The Road to the Loyal Runners Club
Contributed by May Wu
May Wu is a 2016 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador who completed the Half It All Challenge in 2011 and went on to join the 52 Club in 2012. Most recently, she joined the Loyal Runners Club in 2015.
The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon has an amazing reputation as a scenic, fun, and hilly summer race. It is by far one of my favorite road races, ever. I love it so much that I’ve ran the half marathon 3 times and the full marathon 5 times. In 2010, after completing a handful of flat road races in Southern California, I felt like taking up the challenge to complete the infamous SF Marathon, whose motto is “Worth the Hurt”! It was a bucket list race and I trained hard for it, putting in time to do speed work and running hillier routes in my neighborhood. While I had prepared for the course, I didn’t expect the spectacular views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge or the amazing crowd support to win me over. And let’s be real, I loved the medal I got for completing the 1st Half Marathon.
In 2011, the Half It All Challenge was introduced and I HAD TO earn that extra bling. OK, so that was how I got into running the 2nd Half Marathon. It was definitely a different experience from the 1st Half, but equally fun and exciting. Oh, and it also had some sneaky hills! Then in 2012, the 52 Club Challenge was introduced and knowing myself, I had to earn that awesome hoodie (and bragging rights). So I did what I swore I would never do: sign up for the full marathon. Let me tell you, that sweater was definitely “worth the hurt” and the giant coaster medal was icing on the cake for me.
After joining the 52 Club, I realized that if I did 2 more races, I would be a part of the Loyal Runners Club, which is a rewards program for runners who completes The SF Marathon (or half) 5 or 10 consecutive times. As someone who is always looking for the next challenge, I was hooked! So to earn my place in the Loyal Runners Club, I ran the full marathon for a second time in 2014 and finished off with the 2nd Half in 2015.
SFM has such amazing incentives for their runners that I keep coming back for more. To be honest though, even if I wasn’t enticed by the swag, I’d still come back year after year. San Francisco Marathon really has a special place in my heart. Even though I’ve had schedule conflicts, injuries, and even occasionally lost motivation to train, I always made it to the start line for my favorite race in California. And that’s what makes the Loyal Runners Club pretty special to me. It represents my dedication and love of this race. No matter what happens, I keep coming back.