 design looked slightly better). Talk about creativity. With the hefty race entry I think we deserve nicer medals than ones with a recycled design. After the medal I got a food box and stood 30 minutes in line for a weak massage (give your fragile legs a break and don’t bother). Soup tent is a must-go though as the minestrone soup provided was quite tasty. There were return shuttles bringing you back to your pickup point which was convenient (ride back was only 10-15 minutes compared to almost an hour going to the start line).

Final thoughts: Despite the brutal inclines my performance was better than initially expected (no prior hill training whatsoever) so I can’t complain too much, but this race is overhyped in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, overall it is still a positive race experience for me, but I don’t think it’s worth repeating after factoring in everything. If you haven’t run it before and you want a weekend getaway or take part in the Boston 2 Big Sur challenge then perhaps it’s worth a try.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

What could possibly go wrong with a race in paradise? Had high hopes for this race considering it's one of the largest marathons in the world, but in hindsight I … MORE

What could possibly go wrong with a race in paradise? Had high hopes for this race considering it’s one of the largest marathons in the world, but in hindsight I should have gone in with little to zero expectation.

Expo: Held at the Hawaii Convention Center, free trolley transportation was provided to/from Waikiki but my best advice is don’t count on it. The stops were not labeled at all so unless you spotted one of the trolleys with a huge sign that said “Honolulu Marathon Expo” on the road there was no way you could have figured out where the stop was. I asked a cop and some local ambassadors about it but they didn’t seem to have a clue. You’d think a race this big would be organized better.

Race Start: Utter chaos. Heard about the disorganized race start but was told by the production that corral placement would be better enforced this year – didn’t happen. The announcers said many times in English and Japanese that runners were supposed to line up according to their bib colors, but a race with no time limit meant you had walkers who were not trained on proper race etiquette lining up in the front such that they walked right off the bat, creating a huge backlog of runners. I ran the first five miles or so trying to weave through the sea of walkers. The only positive aspect of the race start was the fireworks and the bus that transported runners from Honolulu Zoo to the start line at Ala Moana (highly recommend staying in Waikiki for the race as the walk from my hotel to the zoo was about 10 minutes).

Course: Not too hilly at ~100 ft elevation. Start at Ala Moana, run through Waikiki in the dark and some multi-million dollar homes near Kahala Beach to finally finish at Kapiolani Park. Scenery was just mediocre, so it’s best not to get your hopes up.

Aid Stations: Water and gatorade at every station and three energy gel stations. The pre-race instruction noted that there was energy gel provided at Mile 24 but in actuality that was provided at Mile 22.

Crowd Support: Some but not to the magnitude you’d expect at a large marathon. Some goodies were handed out but they seemed to be catered to Japanese runners only (perhaps sponsored by the tour groups).

Race Finish: After crossing the finish line I was immediately given a shell lei as well as the medal. However, the finisher village was another chaos. There were no signs directing you to the proper area for prize pickup so after running 26.2 miles you had to drag your tired self to every tent looking for the finisher shirt and the infamous malasadas.

Final Thoughts: This isn’t a PR race. In addition to dodging people for the first five miles of the race, running in the heat and humidity is not something I am used to, so that put a damper on my time. In any case, if you want to check Hawaii off on the 50-state challenge then go for it, otherwise don’t bother.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was the most spontaneous race for me ever with less than 24 hr notice, but here are my thoughts nonetheless: Expo: bib pickup was conveniently located at AT&T Park. … MORE

This was the most spontaneous race for me ever with less than 24 hr notice, but here are my thoughts nonetheless:

Expo: bib pickup was conveniently located at AT&T Park. However the bibs were not pre-assigned, which made them prone to human error. I saw on social media that somebody was given the wrong bib (10K runners got a 5K bib or something along those lines), so beware.

Course: Relatively flat for San Francisco with 234 ft in elevation per Strava but there were some smaller hills (it’s SF after all). Mostly ran on concrete with a short section along the Marina in gravel. The heat from San Francisco’s Indian summer hit around Mile 7 so I slowed down quite a bit after that.

Aid Stations: Water and electrolyte at all stations. Didn’t see any gel or food options offered.

Crowd Support: Okay this is where this race far exceeded the other local races I participated in the bay area. There were volunteers stationed at almost every hill (no matter how tiny) to cheer you on in case you needed the extra “push” to conquer your worst enemy. Thank you volunteers!

Swag: The shirt is very nice, in fact I think it went up a notch compared to prior year’s (saw a few runners wearing last year’s on race day). You also get a bobblehead which is unique compared to other local races, but this event is pretty expensive so you get what you pay for. The medal is mediocre and looks like something that can be recycled into next year’s race (just swap out the band that says 2018 and voila you are done).

Post-race refreshment: Virtually non-existent. Got a bottle of water, a sample of Odwalla smoothie in tiny cups, and that was it. Saw someone with a Dole fruit cup and some pretzel snacks but I had no idea where they got those. I was expecting better refreshments right after the race for the hefty race price tag, but sorry those stadium vendors need to stay in business.

Final Thoughts: Made a 15 second PR on a half (woot?) at this race according to the official record but my watch indicated I ran about 0.2 mi more which meant my time would have been 2-3 min faster (would have been my first sub 2!) had the marker been on point. Anyway I am not super obsessed with distance discrepancy so it is what it is. Really enjoyed this race overall and I liked it better than the race organized by the San Francisco Marathon. You don’t get to run on the bridge at this event but you do get a beautiful panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Marina.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

My second women themed race this year (not intentional; race calendar worked out this way coincidentally). Men can participate but they are not eligible for category awards. Signed up for … MORE

My second women themed race this year (not intentional; race calendar worked out this way coincidentally). Men can participate but they are not eligible for category awards. Signed up for a half hoping to PR but failed miserably (to be discussed later):

Bib pickup: locations to pick up the packet prior to the race are not convenient for me personally. They only had three options (pickup at Title Nine in Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Los Gatos) for pickup prior to race day. Luckily they offered race morning pickup which was what I opted for. I have to admit it was a little bit stressful in the morning because I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a line going into Quarry Lake so I arrived an hour before race start, but luckily the process was seamless. Parking was free for participants and $5 for spectators.

Course: Mix of dirt and paved trails. Personally I am not a fan of dirt roads as it felt like I could slip any minute during my run. Slowed me down quite a bit at this race as I tried to be vigilant. There were also some inclines on this course which wasn’t expected as I was under the impression that it was supposed to be pancake flat (note to self: expect the worst and you will never be disappointed).

Aid Stations: Water and electrolyte at all stations. At the latter stations there were granola bars, gels, cookies, and chocolate. The offerings were pretty good considering the reasonably priced entry fee.

Crowd Support: Virtually none. This is a small local race with less than 200 people running for the half. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to run faster when you are running alone 90% of the time.

Goodies: Nice heather purple shirt, but wasn’t too impressed with the necklace and the generic medal. Would be nice if they print the distance ran on the swags. Oh and you also get a tote bag and a T9 magazine. As for post race food you get strawberries, cuties, bananas, and a bagel. I heard you can get a post-race massage too but I didn’t stick around too long after the race to look into that.

Final Thoughts: There was a tent with race merchandise for sale. Upon closer look you realized that they were selling prior year race shirts. Maybe this is the reason why distances and race years are not printed on the shirts so they can milk this as long as possible?

Overall I like the mermaid running community as the fellow runners and organizers were extremely supportive. My performance was terrible though because of the partial dirt course and lack of motivation during the run, but given the other positive aspects of this race as outlined above I might run it again (probably not the half but other distances).

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Wow where to begin...this was my first oversea full marathon race and it definitely met and exceeded my expectations in many ways. The coveted Tiffany necklace (instead of a medal) … MORE

Wow where to begin…this was my first oversea full marathon race and it definitely met and exceeded my expectations in many ways. The coveted Tiffany necklace (instead of a medal) was certainly a big draw for most ladies, including myself. The main sponsor changed this year from Nike to New Balance. This race is lottery based so you have to enter the draw around the last week of September and get notified two weeks later whether you make it in or not. If not, there’s a second chance draw for the people who forfeit their entry in the first round so in general I don’t think it’s too hard to get in unlike the Tokyo Marathon.

Expo: Occurred for two full days before the race. I went in the morning of the second day and by the time I got there most race shirts in my size (Japanese large, aka small/medium in the states) were already sold out; I was fortunate to grab one of the last few in the style I like, so I suggest you to get to the expo on the first day if you want to purchase any race apparel. There was a booth where they showcased the Tiffany necklaces from prior years which was nice. Japanese runners got their bibs at Nagoya Dome whereas oversea runners got theirs at the building next door (Higashi Sports Center). The timing chip attached to the bib was bulkier than I thought but nothing too outrageous. Apparently you have to return it at the baggage pickup area after finishing the race.

Race Start: Process was rather seamless as there were signs everywhere at the train station to direct runners to the baggage drop area and starting line. They even had dressing rooms for people who want to change on the spot. The queue for portable toilets was horrendous but moved pretty quickly. The race invited Mai Kuraki (a famous Japanese female singer-songwriter) to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremony which was a pleasant surprise. She also co-wrote the main theme for this race called “Do It” which was played at the race start.

Course: Less than 50 ft in elevation which made this course extremely flat. Scenery was lackluster as you run through the city of Nagoya. At the 27th-28th km you can see the Nagoya Castle from afar. Personally I thought we would be running next to it for a more scenic route so this was a disappointment. There were little to zero litter on the course as runners were extremely civil and the volunteers encouraged you to use the trash cans at the aid stations. There were barely any runners stopping for walk breaks so there was motivation to keep on running the entire time. The best part about this course was concluding the race at the Dome while they played “Dancing Queen” as you raced through the finish line. Atmosphere was terrific and the best race finish I have ever experienced thus far.

Aid Stations: Water at every station and sports drink at most. Their sports drink (brand name is Aquarius if I recall correctly) was quite tasty, much better than Gatorade in my opinion. After the half way mark there was food at every other station, including but not limited to: bananas, bread, rice crackers, dried lotus roots, mochi, and other local Nagoya sweets/snacks. There were also red bull and coke at one point but I didn’t opt for those. Holding back on all those food was the tricky part as I certainly overate a little bit which probably had a slight negative impact on my performance. However, trying different types of local snacks was a fun experience, so time wasn’t a major concern for me at this race.

Crowd Support: Never underestimate the power of the local crowd support. Throughout the entire course you see tons of spectators on the street cheering you on nonstop, something that doesn’t happen very often in the states. There was even a female senior citizen screaming from the window to cheer runners on.

Race Finish: After the finish line I was immediately greeted by guys in tux handing out the Tiffany necklace, followed by another person for the finisher t-shirt, and then another for the skincare and race branded towel, and lastly a Tiffany paper shopping bag to put all your stuff inside. Thumbs up for the efficiency and personable experience.

Final Thoughts: While I did achieve PR at this race, I didn’t perform as well as I anticipated due to cramping of my lower back at approximately the 27th km (around mile 17). Despite the lack of scenery, I highly recommend this race for any ladies looking for a lifetime race experience.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The Sydney half marathon was the first half and oversea race for me. Having done a few full marathons, I thought this would be a walk in the park and … MORE

The Sydney half marathon was the first half and oversea race for me. Having done a few full marathons, I thought this would be a walk in the park and boy was I wrong. Did not expect so many inclines for this race because I was previously under the assumption that this course was relatively flat. Weather was perfect with little to no wind and lots of sunshine. There wasn’t much entertainment on course, but the scenery more than made up for it. The city made a very good effort to turn this into a good experience for runners by ceasing all traffic on the Sydney Harbor Bridge during the run (unlike another race I’ve done where they’ve only allocated a few lanes for the runners on the bridge while cars were zooming by you on the other side) and free transportation for the entire day with show of bib during race day. Finishing at the Opera House was absolutely stunning and made this a very memorable experience for me. I hope to be back for the full next time when I visit again!

On a side note, there wasn’t much swag as half marathoners didn’t get a finisher shirt, but I can’t complain much since we still got a leg massage post race in the recovery village (long wait though)!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

As a bay area native, it felt like a sin not to run the SF marathon at least once. I knew it would be a tough course due to the … MORE

As a bay area native, it felt like a sin not to run the SF marathon at least once. I knew it would be a tough course due to the hills in SF, but it was actually more disappointing than I’ve imagined. Tough course with lots of rolling hills and confusing too as full marathoners and half marathoners ran together. There was one point where a first half marathoner missed her exit and she ended up running with full marathoners for another mile before realizing she missed her finish line.

Pros
– Nice shirt

Cons
– Tough course with rolling hills
– Summer fog which blocked the entire scenery earlier in the morning from the ferry building to the bridge
– Beware of the slippery steel plates on the bridge caused by the fog
– Combining full marathoners with half marathoners which screwed up pacing and took full marathoners’ mental state to a beating
– Volunteers at both the expo and finish line seemed inexperienced and overran by high school kids
– Sanitary issues as volunteers at the water stations dipped their fingers inside the drinks while handing them out

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Didn't know what to expect going into this marathon as I never ran an official race before this one, but I figured since it was Disney couldn't be that bad … MORE

Didn’t know what to expect going into this marathon as I never ran an official race before this one, but I figured since it was Disney couldn’t be that bad right? Turned out I had a blast! Officially transformed me from a non-competitive runner to a marathon believer. Course was relatively flat but too much time was spent running in between the parks/ESPN area where the views weren’t anything special. Luckily the live entertainment and characters on course more than made up for the lack of scenery.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?