AUTHOR: linda TITLE: SFMarathon: Finish! DATE: 6:51:00 AM ----- BODY:
It was a perfect day for a race: about 50 degrees, starting the hour before dawn, pacing in place together in warm excitement with about 17,000 sports tops and shorts. As we started moving at about 5:30 along the Embarcadero, celebrating together the culmination of our individual journeys on this pavement, in this direction North, and then West... passing landmarks I know well, Pier 23, Coit Tower, Pier 39, Maritime Museum, the hill before Fort Mason, the Bay Trail, the Golden Gate... approaching that familiar pain I know even better, and the wall I fear with adoration... watching faces of pain and sorrow pass me going the opposite way on our loop across the bridge... anticipating each last step to the end, where truth be told about my ability to finish this race, and beyond... where every hill screams adversity, each water stop smile a friendly blessing, painfully aware of each resource desperately depleting... The warm encouragement of a loved one joining me for the last 5 miles, random acts of pockets of cheering crowd fueling me around one more bend, then along the last quarter mile, and finally-- sprinting toward the finish.

Beat my estimated time, and nearly matched the best I'd ever run: 2:32; 11:15 pace.