The San Francisco Half Marathon was the event that capped off a wild three weeks. The race was on July 25th and just three weeks prior, on July 4th, I broke a toe on my left foot.
July 4th, 2010 was the day that my father, Von Birkin Holbrook, passed away. I won’t ever forget that morning since my father was very sick in the hospital, had been put on palliative care and was given days to live. We had spent considerable time in the hospital with him and had said our goodbyes. That said, all the preparation and goodbyes in the world don’t prepare you for “the call” which came around 5:30am in the morning on July 4th. Dad had passed.
Hello Broken Toe
I was living in San Mateo, CA at the time and had a great townhouse that backed up to the lagoon. We would regularly be out there wakeboarding, paddle boarding and just enjoying the lagoon life. My buddy Jay regularly had parties and was a short boat ride from my dock. After helping my mom wrap up a few things at the hospital, I headed home to drown my emotions in a plethora of cold beer. Always a good choice.
The day was proceeding wonderfully, we were having fun, I had somewhat forgotten about the morning. As these things tend to go, a simple game of ball toss with Jay’s dogs lead me to land funny as I jumped off a small rock and that was it. Rolled my toe and snap. Great. After a few head shakes and perhaps a few “are you f#$king kidding me’s??” later I was back to 4th of July’ing. The next morning? Ouch.
Three weeks of healing was NOT enough. And, there is nothing more effective at re-aggravating a foot injury like running 13 miles. But, considering recent events, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to miss this race. I guess in a strange way it was for my dad. He always loved San Francisco and regularly would pick up fresh crab and sourdough bread (which he loved) to enjoy with the family. As I recall, especially the day before Thanksgiving. Not sure why.
The San Francisco Half Marathon was BEAUTIFUL. The race started on the Embarcaderro, wandered past all the great tourist spots, Fisherman Wharf, Pier 39, Ghiradelli Square, etc. After Crissy Field and the edge of the Presidio, the crown jewel of the race, The Golden Gage Bridge. There is nothing like running over this iconic bridge. And, it is surprisingly steep if you have not done this! We ran over and back and although I was still in a good amount of pain from my broken toe, I soaked it all in, regularly running into people as I looked up at the towers. The race finished in Golden Gate Park. I was happy to have this one in the books.
One funny note, my wife Amy dropped me off at this race, we were still just dating. Since we didn’t have kids yet she was going to hang out and wait for me to finish and then we were going to grab a bite. We decided on Squat and Gobble in the Castro. The food was great, the name still makes me laugh.