San Francisco Marathon Takes Over the City this Weekend

The San Francisco Marathon might be the most extreme outdoor event in the city. For the nearly 30,000 runners taking part in the marathon, pushing through pain and exhaustion as they complete two loops around the city, it certainly is. As for residents, Sunday, July 28th will be one the most extreme traffic days of the year; certainly worthy of a calendar reminder, because so many streets will be impacted until after noon. So, if you have to get in or out of the certain areas of the city, planning your route and having a little patience will be crucial.

But for those of us who are anchoring in place until past noon, if you’re near the course route, the best thing to do is get up early, prep your travel mug, and head out to cheer on the runners. They’ll be running either a 13.1 mile 1/2 marathon, a full 26.2 mile marathon, and a few “gluttons for punishment” will even be running the 52.4 mile ultra-marathon. The races that traverse the city start at midnight and there will still be runners on the streets until around noon.

When a runner turns a corner and sees people clapping, giving a “woo-hoo”, or cheering a “you can do it”; there’s a little energy transfer you give to the runners. It’s definitely motivating for the runner. And if you get the chance to catch the lead pack of runners, you the spectator will be equally inspired; knowing that they’ll be keeping that 5 1/2 minute pace the entire race. It would be crazy if it weren’t actually happening in front of you.


Race times:

Ultramarathon – 12 midnight – starts at Mission Street and The Embarcadero
Full Marathon – 5:30am – starts at Mission Street and The Embarcadero
1st Half Marathon – 6:30am – starts at Mission Street and The Embarcadero, finish in Golden Gate Park
2nd Half Marathon – 6:45am – starts at JFK Drive and 14th Avenue Meadow, finish in the Embarcadero at Washington Street

For those who can walk over or take BART to the Embarcadero, the awards ceremony begins at 9:30am, at Embarcadero Plaza.




San Francisco Marathon
Saturday, July 27th & Sunday, July 28th
Throughout San Francisco, especially around the loop

Related: This runner uses San Francisco as his canvas, crafts Frida Kahlo out of city streets