Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One down, one to go

I'm in San Francisco, where it is wonderfully sunny. Got here yesterday after my stay in Anchorage for the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon. I left Philadelphia Thursday morning. My original flight was canceled, so I ended up flying to Anchorage via San Francisco and arriving 8 hours later than planned after 11 hours of airport/travel time. My bed and breakfast was conveniently located and had a comfortable bed, but otherwise nothing to recommend it. Friday, I spent in the city of Anchorage, which reminded me surprisingly of Kalamazoo. It pretty much seems like a small town anywhere, although the mountains are lovely and given that it is the north, spring was far behind Philadelphia which meant that the lilacs were blooming and I have never seen so many large and beautiful lilac bushes. Reindeer sausage and birch syrup were included in breakfast at the Snow City Cafe, which I highly recommend, then generally wandering about downtown, a little souvenir shopping and packet pick up at the expo. A fairly early bed time, with the curtains pulled to block out the light (still full light at 9:00 - and as I later discovered, at 10:00 and at 11:00 pm). Saturday morning, had a cup of tea and then headed to the bus pick up for the race. The first bus was full, but the second had some room. I heard from people at the start that some ended up taking taxi cabs to the start line as the buses did not seem to have enough room. The high school gym was open, so it was a very civilized wait, with much shorter lines than last year's big races (around 2000 runners I believe). At 8:00 am we were off. We had chips, but there was no mat at the start. All start times were assumed to be gun time (though I was a few minutes before getting through the start). The route was lovely, with nice scenery. Chunks of it were on gravel road and park trails, so times were not super fast. There were some hills, including the particularly nasty one between mile 25 and 26. After coming back into the city, we saw two moose along the bike/walking trail we were running on. I walked on and off, especially in the second half, but felt pretty good and finished with no trouble, then walked back to the bed and breakfast, showered, and walked into town to check out the solstice festival (which was great, but would have been even better had it not been raining). Dinner at Orso, fresh wild salmon, yummy. Sunday, I had breakfast at Snow City again, walked about 3 miles to a yoga studio and did yoga, Yin yoga, not the traditional 108 sun salutations for the solstice, which I really didn't think I could manage. Then the afternoon was a tour of the area around Anchorage, including the very cool museum and and the Native Heritage Center, more moose and an eagle sighting. And off to the airport for the red-eye, still light as we took off approachng midnight. An uneventful trip (with a plane change in Denver) got me to SF mid-morning Monday.

Here until Thursday and then off to Kona for marathon 2

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