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Running the Sirena10 on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

November 16, 2013

Running-on-Golden-Gate-Bridge-001Running on the Golden Gate Bridge – check!

I ran the Sirena10 race last Sunday! A part of the course included running on the Golden Gate bridge – how cool is that! The Mermaid race is a all-women’s event held every year in different cities across the country like San Francisco, San Diego, East Bay, Alameda and Arizona. The San Francisco Mermaid Series has always had a 5K and a 10K but they added a more challenging distance this year – the Sirena10: a 10 mile course.

Golden-Gate-Bridge-San-Francisco-001I mean, look at this gorgeous bridge! Who wouldn’t want to run on it?

I had initially wanted to sign up for the 10K but when I read about Sirena10 which would include running on the Golden Gate bridge, I absolutely wanted to do that instead. I’m so glad I signed up for it because it was a phenomenal experience!

Golden-Gate-Bridge-Sirena10-001Up bright and early at the Golden Gate Bridge for the race

I had run a half-marathon earlier this year, so I felt more than ready to take on the 10-miler. It was a fabulous course, starting at Little Marina Green and out and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve always seen the bridge either in the daytime or at night, but never at sunrise. I was blown away by how stunning it looks with the golden rays of the rising sun shining upon it. I could’ve stood there staring in wonder at the bridge forever if there wasn’t a race to be run!

Golden-Gate-Bridge-Sunrise-001Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise

The weather was surprisingly warm with bright blue skies and the perfect chill in the air as we started at 7AM on Sunday morning. Women of all shapes and sizes were out in huge numbers, raring to go. The course is flat except for a bit of elevation when leading up to the bridge and back. Roads had been closed off to accommodate us.

Start-Line-Mermaid-Series-001Raring to go at the Start line

We ran at our happy pace, admiring spectacular views of the Golden Gate bridge, lush green Crissy fields, and a hazy San Francisco city skyline. Many of us stopped briefly to take photos of our smiling selves with the brilliantly lit golden bridge in the backdrop.

Running-Sirena10-GG-Bridge-001Running the Sirena10 on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco!

My favorite part of the course was of course the bridge. I’ve walked on the bridge countless times before, but running on it for a race is a very special experience. The energy in the air was electric! Some ladies wore colorful tutus and tshirts for causes they were supporting. Everyone was full of energy as we high-fived each other and called out encouraging words. I could see a dreamy vision of Alcatraz in the distance as San Francisco’s famous fog rolled in slowly.

Hazy-San-Francisco-Sunrise-001A hazy San Francisco city skyline in the distance – view from the bridge

It felt like the bridge went on forever even though it makes up only ~2 miles of the course. After an exhilarating run on the bridge, I got back onto the regular course and made it back to the finish line. Instead of medals, we got gorgeous pendants on a chain which I’m wearing as I type this. After fueling up post-race on Noah’s bagels, Luna bars, fruits & Vita coconut water, it was time to bid San Francisco adieu and head back home. But the vision of an orange Golden Gate bridge lit up brilliantly at sunrise as my feet clad in blue & pink shoes run on it, will forever be a treasured memory.

Mermaid-Pendant-001We are strong & beautiful Mermaids! My gorgeous finisher pendant!

What running means to me is eloquently written by Haruki Murakami in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” 

Mermaid-Race-San-Francisco-001I can’t wait for my next race! When is yours?

Happy Running!

~ Trupti

 

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2 Comments
  1. Beautiful pics of SF! We were there 6 years ago and it is still my favorite city. We hope to get back one day.
    Frank (bbqboy)

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  1. Go forth and dream. Conquer your fears. Be bold.

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