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Bright Lights, Big Data

Armed with an arsenal of old running shoes in my backpack, I checked in at the UCSF RunSafe Clinic a few months ago to undergo a comprehensive assessment of my running form. I brought the shoes so that one of the Clinic experts could take a look at the wear and tear on the soles of the shoes as part of the assessment.

It was the wear and tear on the rest of me that prompted me to search for the clinic. Although I have been a runner since the age of 14, my casual running in the past several years had been causing chronic Achilles tendonitis. I’d tried some things on my own; a switch to minimal shoes and a shortening of my stride helped a lot. But frequently sore feet and occasionally injured ankles were still slowing me down. I was an ideal client for expert analysis by professionals at the RunSafe Clinic.

Dr. Anthony Luke opened the RunSafe Clinic in 2008. His was one of the first such clinics and he has amassed a significant amount of data on almost 2000 runners since his clinic opened. With such a large trove of data on runners who have visited his clinic, Dr. Luke is able to provide a comprehensive assessment of a runner’s strengths and challenges, and make evidence-based recommendations for runners who want to avoid injury and improve fitness.

The RunSafe Clinic assessment involves a four-station circuit. At the first station, a physical therapist (P.T.) examined the soles of the ten shoes I had carried with me. He then closely examined my feet, manipulating them to test flexibility and strength.

At the second station, a P.T. asked me to recline on a table while she […]

By |May 7th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

How I Started Running 14 Years Ago

You know if someone had come to me 14 years ago and asked if I ever would become a runner, I would have laughed right in his/her face. Me? Then, I was a mother of 2 grade-school children, I barely had time to take care of myself. Being a full time mom, I was the chauffeur, I was the cook, I was the cleaner, you name it, I was wearing all hats in my household. Why would someone that busy decide to pick up running then? Sometimes, I looked back and couldn’t figure it out myself. Fourteen years is a long time. It is basically the years it takes a child to go from his/her kindergarten years to graduate Grade 12. That’s 14 years! What had I accomplished??? Today, I look back and I can very humbly tell you this: I still have a long way to go! I had gone from a sedentary housemother to someone who thinks about running daily, not a moment goes by without a running thought crossing my mind.

You might ask then, how did I get started? I was out of shape, I was not confident, I was lacking energy, I felt inferior to Moms who had a career. There was something missing. One morning, after I dropped my kids at school, I decided once and for all to should join a gym. But which one? Since my university days, that was the very last time I stepped foot into a gym. I circled around the neighborhood a couple of times, and said, ”ok, this is it!” I had my big loose sweats on over my black leggings.With a number of deep breaths, I got out and walked into […]

By |May 6th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Practice Your Course

When training for a road race, you need to practice on the road. Don’t do all your training on the treadmill. You have to get out there and experience the pavement, the changes in level ground and elevation. Often we train on the same route or track, but in the event you may have to go up and down curbs, around corners, over dirt paths, concrete and asphalt. This can all effect your running form and if you haven’t practiced on it, may cause your shoe to rub a different way and lead to blisters.

By |May 5th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

The San Francisco Marathon – A History Lesson

Ah yes, The San Francisco Marathon, known as the race even marathoners fear, but do you know much else about this race and the history behind it?

Here’s a brief history lesson.

Held annually since 1977, except for 1988 when the event was called off due to lack of interest, the inaugural San Francisco Marathon was organized by Pamakids Runners Club, a local running club established in 1971 .  Pamakids Runners continued to organize the SF marathon until 1982, when the popularity of the event was such that they needed to relinquish organizational duties to another company.  Pamakids Runners later went on to create the San Francisco Half Marathon, which is now known by it’s sponsor’s name: the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon, another successful running event in SF.

The first San Francisco Marathon was held on July 10, 1977 and it’s first place finishers were Athol Barton, a taxicab driver from Reno with a time of 2:24:59 for the males, and Tena Harms from California with a time of 3:09:08.  The first San Francisco Marathon had less than 900 participants, which is astounding when you think about the fact that we had 5827 participants for the Full Marathon in 2013 alone!  It has really come a long way.

Since it’s inception, The San Francisco Marathon course has had its share of revisions and improvements.  Suggestions made to make the course a bit easier (flatter) so that runners could finish with a faster time were rejected.  Instead, the hills stayed, giving runners optimal views from some of SF’s best neighborhoods.

In 1999, the start/finish line was moved to an area near the Polo Fields of Golden Gate Park.  It wasn’t until 2002 that the start/finish area was moved […]

By |May 1st, 2014|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off

The Running Traveler: Embrace a New Place With Your Feet!

Beautiful views, trails, and lots of runners to share the road with: living in Colorado makes running a natural activity to take up. With all this beauty and open space, why would you want to run far from home?

Yet, it’s only natural that after some time you stop ‘seeing’ your run. You gravitate to same routes, the same races, and as a result you lose the excitement of discovery.  When I realized this had happened to me, I decided to take my run out of town. A good friend had recently moved to San Francisco, and I had never been there, so I signed up for the San Francisco Half marathon. I decided on this trip, I was going to be a sight-doer, not just a sight-seer. I was going to ‘run this town,’ because the best way to embrace a new place is with your feet! The decision would change the way I travel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That July, there were lots of runners on the flight from Denver to San Francisco. Everyone was pretty eager to chat; we were drawn to each other by the excitement of what was to come.

We traded racing tips and running stories. It was like we were already moving together toward the finish line.

Race day was even better. Running in a new city gives you a physical connection you miss when you simply drive to locations and ‘view’ them.

Running gives you a sense of what it’s like to belong there. You become part of a new tribe, moving toward the same goal, creating a common accomplishment when you all cross the finish line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That day in San Francisco I became a ‘Running Traveler,’ transforming my racing, and expanding the travel experience. Who […]

By |April 29th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

The San Francisco Marathon and Elevation Pacing

“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” — Jack Kerouac, On the Road

By |April 28th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Boston Stronger

The San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors were out in force at the 2014 Boston Marathon. Like for many other runners, this marathon was our chance to honor the victims of the tragic events of last year, and also to pay tribute to the great people of Boston.

The Boston Marathon, more than ever, has shown to the world that it is the model of all marathons. Why is it so special? Yes, it is the oldest annual marathon, and the one that only admits accomplished marathoners based on qualifying standards. But yesterday’s marathon showed that it is much more than that.

Is there any other city that lives in perfect unison with its marathon like Boston? Boston is strong, as we have heard over and over since last year’s events. The total, unconditional success of the 2014 marathon made it stronger.

Celebration and camaraderie started at the finish line, where thousands gathered during the hours preceding the start of the marathon.

Runners then had the pleasure of attending their pasta dinner, a tradition not to be missed in Boston, where for the occasion the mayor, the race director and Bill Rodgers themselves served pasta to runners.

There were many more runners this year, 9,000 more to be precise, for a total of 36,000. It is only natural that runners had some concerns over logistics. The organization handled the extra strain wonderfully. To start, the restrictions on checked bags, well explained in advance to runners, did not create problems. Also, the loading onto the yellow buses that take runners to Hopkinton was neatly channeled for first time through actual bright yellow “gates”. There were 47 of them, as many as the buses in each fleet departing from downtown Boston in continuous […]

By |April 22nd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

TSFM Loves Boston

Year after year, we revere the third Monday in April, arguably the most sacred and meaningful day for the marathoning community: Boston Marathon Race Day. For over 100 years, Marathon Monday, Patriots Day, has been a day of celebration in the commonwealth—and for those lucky schoolkids and employees, a day off from school and work—but today, on the first-year race anniversary of an atrocious act of violence on our sport’s most hallowed ground, we can proclaim, with a conviction so deep and real that it’s palpable, that today is the most celebrated day in the running universe.

By |April 21st, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Simple Truths of Training

I started running when I was a just a kid. I ran my first race (that I can remember, at least) when I was six-years-old and cruised in for a mile time of 8:22. Not bad, right? I must admit, as I grew, I took many hiatuses from running for various reasons. But, I’ve always come back to it. I suppose it took me a while to fully appreciate and respect the sport; to figure out how to make it work for me, instead of against me. Without the proper understanding about running, it can be a most challenging beast to tame. And (spoiler alert!), until you figure it out, that bronco’s gonna buck. At least that was the case for me.

For many years, I was simply aghast at the thought of running a full marathon. 26.2 miles? Are you kidding me?! Even a half marathon was pushing it, but since there wasn’t the tale of the first person to ever run a half marathon and then collapsing to die upon finish, my case against it seemed to pack less of a punch. But, something inside of me decided to attempt the big 26.2 back in the early 2012 and I haven’t looked back since. By the time this is printed, with any luck, I will have completed my fifth full marathon, oodles of halves, and I won’t even admit to how many more fulls I have on the docket for fear someone might try and stage an intervention. Because, yeah, I’m that addicted.

Let me also say this, I work full time. I also have a daughter, a husband, and a determination not to let either feel neglected due to my running. I made […]

By |April 18th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Saving the Farm Animals

We have a lot of amazing marathoners who are running The San Francisco Marathon for a cause. Check out the story below and find out how you can do good with your run.
Simone Hasenbein – Davis, CA
Running For: Animal Place
 

My husband and I are running the San Francisco Marathon for Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals in Grass Valley, CA. We’ve been volunteering at Animal Place for about a year and have learned so much during that time. Not just about the animals, but most importantly about what makes us better people in this world.

The people at Animal Place work tirelessly to put into action the ideals of universal compassion for non-humans and humans alike. They are one of the most consistent, honest and amazing people I’ve ever met and I’m incredibly thankful for having them in my life. Watching chickens, pigs, cows, goats recover after being rescued from cruelty cases or any other imaginable place makes you appreciate life. It makes you realize that we all can make such a big difference in somebody’s life, no matter what, and that we all are capable of so much more than we might think.

Running a marathon seems like the least we can give in return. My last marathon in 2013 (also in SF) was very painful due to a knee injury, but since I was raising funds for this wonderful sanctuary, it literally made me go the extra mile all the way to the finish line. I knew I can’t drop out since I made a commitment and I wanted to stick with it. Crossing the finish line knowing that I just finished my very first marathon despite all this pain because of Animal […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Categories: Charity||Comments Off