Completing the SF/Berkeley Challenge

Written By Meg Gudgeirsson, TSFM Ambassador

The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon is one of my favorite races. However, as soon as I complete it each year, I’m immediately looking toward the next race and challenge. (My guess is I’m not the only one.) Thankfully, the great folks at TSFM have us covered with The Berkeley Half Marathon in November. One of the best parts of completing the Berkeley Half Marathon after racing The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon is that you get an awesome medal for completing the SF/Berkeley Challenge.

Many of us sign up for races to keep us motivated in our training and running. And completing a challenge while doing that just makes it a little sweeter, right? That’s definitely true for me; I’m always thinking of what will be my next race, what will be my next goal. I’m super excited this year because Berkeley Half Marathon has some new events – a 10K and a half marathon relay! I’m a huge fan of half marathon relays because it can turn what can feel like a solo sport into an awesome team activity.

Running the Berkeley Half Marathon is the perfect compliment to running in TSFM. While we are pounding the pavement in SF we cover all the best spots – the Golden Gate Bridge, Haight/Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, AT&T Park (go Giants!), and enjoy awesome views of the Bay Bridge and the East Bay. The Berkeley Half Marathon allows you to complete your Bay experience by crossing the bridge and taking in its sights and fun, unique community.

I ran the Berkeley Half (and completed the SF/Berkeley Challenge) in its inaugural year. I had the opportunity to help a friend race a sub-2:00 half, so my focus was all about supporting her and having fun! Read my full race recap here.

That experience allowed me to take advantage of another perk of racing – seeing the town. I’ve spent time in both SF and Berkeley and I truly believe the best way to see each place is by racing it. You have the road to yourself and you have the chance to see all the best spots without throngs of people.

In its inaugural year, the first 4 miles wound through the city portion of Berkeley – I love running the streets much more than driving them! The stretch between miles 5 and 8 were pretty nice: There is a great view of the Bay and SF in the distance. Thankfully, the fog was clearing and we could even see the Golden Gate Bridge. Right before the 13th mile marker, the course climbed up a hill. But then we got to sprint down the hill to the finish chute, which helped bring my friend Ashley a new PR! (We celebrated with brunch and mimosas.)

The Berkeley Half Marathon 2015 course allows you to basically visit all of the best parts of the East Bay: downtown Berkeley, through the UC campus, the funky neighborhoods, and along the waterfront, with one of the best views of SF’s skyline to boot. Plus, if you ran TSFM2015 then you’ll complete the challenge and earn the drool-worthy spinner challenge medal. I’ll see you on the course!

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