My first Half Marathon | San Francisco Women's Half Marathon

October 2005 I ran my first half marathon. I'd trained with Team in Training and raised money for the Lekemia and Lymphoma foundation- inspired by the kids of the Villa La Paz Children's Home who were so brave fighting ugly cancers- they looked cancer in the face and fought back and fought back hard! I'd never ran more than 3 miles before I commited to doing 13.1 and it was truly an experience I'll never forget.

The Nike Women's Half is the race I participated in and I absolutely loved it. Not only did I earn (yes.. if you run the hills of San Fransciso you've earned it) a Tiffany's necklace but I truly had the time of my life! I returned with my friend Brittany who had trained with me but was unable to go- and we went back so she could run. Being college students we were able to fly standby on airtran for $79 each way (AMAZING) but quickly realized the hotels near the race were either sold out or REALLY expensive. They wanted more than $200 a night for the hotel- that seems like a high price to pay for anyone- specially 2 college girls!

I'd stayed in hostels while traveling in South America and loved the experience. You meet so many truly interesting people… why didn't we have hostels in America? Then thanks to Google I quickly found that we DO have hostels here! Better yet- this hostel was literally across the street from the hotel and less than 2 blocks from the beginning of the race. Perfect. The price? $35 per person and breakfast was included!

We flew in late one night and took the train to the area of town we thought would be close to our hostel. It ended up being a few more blocks than we anticipated but we arrived safely and were pleased to find we actually got "upgraded" to the handicap room. The first night we had it to ourselves (2 bunk beds) and the other two nights we shared it with another girl. The benefit of being in the handicap room was we had our own spacious bathroom and shower. The rest of the rooms have community bathrooms but not us. We saved hundreds of dollars, enjoyed delcious breakfasts while listening to a multitude of different languages being spoken around us- it's not for everyone but we absolutely loved it.

Would I stay there again?

Absolutely! I'd just have to get my husband on board. :)