“When you use your heart as a weapon, then it hurts like heaven”
There are some “albums” that are recorded with a unifying theme or story which are called “concept albums”. And if you get lucky, some are produced with each track merging into the next one. Good examples include Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” or Green Day’s “American Idiot”. Sometimes I take these album, cut out the silence between tracks and merged it together as one giant seamless MP3 that usually lasts about an hour. It keeps me occupied on my long runs that can reach into the 3-5 hour range. One of my favorites is Coldplays “Mylo Xyloto“. And so it was listening to that album, while training for the San Francisco 52.4 Worth The Hurt Ultra Marathon that I realized that the second track “Hurts Like Heaven” would work well for a video. As I listened to it more and more, it got upgraded from “well” to “perfect” for the video, especially with the chorus “When you use your heart as a weapon, then it hurts like heaven”. More on that later.
I don’t remember if it was me or my spin instructor Erin who mentioned the San Francisco Marathon but I do know that Erin’s desire for running her first marathon seemed to occur right around the time I ran the 2014 Boston Marathon so I will take full credit for it. I do remember that my friend Valerie mentioned possibly running it as her first marathon on Facebook a little while later and that’s all it took for me to sign up and call her on it. Fortunately it worked and she signed up so I’ll go ahead and take credit for that one as well. Soon after her sister Lisa followed suit, Sally joined in and then Michelle made five. By the time the race rolled around I knew about 10 people running it. And then there was Rudy…
Each year I like to run at least one “Ultra Marathon” (classified as a race greater than 26.2 miles) to continuously challenge myself. Normally, right around the end of July, I run the “Ultra Around The Lake” north of Boston which is an endurance race that you run (and run and run)… around a lake (hmmm, I wonder if that’s how they came up with the name?) for either 12 or 24 hours. And even though I got 5th out of 88 people in my group (12 hours) last year and was hoping to do even better this year, given a choice of running around a body of water in Wakefield or in San Francisco with friends started to tip the scales to the west coast.
I decided to get more information on the marathon at the website and that is when I stumbled across the following:
Run an ultra marathon, in San Francisco, with friends, AND raise money for Cystic Fibrosis? I immediately hit the “Register Online Here” button. Even came up with a clever name for it: Roger Runs SF for CF. (you can still donate if you want). A couple of months later we were off to SF.
Beyond the obvious health benefits of running are the incredible people I have met through running, with most of them becoming life long friends. One of them is running icon Bob Anderson. Bob and me in Los Altos a few days before the 2014 San Francisco Marathon
Bob loved running for his entire life, so much so that at the age of 16 he decided to create a “magazine” about running called Distance Running News which was a couple of black and white pages that he sold to other runners around the country as a subscription. Eventually, as his little magazine became more popular, he renamed the magazine Runners World which eventually played an important role in ushering in running for regular people.
In 2012, a movie was made about Bob’s life called A Long Run. Beyond the fascinating history of Bob and Runners World magazine, it also followed him as he spent a year running 50 races throughout the country, maintaining an average pace of UNDER 7 minutes per mile for 350 miles! Oh and he did it when he was 64 years old! If that wasn’t enough, he also threw in interviews with a Who’s Who list of elite and other runners and even found some space to throw in my story as well. Here’s the trailer.
After spending a day at Bobs house, we arrived at The Hotel Griffon which was picked for it’s location right at the start and finish of the marathons. The view out the hotel room’s window was one of the best views I have ever encountered. Here are a couple of shots as I sat at my desk looking out, from dusk to dawn.
Another benefit of our location was it’s proximity to the San Francisco Giants ATT Ball Park and because Mary loves sports, decided to catch a game there on Friday night against the LA Dodgers. Unfortunately the Giants got killed but that’s OK because we were really there just to see the stadium and meet up with our friend Michelle, who was in town for the marathon. Here’s a couple of pictures, most taken with my fisheye lens.
The Expo was held on Saturday…