Inside the 2014 Nike Women's Half Marathon

Injuries, unpredictable weather and monstrous hills didn't stop 25,000 women from getting their hands on the Nike Women's Half Marathon's famous finisher's medal.

On October 19, participants from all over the world descended on San Francisco to run 13.1 miles to beat cancer—and to put on the fabulous race-day finisher's medal: a Tiffany's necklace.

This annual event is like no other. Nike takes over San Francisco's Union Square for the weekend with an humongous expo that's filled with race-day essentials, local and healthy food, race course previews, Paul Mitchell hair stylists to get your hairdo race-day ready, run coaches, shoe analysis, pre-run shakeout run and stretch and packet pick up. There's also a race-day store filled with dozens of race-specific t-shirts, tanks, jackets and shoes.

Besides the spectacle that takes over Union Square for the weekend, the course challenges the mind and body of the women who set out to dominate the roller coaster-course.

There's more to the race than the famous San Francisco hills. Here's why the Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco brings thousands of participants to the Bay Area.

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