San Francisco Half Marathon – Take 3

I finished last year’s San Francisco Half Marathon race report thinking that maybe I would run the full marathon this year but with the push to focus on speed, I came back this year to run the half a third time.

Like last year, I made it early and fresh. I got into my wave on time though a bit late so I was at the back going through the line more than 3 minutes after the first runners in the wave and 5 minutes after the “elite” runners!

I felt very strong for the whole race passing a lot of runners along the way. Though, starting 5 minutes behind the fastest runners means that I did not see that many people running at my pace except for the last mile. That last mile ended up being the hardest and I had to reach deep into my reserves to stay on pace.

At the end, I finished 70th in 1:33:43. That is 5 minutes faster than last year.

Picture 1

Based on my race results this year so far, I decided to give another shot at qualifying for Boston and registered to run the Sacramento marathon for the third year in a row. But first, there is the San Jose half marathon in October with the 90 minute mark in sight. We shall see.

Rancheria Falls


For the long 4th of July weekend, Our friend Arnaud and we went to Yosemite for a 2-night camping stay at Rancheria falls. I did this trip some years back but it was the first time for Arnaud and Alicia.


After taking a detour, a.k.a. getting lost, on the way, we started hiking after lunch. The hike is only around 7 miles from the car but with heavy packs, it is always harder than it seems. Gladly, the mountain casted its shadow on us for most of the way and the still strong Wapama falls offered a nice stop along the way. IMG_8973

Once we reached the campground located by the falls, we found a great spot on the granite slab out of the forest. People that had opted to camp in the forest warned us about mosquitoes but we did not experience much of it… Except for Alicia that got a lot of bites!


On the second day, we decided to hike to a local summit called Comté Point. Along the way, the vegetation was green and lush, and the butterflies plentiful. I don’t think I have ever seen that many at the same time. The hike involved going off track for half the distance but with the summit in sight, it was easy to keep on target on the way in. The view from the summit was nice but not as good as we expected and everybody was a bit disappointed.


The way back turned out to be a lot more challenging as we did not have a good target. We ended up drifting on the wrong side of the mountain, lost, and a bit confused at to where to go next even after climbing back up to the edge and trying to adjust our path. Not really sure about where to go, we decided on a likely direction and started walking… to hit the trail 5 minutes later :).


Once back at camp, we enjoyed some showers, enjoyed the falls, and devoured the great Salmon pasta that Arnaud prepared before enjoying the best night sky and stars I have seen in a long while.


The trip back to the dam on Monday morning was a lot easier since it is mostly downhill.

It was Alicia’s first backpacking experience and she did very well even though she did not have all the right gear. Her backpack was not adapted and we need to get her some good hiking boots. Also, I under-estimated the food we would need and without Arnaud’s contribution, we would have been very short.