My Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco Experience

photo 1

I had tried to get into Nike Women’s SF for a few years, but never had any luck with the lottery…until this year.  I think since I had heard so much about it, but was never able to get in I had set my hopes pretty high.  From my understanding there were a few things that were changed for 2014, starting with the course.  They also only offered a half this year, no full marathon.

photo 1

I live about 45 min south of San Francisco, so I got up bright and early and drove up race morning.  I parked and met up with my friend Jindy, who writes Flowers Croon.  I think hanging out with Jindy before and after the race was my favorite part.  

photo 2

We were corralled based on our pace time.  They had 4 waves.  Did I mention the start was uphill, yep, good old San Francisco right?  

I don’t think people come to a race in San Francisco and expect it to be flat, but the course has it’s fair share of hills.  The hill (more like a mountain) at mile 10 was a beast.  It was tough, not to mention at mile 10 is a hard place for a big hill. On the plus side there was a decent amount of spectators cheering us on at the hill.

photo 1

This brings me to the crowd support…or lack there of.  I may have set my expectations to high for this race or maybe I was jaded with how awesome the spectators were in Chicago the weekend before, but the crowd support was barely existent.  Nike Women’s had the “sponsored” type groups of cheerleaders and bands along the way, but as far as the random crowds of people there were barely any.  And most of the people that WERE out were just standing there with their arms crossed watching…not clapping or cheering or anything.  I found that a little odd. What gives San Francisco?

photo 2

When I got to the finish line I expected firefighters dressed in tuxedos with trays of little blue Tiffany boxes and that wasn’t the case.  I was a little disappointed.  We were given our water, food, and heat sheets.  Then we walked to the exit area where volunteers handed us the blue Tiffany boxes.  

photo 1

We were told out in the finish line festival area was where the firefighters were.  I found the firefighter area and the lines to take a picture with them was longer than the line to take a picture with Elsa and Anna at Disney World (ok, maybe exaggerating a little, but it was pretty long.)  I didn’t wait.

photo 2

Since the race is a point to point they have shuttles to take you back to Union Square area where the starting line was and also were the parking garages were.  BUT if you want to take that shuttle it cost $20 and you had to pay at the expo and get a sticker on your bib.  Am I the only one that has a problem with paying $175 for a half marathon and if I want to use the race transportation I have to pay an additional $20?  I thought that was ridiculous, but again, just my personal opinion.  

photo 2

I like the Tiffany necklace.  


A fun thing if you run the race is to check out the window of the Union Square Nike Store.  They print everyone’s names on the window.

photo 1 photo 2

I over all had fun, but it didn’t quite live up to all my hopes and dreams I guess.  

photo 3

I am curious to see where they move the DC race to.  I am hoping for Chicago because that is a place I would go run again. 🙂


Have you ran Nike Women’s San Francisco?  What are your thoughts?


  1. Brandy | 29th Oct 14

    I ran the NW marathon in 2011. There were parts that had crowd participation and there were parts that didn’t. However if anyone has ever ran Chicago that sets a very high bar!! Chicago has THE BEST fan support if you ask me. So I completely understand why you would feel let down just a bit. Chicago has the best crowd support and San Fran has the be bling! Congrats on your race!

    • Half Crazy Mama | 29th Oct 14

      True. I can’t wait to go back to race again in Chicago sometime 🙂

  2. Gigi | 29th Oct 14

    Pay for the shuttle?!?! WHAT?!?

    Great recap but I agree with you for that price tag there should be much MUCh more!

  3. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl | 29th Oct 14

    Ummm $20 for the shuttle? REALLY?! No way… that’s absolutely ridiculous and just money hungry at that point. I do love the necklace, though! I feel like that’s the case with some of these big races, there’s SO much hype (well, and the hefty price tag to boot!) around them that there’s no way that they can live up to expectations. Ugh, so sorry! At least you have a sweet necklace to remember the good moments. 🙂

    • Half Crazy Mama | 29th Oct 14

      Ya, it was a good race overall, I think I just had built it up so much since I couldn’t get in for the last couple years. 🙂

  4. Gloria | 29th Oct 14

    The SF Nike was my first half and I loved every minute of it – except the hill at mile 10. Yes I did expect the firemen to hand me the little blue box, but it was fine. After the race I just wanted to find my friends and go out for breakfast 🙂 Not having anything to compare this too, I thought the support along the route was fine. I got most of my energy from running with all the other women and my playlist.

    • Half Crazy Mama | 29th Oct 14

      Congrats on your first half!!! That is awesome. I think the race overall was a good race, I just think I just had so many ideas about what it was going to be like that I was a little bummed. I sure love the little blue box though 🙂

  5. Stef | 29th Oct 14

    I ran the one in DC last year (2013). It started and finished in the same area. It was really cool course. They wasn’t much crowd support on the course just some people here and there but I also don’t know if it was because security was extremely tight since it was right after the Boston Marathon bombings. But when we finished we were handing the tiffany box by firefighters. The problems with the race that year were: not to long after the start you ran into a tunnel. It was so hot and suffocating in that tunnel since everyone was in it at the same time. The other thing I didn’t like is the put the official race gear close to the finish line. The line to pay at the tent reached back to the finish line.

  6. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | 29th Oct 14

    Wow what a bummer…I have had a Nike Women’s race on my dream race list for quite some time. Didn’t know they were moving the race out of DC, was hoping to do it there one day!

  7. Rosemary | 3rd Nov 14

    love your outfit, your skirt is fabulous but mostly your nails! I think I love when everything matches! I heard from friends that this race was “different”, maybe that is what I get from your recap. Congrats!

  8. 2014 In Review | Half Crazy Mama | 1st Jan 15

    […] Marathon which was one of the most amazing race experiences I have had.   I earned my Tiffany’s necklace at Nike Women’s Half the following weekend. The weekend after that I took my first trip to Washington DC and race my […]

  9. 2015 Nike Women San Francisco Random Draw is Now Open | Half Crazy Mama | 16th Jun 15

    […] Are you hoping to run in Nike Women San Francisco and get your hand’s on one of those awesome Tiffany & Co. finishers necklaces?  Well, the random draw is now open, but closes June 29th!  Click here for link to register.  The fee this year is $200.  Your credit card will only be charged if you are selected.  I ran Nike Women SF last year.  You can read my recap here. […]

Leave A Comment