Race Review: San Francisco Marathon

24 Jul, 2019 • by Admin

As with other major cities, the San Francisco marathon is an adrenaline-filled, non-touristy way to see a ton of sights in a few hours.

The San Francisco Marathon is an annual USATF-certified road running event held in San Francisco, California that includes a full marathon, two half marathons, an ultramarathon, and a 5K

The marathon has been held annually since 1977. The current marathon course forms a loop that starts and finishes on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building. The course runs past many notable landmarks in San Francisco including Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and AT&T Park. The course briefly enters Marin County at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge.


  • Website:
  • Established: 1977
  • Date: July 28, 2019
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Event type: Road
  • Distance: Marathon, Half Marathon, Ultramarathon, and 5K
  • Finishers: 5242 (2018), 6523 (2017), 6267 (2016)



With five different races, the San Francisco Marathon is a large event: there are upwards of 30,000 runners spread across the ultra marathon, the full marathon, the first half marathon, the second half marathon, and the 5k.

The San Francisco Marathon has one of the toughest course in the country, if not the world! Every year 5,000 - 7,000 marathon runners will not cross the finish line. However it is also one of the most scenic, and depends on how you look at things, the San Francisco Marathon may be the most challenging & rewarding run for you!

I have done many full marathons back to back, starting in 2015, so here are some helpful advice to make sure you are one of the elite to cross the finish line:

  • Bring a throwaway sweater or jacket to keep your core body temperature warm. It's cold at 5:00am along the northern seashore.
  • Short, fast stride when climbing hill and keep moving. The hills won't let up until the last two miles. Don't let it intimidate you. Downhills are so much fun & rewarding!
  • Treat the Golden Gate Bridge as a reward for running across uninhibited and not a tourist destination or an opportunity for selfies.
  • Study the course map. Read the SF Marathon blogs. I find it helpful when pacing myself to know what neighborhood, landmarks, or attraction coming up.
  • Find a mantra to guide you during those difficult moments of the race. For example, "THEY NO MY HEART" or They know my heart, which serves as both title & ending to my poem

I can honestly say that I had so much fun during this race. "Fun" and "effortless" are the two words that come to my mind for this race (and please know that I trained and ran at like a 12mm pace, so I am NOT fast.) So to say it was fun and effortless means you have no excuse if you're considering training for this. lol!


Explore more similar news