Tuesday, 4 August 2015

San Francisco Weekend - Brazen Summer Breeze Half Marathon 2015

 I decided to surprise my mom with a quick trip to San Francisco for her birthday. We both had at the time off, kids were free and hubby was going out of town with his buddies.

My mom's best friend lives in the San Francisco area and they hadn't seen each other in almost 5 years, so it was going to be a great way to celebrate. I called my cousin last minute and dragged her along to visit our cousins in SF. It was going to be a fun and busy weekend.

We're on our way

We Made it!!!
We weren't quite sure the plan for the weekend, but we were excited to go as it was very last minute.
My cousin and the kids had never been to San Francisco and there were a million things that I wanted to show them.  I also found a half marathon taking place minutes from where we were staying. My cousin decided that she would do the 10K and I the half marathon.

We picked up our rental car and off we went to my mom's best friends' place. They have been friends for over 50 years and it was like watching school girls catch up. They had cake ready for mom.

Happy Birthday Mom!
Since we were only there for the weekend, there was a lot to cram in. I knew that I wasn't going to see it all, so narrowed it down to a few things. We decided to take the kids to California Academy of Sciences as it was inside of the Golden Gate Park and also housed an amazing aquarium. This place is full of things to keep the kids busy and entertained for the day. We spent the entire day there exploring.

Inside the Rainforest
It is definitely worth a visit, the kids and adults enjoyed all the exhibits and shows. The kids were wiped so I headed home with mom and the kids and sent my cousins off to explore San Fran on their own.

The half marathon was the next morning and was literally minutes away. We arrived early to register and was able to get a parking spot right next to the start/finish line.  The race was set along the San Leandro Marina.  Registration was quick and simple. We both registered for our races and headed back to the car to set up and eat some goodies. I was going to use this a a training race for my marathon training and hoped to break through some mental barriers.

Carb Loading before the Race
The course was and out and back route which took you on grass, gravel and paved paths along the beautiful marina shoreline. It was a nice a small race which offered a 5K, 10K and half marathon distance.  There were 408 participating in the half distance which made it a nice small group which was great as the race was on a path.  I started out keeping a pretty steady pace, but eventually lost wind. I can't say it was my greatest race, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  The scenery was beautiful and the weather was great. I was also thrilled to have my cousin there with me.

Still smiling !
The food afterwards was also super with your standard bananas and bagels, but there were also ice cream cookie bars and sweet pastries.  With the race being so close to where we were staying, we were able to make it home by lunch and head out for another day of exploring San Francisco.

Showing off our Bling
I have to admit that I do always look up races in any city that I will be visiting.  It gives me a chance to see parts of a city that I may have never seen or had planned to visit. I definitely suggest it to you all, if your schedule allows it.

Hanging out

We spent the rest last of our time catching up with my cousins, keeping the kids busy and my mom enjoying every moment with her best friends. They have been friends since their teens which means that they their friendship has spanned over 50 years.  I remember receiving letters from them as a child before there was internet and before long distance calls were much more affordable. They were at my wedding and my parents attended their children's weddings. It was pretty amazing to watch them catch up and chat as if no time had past.

I was so thrilled to see how happy my mom was that we were all able to be there with her for her birthday. It was a memorable weekend for all of us.

Weekend is Done!


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