Ten Things We Learned in Uganda February 08 2012
1. Perry needs a tracking device. Or a leash. The most frequently asked question on the trip was "Hey, where's Perry?"
2. When crowding into a shared taxi to catch a ride to a nearby town over miles of uneven dirt road, try not to sit next to the lady with the three chickens in her lap.
3. Ugandans are universally friendly. Everyone went out of their way to answer our questions, help us figure things out, and just generally make sure we were enjoying ourselves.
4. Winning a barefoot race in a small village with everyone shouting "Go, mizungu, go" makes all of those early morning workouts seem more worthwhile. Forty years from now when my grandchildren ask me for my best story, that will probably be it.
5. Riding on the back of a motorbike with all of your luggage through rush hour traffic in Kampala is not a good idea. It doesn't even sound like a good idea.
6. If you cry at Disney movies, sappy love scenes, and/or inspirational speeches, be sure to wear dark glasses when listening to WMI borrowers tell their stories about how a loan has helped them turn their lives around. Frankly, my inability to turn off the waterworks is getting embarrassing.
7. The Lonely Planet East Africa guide's top picks for hotels in Kampala leaves a little bit to be desired. I've slept comfortably in some pretty shady hotels, but that one was pretty bad. Some hotels seem to be under the impression that if they put a tv in the room, travelers will happily overlook other deficiencies. Trust us, we'll take clean sheets over a semi-functioning tv any day of the week.
8. Ants in Uganda bite really, really hard. I'm not even kidding, you guys. They draw blood. I still have a bite mark. Apparently these ants can devour entire chickens and goats. I didn't believe it until one bit me. Now I believe it.
9. Chickens here run wherever they want, however they want, whenever they want. Well, at least until it's time for dinner. It's not uncommon to see a chicken happily perched in a classroom or a cow wandering nonchalantly across the soccer field in the middle of a game.
10. Cancelled flights are not fun, but free upgrades to business class are. Another glass of champagne? Why, thank you, don't mind if I do.
Microfinance: What's the Deal? January 18 2012
As Perry and I get ready to embark on our adventure to Uganda for the Women's Microfinance Initiative graduation ceremony, you might be wondering what's up with microfinance and why is Greenlight Apparel supporting it?
Both good questions.
The deal behind microfinance if you're not already familiar with it (or even if you are) is that it provides micro loans to those individuals who otherwise wouldn't be eligible for credit. When you think about the times in your life that you've had to rely on credit (whether it's through a family member, friend, or professional banking institution), it becomes pretty obvious that most of us need some assistance from time to time. Essentially proving the old adage true that it takes money to make money.
I for one would not have been able to get where I am without the assistance of loans and the fact that I am eligible for a loan already puts me ahead of millions of poverty-stricken people around the world.
I don’t like describing anyone as poor. That’s not an adjective that should define anyone. Poverty is a circumstance, not an identity. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The cycle of poverty is cancerous in nature, spreading quickly and becoming more and more difficult to tackle the longer it's left untreated. Tackling poverty requires a various set of tools, some more effective than others. Microfinance is one such tool that, when done correctly, we believe to be exceptionally effective at curbing the cyclical nature of poverty by giving people practical tools and training they can utilize to create sustainable businesses.
It's not that we don't believe in charity or in giving to those in need. It's just that we don't see it as an effective tool to ending global poverty, and ultimately that's our goal. It's also the goal of the Women's Microfinance Initiative, a DC-based organization that works primarily with women in Uganda and Kenya. There are numerous microfinance organizations out there and a lot of good ones doing some amazing work. So, why did we decide to partner with WMI?
WMI targets women in rural areas who struggle with barriers to credit that those living in more urban areas don't always face. Individuals who have a difficult time getting to urban areas to access financial services are more likely to succumb to credit abuse. We also like that they target women, who have been shown to take loans more responsibly than their male counterparts and who are more likely to use the money they make to support their families and their communities, creating jobs and sending their children to school. WMI provides the training necessary to help women manage their businesses and to ensure that those women successfully pay back their loans. They have 100% payback rate and women who graduate from WMI's loan program are able to then move toward independent banking.
We tackled the apparel industry because we believe that we can do it better. We believe that you shouldn't have to decide between good athletic apparel and supporting a company that offers something good from start to finish. We believe in more than just the end result and we feel strongly that WMI has a similar philosophy. They're concerned about more than just the end result of whether or not someone pays back their loan. They invest in the training and support of women who have all of the talent, ingenuity, and drive to make their ideas work, but need a little access to capital and a little bit of training.
That's something that we feel is sustainable, practical, and addresses the long-term needs of these communities. We're incredibly excited about teaming up with WMI and Perry and I are beside ourselves at the opportunity to head to Uganda in order to get to know these women better and celebrate their incredible accomplishments! We leave Sunday and we'll be blogging about it while there so definitely stay tuned for more.
Next Stop, Uganda Please January 13 2012
Next week, Perry and I will board a plane where we'll probably arm wrestle for the window seat before buckling in for a flight that will take us to Entebbe, Uganda.
Uganda. I keep rolling it around on my tongue, trying to imagine what it will feel like to be there.
I've read so much about it that I can close my eyes and feel the colors of it. The red Earth, the fluorescent green, the heat hovering gently over the treetops, the deep blue of the sky, the rising mountains. It's all just a picture painted in my head spun from the words of too many books. When I was younger, I'd perch myself on a rooftop, a fence, or a tree branch. With a book in hand and anything I could scavenge from the kitchen, I'd read so much that I'd convince myself I'd been to thousands of places around the world throughout varying points in human history. That's how I feel about Uganda. I'm craving to know the country beyond the superficial painting I've created in my head.
I'm eager for the noise and smell of the country and the palpable manifestation of its soul hitting you from every angle as you sit, sticky and sweaty, crammed in the back of a bus while the country rushes in at an overwhelming pace. It's a sensory overload that leaves you reeling before you clamber out of the vehicle and into a small village where the reeling stops and the country settles into you. You grasp the hands of those around you as introductions are made. Palm against palm is a far more intimate gesture than we give it credit for. Eyes are laughing, gazes dancing back and forth, and your soul will rush forward in a moment of pure joy. It's good to be alive. It's good to be in this place, with these people. It's good to hear their stories, to collect them, and secret them away for another time.
A collector of stories. That is essentially what I am. I carry the gazes of people within my heart and when it becomes too much, they spill from me and onto paper. I tell their stories. I close my eyes and nestle myself within the sound of their voice, the lilt of their accent, the low of their sorrows, and the high of their joys. I read them from cover to cover and then I translate it.
Uganda. I am aching to have its stories poured into me. I am excited to go somewhere new, to travel, to explore the meandering roads cut through a nature so wild, it roars forward and will not be subdued. But mostly I am excited to meet people. To sit, rocking back on my heels, my mouth half open in a moment of self-forgetfulness, listening to the tangle of life experiences pour from the mouths of those around me.
And Perry? Well, in the unlikely event that I am able to peel his camera out of his hand for two seconds, he just wants to tumble over the treetops of the Impenetrable Forest in a bush plane manned by a ruffian pilot with a heavy Russian accent, a penchant for Vodka, and a disdain for safety. I used to think that it was me who instigates these ridiculous situations while traveling. Now I realize that it's not me. It's these lunatics I keep traveling with and my inability to say "You know, actually, that doesn't sound like a good idea." So if anything insane happens on this trip, blame Perry. I just wanted to sit and talk to people.
This American Life: Mr Daisey and the Apple Factory January 13 2012
Apple addict? Yeah, us too. We're also a fan of fair labor practices and This American Life. If you haven't caught this show yet, we recommend it. It's hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought provoking.
Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions January 02 2012
I never make New Year's resolutions. One because I prefer just to continually focus on self-improvement throughout the year and two because at the end of the year I hate looking over all of the things I said I would accomplish and then didn't because I was too busy doing important stuff like watching reruns of Iron Chef and repinning stuff I'll never make or own on Pinterest. Also, my New Year's resolutions always end up being impractical things like "Buy a pony" or "Move to Afghanistan and become a ski instructor." I have nowhere to keep a pony, I can barely ski, and my Arabic is terrible.
So this year, I'm not going to start anything new. I'm not going to promise myself that this is the year I'm going to win a Nobel Peace Prize or that I'm finally going to get the lead role of Annie on Broadway. I'm going to just keep doing stuff I already do, but I'm going to do it better.
Drink Good Wine
Done. That was easy. We're off to a good start already.
I've never smoked so doing good on this one too. Keep up the good work!
Pin at least 50 things a Day on Pinterest
I'm definitely going to exceed this one. (This list is going great. I'm already feeling like an overachiever.)
Get Lost More
Right now, I get hopelessly lost almost every time I leave my house. Guess I'll need to amp things up a bit.
Drop iPhone at Least Once a Day
Yesterday, it flew out of my pocket while I was playing on the swings in a nearby playground. It's going to be difficult to top that one this year, but I'll try.
Run Fewer Marathons
I didn't run any this year.
Eat More Donuts
The only donuts I regret are the ones I don't eat.
Be More of a Spectacle
Considering that just yesterday I carried a desk a mile through Berkeley because it wouldn't fit in the car, this year is going to be hard to top.
Perfect the "I Just Rolled Out of Bed" Look
I'm so close on this one. The only thing that could get me closer is wearing my pajamas to work.
Watch More Funny Animal Videos
Have you seen this one? BBC Walk on the Wild Side
Travel to New Countries
Check. Perry and I are going to Uganda for the Women's Microfinance Initiative graduation ceremony in January. Perry has no idea what he's gotten himself into. Brave soul agreeing to travel with me. I'll probably accidentally get us signed up for a marathon up the highest peak in Uganda.
Be Less Adventurous
I know you're thinking you read that wrong, but since being adventurous has gotten me spontaneously signed up for a marathon in Morocco, seen me hitchhiking through the Sinai, inspired an overnight stay on a roundabout in Haifa, and gotten me roped into a cycling trip with a bunch of sports-mad French triathletes, I'm thinking maybe I need to tone it down a little.
On the other hand...there is that ultra race in Kenya that I'd like to do...
Adventures in Costco-land December 23 2011
We've all been in a little bit of a frenzy these past few weeks. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It's because we totally launched our Greenlight Apparel retail line in three Bay Area Costco stores! For the past two weeks we've had a roadshow going on in the San Francisco, Mountain View, and Danville stores and it has been all hands on deck.
After helping Perry out with a photo shoot in the Berkeley hills on Friday (It was beautiful and I learned how to use a reflector to bounce the sunlight. Actually, it was mostly me holding it at random angles and Perry having to come over every five minutes to adjust it. Also, I almost fell off a hillside. So all-in-all, a pretty typical morning for us). Anyway, after "helping" out, I hopped onto BART (yay public transportation) and headed to the Costco in San Francisco to keep tabs on everything and make sure the display stayed pretty.
Stepping into the Costco it was so amazing to see the Greenlight logo from afar as I caught my first glimpse of the signage hanging above our display racks. Two snazzy looking mannequins were placed in front of the racks with crisp, clear photos hanging above rows of zip t's, jackets, and--my favorite--the Momentum long-sleeved shirts. I'm trying to be humble here, but it looked so awesome. Good job, team.
With the flurry of Costco shoppers, the set-up definitely needed some periodic love so I spent the day rearranging hangers, sorting sizes, and just talking to people. I like to talk so I was happy as a clam (weirdest. expression. ever.) answering people's questions and taking the opportunity to tell everyone about Greenlight Apparel. I got a lot of satisfaction out of telling people the item of clothing they were holding was made from recycled plastic bottles, but not as much satisfaction as telling them that 25% of our profits go to education and microfinance programs.
I was wearing the Greenlight Momentum shirt (think Snuggie comfort level meets hipster yoga look) and everyone kept complimenting me on the shirt. It went to my head and I haven't taken it off since. I'm wearing it right now. I wore it yesterday and the day before and if I didn't need to wash it, I'd wear it again tomorrow. We've had people tell us they would like a shirt in every color and I'm right there with them. In fact, we probably need to get on that soon or everyone is going to start thinking I only own one shirt (Not true. I own at least three).
When I got tired of trying to see how many ways I could creatively display the tank top and t-shirt boxes (pyramid displays are so hot right now), I wandered around Costco trying free samples and intermittently texting everyone I know. Unfortunately for all of my friends and family, I have unlimited texting and can barrage everyone incessantly with illuminating questions and commentary like...
"On a scale of 1-10, how badly do you think we need a $350 blender? It's on sale at Costco."(Response: It better make the best smoothie of my life)
"Just undressed the female mannequin. Lot of snickering going on." (Response: Wait. Where are you?)
"Guy just walked past me with nothing but chocolate and alcohol in his cart." (Response: Marry him)
"I just tripped over the mannequin while trying to help a cute guy. I fail at life." (Response: Did he at least help you up?)
While staying on your feet all day in Costco isn't an experience I'd want to live every day, I really enjoyed getting to meet with people and hearing their feedback on our apparel, our set-up, and our company philosophy. Don't roll your eyes, but I actually had a lot of fun helping people pick out styles and sizes and it was incredibly encouraging to see how excited people got when I told them about our work with the Women's Microfinance Initiative or the One World Children's Fund. So many of you had your own stories and ideas on how to give back and I was really touched and inspired to hear all of your thoughts!
So, for those of you who were able to come see us in Costco, thank you for your continued support. You rock! For those of you who we met for the first time, it was great to meet you and thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about us! And for those of you scattered across the globe, we'll have our online store up and--wait for it, wait for it--running soon (Get it?).
Why Fair Trade? December 15 2011
Standing in the grocery store today, I spent at least five minutes silently debating whether I should buy the conventional light brown sugar or the Fair Trade and organic light brown sugar. The conventional was $1.29. The Fair Trade version was over $5.00. It seemed stupid to spend the extra money. I don't exactly rake in the cash as a writer and though I have enough to support myself, I still have to weigh my purchasing decisions and, quite frankly, spending five times the amount I would normally pay for sugar to make chocolate chip cookies seemed kind of idiotic.
But as I stood there, I couldn't help but ask myself what my decision would be if I were held accountable for every action and decision I make throughout the day? If I could see and interact with the sugar cane workers, would the decision to go with something that provides them with a better quality of life be so difficult?
No, probably not. My conscience wouldn't let me off the hook that easily.
Or what if the tables were turned? What if I were the one harvesting sugar cane, trying to scrape a living in an economically oppressive system? What if the difference between a Fair Trade wage and a conventional wage was the difference between me providing for my family or sending my children to school? Wouldn't I implore someone standing at the grocery store to make a choice that took into account my most basic human needs?
In the end, I bought the Fair Trade sugar. Yes, it was five times more expensive and that can be hard to justify if you don't look beyond what's on the shelf in front of you.
But is it fair and just to say that the best deal is simply the one that includes the lowest price point? What about all of the environmental and social costs? I paid more upfront for the Fair Trade sugar, but the conventional sugar is going to cost more over the long-term when you consider the costs of environmental degradation and the repercussions and inhumanity of social injustice.
Shouldn't business benefit everyone involved from start to finish? Relying on unsustainable production methods and an industry whose success is built and dependent upon the oppression of millions of people seems like the antithesis of good business.
Those industries are relying heavily on consumers who operate on an "out of sight, out of mind" purchasing philosophy. If that 10 year-old who stitched together a sweatshirt was standing next to the rack in the store, most consumers would think twice about buying it. If they could see the gallons of toxic chemicals used to produce their conventional cotton t-shirts, they'd likely feel some degree of hesitation before buying them.
Unfortunately, consumer ignorance is enabling devastating business practices and a consumer's decision to support a company that is taking advantage of loose labor or environmental laws is having a tremendously negative impact on someone else's life. You may be against child labor, human trafficking, or environmental degradation, but if you're not aware of your purchasing decisions, you may be inadvertently enabling all of the above.
On the flip side, that same purchasing power can change the face of business. By supporting ethical production methods, you can make humane business practices the norm rather than the exception.
I know the sugar example is a little extreme, and that many of us simply cannot afford to pay two or three times or heaven forbid five times as much for Fair Trade products. Trust me, I put the Fair Trade sugar back on the shelf multiple times before throwing it in my basket and heading to the checkout line. And I know that it's easy to scoff at the idea that Fair Trade is the end all, be all of social justice. It's not. It's simply somewhere to start. Imagining the person harvesting the sugar I was about to purchase brought it home for me. It wasn't about guilt. It was about awareness. It was the realization that even the smallest of my decisions impact someone else. I'd rather have that impact be a positive one.
I'm not arguing that paying $5 for Fair Trade, organic sugar is going to be a quick fix or an easy solution. It's not going to wipe away all of the social injustice, end poverty, stop human trafficking, or prevent environmental degradation in one, fell swoop. However, by making consumers aware of the many despicable production practices currently in use, we can start to put pressure on industries to be accountable, responsible, and ethical in all of their transactions. I, for one, would rather that companies like Gap and Apple spend less on advertising and more on treating people fairly.
Ten Things We Learned at the California International Marathon December 08 2011
Soooo....we were responsible for creating the official California International Marathon merchandise this year (This shirt is my favorite). In light of that, the Greenlight team headed to Sacramento over the weekend to man the CIM merchandise booth at the two-day race expo and at the race finish on Sunday morning.
Here's what we learned from the experience...
Mannequins Are Awkward
There is absolutely no way to appropriately wrestle a mannequin into its position on the stand. No matter what you do, your coworker will turn around and lock eyes with you just as you’re awkwardly wrangling a pair of running tights onto the damn thing or struggling to lift it up onto its stand, your hands inappropriately placed. Those things are heavy and expensive. Collapsing into a fit of laughter while carrying one can turn disastrous very quickly. I wish I could say we refrained from all manner of juvenile jokes, but I can’t because we didn’t.
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall or…You Know, Not at All
So it turns out that when people are trying on shirts, they want to see what they look like. Well, at least prior to running 26.2 miles. After running 26.2 miles, they don’t really care about anything other than sitting down. Either way, we totally forgot to bring the mirror. Oops. Sorry, guys, but thanks for taking our word for it when we told you that you looked fabulous. You did, but next time, we’ll have a mirror. Promise.
It’s Possible to Valet a U-Haul Van
When we finally finish breaking down the merchandise booth at the expo and relocating it to our spot near the finish line, it’s close to 9 p.m. on Saturday and everyone is seriously ready for dinner. Circling around downtown Sacramento as we look for parking, Perry and I are in the U-Haul van and Sonny and Monika are driving just ahead of us when they pull to the side of the road.
“Guys, let’s just valet the U-Haul,” suggests Sonny.
I start laughing because I think he’s kidding, but as we pull up to the restaurant and Sonny jumps out to ask the valet guys if they can valet a U-Haul, I realize he’s serious which just makes me laugh harder. I’m now pretty much certain that Sonny can convince anyone to do anything because 30 seconds later, we’re handing over the keys and walking into the restaurant. What can I say? We like to shake things up.
Sacramento is Cold
We’re from the Bay Area. We do fog and drizzle very well, but when it gets below 60, we have problems. Sacramento was “cold.” I know all of you who actually live in places where winter isn’t just some vague concept are scoffing at the poor Californian who thinks Sacramento is cold, so I’m putting the word in air quotes. Just for you. Seriously though. I actually had to put on a fleece jacket. Can you imagine? It was even colder early Sunday morning while trying to coax race t-shirts onto ice cold hangers with stiff, frozen fingers.
The CIM is Badass
Eight men and twenty-five women qualified for the Olympic Trials, numerous qualifiers for Boston, a marriage proposal at the finish line, and a fireman running with all of his equipment (including the oxygen tank)? That would seal the deal for me right there, but aside from fast runners, superhuman feats, cool costumes, and just being incredibly well organized, the race had a great laid-back feel for such a huge event. They even got the weather gods to cooperate with a perfectly clear and crisp day. Not sure how they swung that one. Sacrifices?
Square is Also Pretty Badass
We’ve been using the Square application for iPhone. I’m not plugging anything, but that application is pretty awesome and really easy to use. After using it a few times (Apparently, I'm a slow learner), I start getting excited when customers pay with card rather than cash (I'm also a simple soul, easily delighted by new things, cookies, and sparkly objects). When people say, “Wow, that is so cool,” I can’t help responding, “I know, right?!” Because it totally is.
All Marathon Finish Lines Need Couches
The next booth we have at a marathon, I vote for couches and not just so I can take a nap, although that is a primary factor. After an hour or two of us hopping around trying to keep warm, runners start to trickle in, hobbling unsteadily with tired, but triumphant expressions. It’s painful to watch them teetering on spent legs as they try to reach up and grab a t-shirt in their size. I know that despite their enormous grins, their legs are throbbing and every movement elicits protest from trembling muscles. I know this because the last time I ran a marathon, my body was pissed. A couch directly after would have been a nice peace offering.
Grilled Cheese for Breakfast
…is a genius idea. We were conveniently placed next to Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen food truck (I had nothing to do with that. Honest). Think 9 a.m. is too early for grilled cheese? Think again. That’s my new go-to breakfast food.
We’re Kind of Hilarious
I laughed a lot this weekend. Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but in addition to creating awesome racewear, we’re also pretty much hilarious. Between the mannequins, the U-Haul valet incident, and trying to figure out how to set up (and break down) Container Store organizers, there was ample opportunity to illustrate how ridiculous and insanely funny we are.
Next year. Hats.
I have no idea how many times runners asked us if we had hats, but it was a lot. Point taken. Next year, we need hats. I'm going to push for the ones with beer can holsters. I'll let you know how that goes.
Race Day Ritual. Shattered. November 23 2011
It’s France’s fault really.
Typically, I have a pretty standard race weekend ritual.
Friday night: Eat pasta. Drink insane amount of water. Sleep 8 hours. Get up at least five times throughout the night. Promise not to drink so much water next time.
Saturday morning: Eat bowl of cereal. Arrive at race start one hour ahead of time. Eat banana. Stand in line for 30 minutes to use the restroom. Make my way to start line. Run race. Reward self with something unhealthy.
I know, I know. I’m not a dog and I’m not supposed to reward myself with food. The problem is I haven’t found anything that works as well as a reward. Maybe Apple products. I would totally take an iPad over a donut, but only if someone else is buying. Otherwise we’re keeping the rewards in the under $1 range.
All-in-all, my race day ritual is pretty standard. I’ve been racing for 15 years now and I don’t think much about it anymore. I operate on race day autopilot.
Enter the Lyon half-marathon.
The problem with Lyon is that it’s the gastronomic capital of France. The problem with me is that I love food. The night before the race we settle into a cozy corner table in a typically Lyonnaise restaurant. My race day ritual goes out the window as soon as I see the menu. A bottle of red wine, a slab of meat, and two crème caramels later, I’m half-heartedly wondering if I’ll be regretting this meal 10 kilometers into the race. I can’t decide and after the first bite of my crème caramel I don’t really give a damn.
Heading back to the hotel, I fall into bed determined to get a good night’s sleep and a more appropriate breakfast. Enter very loud drunken people in the hotel courtyard and French pastries. Both undermine my very best intentions. I toss and turn before stumbling out of bed the next morning and directly to a nearby bakery.
With my full concentration dedicated to my pain au chocolat, I lose track of the time. As do my rather nonchalant racing buddies. With five minutes to the start, we drop off our bags, and--being the overly optimistic person that I am--I get in line to use the restroom before my friends decide there isn’t enough time and drag me away to the starting line.
I have to pee so badly. In France, men can just stand discreetly to the side of the road and relieve themselves. I hate them. I run five kilometers absolutely certain that my bladder is seconds away from bursting before we turn a corner and I nearly run smack into a lone porta potty. I praise the heavens and enjoy the race a lot more after that.
I also start talking a lot more after that. My running companion is giving me that weak smile people give when they’re trying to be polite, but really they want you to shut-up. I stop talking and start composing the most amazing story ever in my head. Then I forget it all. Then I grab a bottle of water at the aid station. Then it’s kilometer 19 and I want to stop running, but I can’t because there are still 3 kilometers to go so I start imagining what I’m going to eat after my race.
When I finally reach the finish line, I’ve got my meals planned for the next 24 hours. I’m naturally skeptical of technology so I jump up and down on the finish line to make sure it reads my chip. I grab a Powerade. I don’t like Powerade, but it’s free so I grab it. I love free stuff. I’m allergic to dates (The fruit. I don’t have a problem with the other kind), but I’d probably grab them too if they were free.
After everyone crosses the finish line and we cheer in the first of the marathoners, we duck into a nearby pizzeria. I eat an entire pizza, a salad, and a crêpe. Then I convince everyone that what we really need is gelato. And maybe another crêpe.
When I get back to my apartment in Grenoble, I call my mom.
“How was the race? Did you run a good time?” she asks.
I forgot to check the results.
But I don’t even care because I’m still remembering my pre-race dinner and I decide I’m going to run all of my races in France from now on. Maybe I will only run in Lyon and I will subsist entirely on crème caramels.
US Half Marathon SF November 02 2011
We had a beautiful day for the amazing course over the golden gate. It's hard to imagine a nicer day for a run. The race kicked off on the waterfront in Aquatic Park on historic Muni Pier with sweeping views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Marina, Crissy Field, the Presidio and across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, exposing breathtaking sights of the San Francisco cityscape. Back along the Golden Gate Promenade, up through Fort Mason and to the grand musical finish in Aquatic Park. Not too shabby!
Thi Nyugen and Frances Uribe have "been been friends since we were 6 years old - over 22 years of laughter and fun!" Thi moved here from Dallas last year, so Frances flew in from Texas so they could run this race together.
feeling good after the race