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As it turned out, the 2007 San Francisco first-half Half-Marathon turned out to be my first unofficial official race ever in quite a few ways. Many unofficial first-time marks were had - some aggravating, some humorous, some in-between - but they officially added up to a memorable day.<br><i><b><br>
My First Unofficial Official Meetup with The 30s</b></i> - this race was already a confluence of chance events which brought three members of 30s <b>(Stephen (CactusTri), Maria (</b><b>runninginnyc)</b> and <b>Chris (</b><b>PacerChris))</b> out to my neck of the woods here in San Francisco for this race. We all met the day before at the Expo, and here's a pic of us (sans <b>Pacer</b>, who was preparing himself for pacing duty) at the start line:<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y27/josquared007/IMG_0342.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><i><br><b>My First Unofficial Official First Race as a Triathlete-in-Training</b></i> - After aggravating a case of ITBS in May at Cincinnati’s Flying Pig HM, I took that as a sign to finally tri-out a sprint tri. I hadn’t planned on racing San Francisco initially, mainly because I didn’t think I’d be able to get back up to 13.1 miles in 7 weeks. However, the supplementation of swimming and biking seemed to help me get back to being able to cover the miles needed. But with the lowered run mileage, I didn’t have a clue how I’d do time-wise in the end.<br><br><b><i>My First Appearance as Unofficial Official 3:00 Clif Bar Team Pacer</i></b> - I ventured with <b>Maria</b> and her sis <b>Jen</b> (may I say, the whole Pfeiffer clan and associates are quite the joy to hang around with) into the elite corral to wish our intrepid <b>Pacer</b> good luck. During our chat, <b>Pacer</b> had business to attend to and asked that I hold his pace balloons. I felt a bit unworthy of this and sported the stupidest of expressions, and <b>Jen</b> and <b>Maria</b> laughed heartily at this visual. We all wished we had my camera, but that was now tucked away in my checked-in sweats bag.<br><br>
No camera? No problem!! Lo and behold, a TV cameraman saunters in close and starts filming me holding the balloons! Now I felt even more silly, laughing nervously and muttering incoherent phrases touting the praises of Clif Bar (if I HAD been more on the ball, I could’ve done the “But I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night...” routine, rattling off psuedo-pacer talk and how honored I felt pacing at the race and working for the folks at Clif Bar.) Moments later, <b>Pacer</b> comes back, sees what’s happening, and is completely crestfallen that I had taken (albeit clumsily) his spotlight opportunity. Yeah, <b>Pacer</b> did the hard work and took those folks to 3-hour times, but I got filmed with the pace balloons. In that light, I think I’ve earned the right to be called <b>PoserChris</b> from now on. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br><i><b>My First Unofficial Official Non-Chip Timed (where there <span style="text-decoration:underline;">WERE</span> actual timing chips) Race</b></i> - Five minutes before my wave started, I stared down at other people’s shoes and in horror realized I’d forgotten my timing chip (cue Homer Simpson - DOHHH!!!!) I blindly raced out of my corral toward the sweat bag check truck, only to realize 1) timing chip and plastic ties weren’t in there and 2) even if they were, the volunteers sure weren’t going to rummage through the cornucopia of bags to find mine. My heart sunk at first, but then I realized I had my race bib, I had paid the registration fee, I was here with friends, and I was here to race. ‘Nuf said....<br><i><b><br>
My First Unofficial Official Quest for the Maria-Green Shorts</b></i> - <b>Maria</b> was all decked out in her defining green shorts (plus matching top), but her fast self was setup a few waves in front of me. However, I didn’t have to wait until race-end to catch sight of the shorts again - I sighted 3-4 women clad in the <i>Maria-Green</i> shorts in the early miles. Unfortunately, they were either going too fast or slow compared to my pace, so these pleasant visions were replaced by the rather jarring sight of a male runner clad in the skimpiest of neon pink shorts who annoyingly just kept pace in front of me (not quite golden-Speedo level, but certainly close.) This runner was almost matched in the fashion faux-pas category by another male runner sporting a lime-green, polyester-material tunic/kilt/tutu something-or-another (thankfully I didn’t have to endure that sight for long.) The guy in pink disappeared around this time also, and I re-sighted one of the <i>Maria-green-shorted</i> women I’d seen early in the race soon afterward. We matched pace for about a half-mile, but she faded back once I hit put the hammer down even more after the mile 11 marker (see below.)<br><br><i><b>My First Unofficial Official Half-Marathon PR</b></i> - Weather was typical San Francisco (high 50s and overcast, with massive misty and wet road conditions around the Golden Gate Bridge.) I wanted to stay off the throttle first couple miles (closer to 9:40) and ended up at 9:24 and 9:01 pace, so I figured I might as well try to break 2 hours (I’d initially aimed for 2:05; my PR is 2:00:16 from March ‘06.) By the time I reached the bridge north-end turnaround at roughly 7.5 miles, I was 50 seconds behind 2-hour pace.<br><br>
I ramped it up from there, figuring to have a chance I’d need to make up some time to allow the downhill mile at mile 10 get me reasonably close. I was still behind pace as I entered this mile, but I rumbled through in 7:57, which put me below 2-hour-pace for the first time.<br><br>
I vowed to myself then that I wasn’t going to fargin’ lose the 2-hour barrier. I hit the gas pedal as best I could from there and rambled through mile 12 at 8:34 and the final 1.1 miles (there wasn’t a mile 13 marker that I could see) at 9:01. And thus, 1:57:46 watch time - my first unofficial official HM PR.<br><i><br><b>Post Race</b></i> - On the bus back, I had a completely pleasant talk with a woman seated next to me who did her first HM for the Team Against Stroke. I encouraged her to keep it going and mentioned how much her efforts were truly appreciated (I mentioned in general some of the 30s direct and indirect experiences.) She was inspired both by the folks who had trained with her as well as by folks such as us, who can get together from all over the country for some racing and camaraderie.<br><br>
By the time the bus had dropped me off and I got to the finish line, <b>Pacer</b> had long finished up and was set to take his family out to catch some of the sights of the beautiful Northern California coastline. I managed to locate and hang out with <b>Stephen's</b> family as we waited for him to finish; <b>Maria</b> (I know she’s disappointed, but her time is a damn good time for the first-half HM; she would’ve shattered 1:50 on the second-half HM) and a lot of the Pfeiffer clan joined us soon after; they were also awaiting a few folks who had run the second-half marathon.<br><br>
Once everyone finished up, we kinda’ went our separate ways from here. The Pfeiffer clan went off to celebrate; I talked awhile with <b>Stephen</b> (who carved out a nice chunk of time for a new marathon PR himself) and his family (all completely cool and nice folks; his two sons are real charmers) before they headed off to Ghirardelli Square for some chocolate heaven. Me? Well, I finished my race off with my <i><b>Continuing Unofficial Official Tradition After Races HM Or Less Lengthwise</b></i> - I went to the gym to get in some weightlifting.<br><br>
Officially crazy? Yeah...but only in an unofficial way <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Great photos and race report! That is my <b>unofficially official</b> opinion. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> Seriously, when I saw your time posted in the weekend thread, I was thrilled for you because I was pretty certain it was a PR. Who needs a chip anyway?
 

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<b>Moon--</b>Excellent racing, man! Congrats on the PR, and don't worry about the chip, or lack thereof. I'm so new to running, I can barely remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other, let alone planning out a pacing strategy on the course. How awesome! Especially coming off injury. Congrats again!
 

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Excellent <b>Moon</b>! Too bad about the chip, but sounds like an overall great experience!
 

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Great job, great report and thanks for sharing the pics! Timing chip?!, we dont need no stinkin timing chip <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> That is awesome <b>Joe</b> to PR with all that oyu have been dealing with ITBS wise. You da man!
 

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Great report <b>Joe</b>!!! It was <b>great</b> to meet you and get to know you better this weekend. Thanks for your hospitality and coordination help for the 30's meet's.
 

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Yay <b>Moon</b>!!!!<br><br>
An "unofficial-official" Congratulations on a great race! Well done. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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officially....<br>
great report, great run, great pics.<br>
um. also officially....<img alt="icon_salut.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_salut.gif"><br>
dude, i'm glad the itb is clearing up. weird the way things work themselves out, no?<br>
xo
 

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I said it before and will say it again, I just love ya <b>Moonie!!!</b> Great RR! SO glad you got to meet up with the 30's, thanks for sharing it with us. And congrats on your PR!!!
 

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Great RR Moon! Way to go! PoserChris - that is too much! You should have told him they handed out the PacerChecks while he was in the loo!<br><br>
Congrats on the PR!
 

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Yeah, just remember, back in the day when men were men, they didn't use no stinkin' timing chips. Back then, men ran raw and ran hard. Good job, perhaps this will start a groundswell of popular support to rid races of these timing chips.<br><br>
Good run. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Adding my <b>official</b> congrats to the mix. Way to go!! And now for that tri... <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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