San Francisco hosts nearly a dozen organized marathons, half-marathons, triathlons and walk/run events per year. It's only logical - if one is going to pound the pavement for 26.2 miles, why not do it in one of the most beautiful cities on Earth? Runner's World magazine wrote, "San Francisco's big-bridge bookends, eclectic high-rise skyline, sailboat-filled bay, and sweeping Pacific Ocean backdrop make this city arguably the most stunning of all."
Many of San Francisco's running events also welcome walkers. San Francisco was named one the 10 Best Walking Cities in America in 2008 by Prevention magazine and the American Podiatric Medical Association
Typical of San Franciscans' generous nature, many of these events support worthwhile charities while providing a great workout for all involved.
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau has compiled a list of some of the Bay Area's largest annual running (plus biking, swimming and walking) events.
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half-Marathon & 5K
Golden Gate Park
More than 10,000 runners raise funds for the Koret Family House, Support For Families With Disabilities, and others. Media contact: Kathy Henning, email@example.com
Emerald Across the Bay 12K
Sausalito to San Francisco - across the Golden Gate Bridge
Nearly 5,000 will run the 12K championship for the Pacific Association of USA's $4,500 prize money. The run benefits the Edgewood Center for Children & Families.
ING Bay to Breakers
The Embarcadero to the Great Highway.
Since 1912 tens of thousands of people have gathered in San Francisco to see the world's largest footrace unfold as more than 70,000 costume-clad runners and walkers push off at 8 am. Media contact: Eva Wong, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-486-3235.
Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon
Marina Green, 424-653-1900
The 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz, 18-mile bike ride and eight-mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with a finish at Marina Green draws some 2,000 triathletes/relay teams annually. Media contact: DeeDee Taft/Shelbi Okumura, email@example.com, 415-380-8390
San Francisco Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk
Ferry Building, The Embarcadero
Enjoy the amazing city of San Francisco by taking part in one of the world's great marathons. The USAT&F Certified course is a "best of San Francisco" tour and includes a loop over the Golden Gate Bridge. Choose from running the marathon, half marathon, progressive marathon or 5K run/walk races. Media contact: press@RunSFM.com, 415-284-9653.
Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge 12K & 7K
Embarcadero to the Marina
Since 1972, 6,000 runners and walkers have enjoyed a route that Sports Illustrated dubbed "America's Most Beautiful." The run benefits the Northern California Special Olympics.
Nike Women's Marathon
Union Square to the Great Highway
The Nike Women's Marathon recognizes and awards the top three female runners to cross the finish line in both the full and half marathons. Media contact: 212-367-4447 or 503-671-4235.
Turkey Trail Trot
Golden Gate Park
This invigorating fun run or walk has become a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition.
Run Wild for a Child 5K & 10K
Golden Gate Park
During the end of November, 6,000 runners and walkers walk off Thanksgiving calories to benefit the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program.
For general information on hotel packages and reservations; events; activities and transportation in San Francisco, visit www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com. For lodging reservations, call 800-637-5196 within North America or 415-391-2000 or 415-392-0328 (TTY/TTD) elsewhere.
The San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide is available at the Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., at the corner of Powell and Market streets, lower level, Hallidie Plaza. A visitor's kit may also be ordered online at www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com, by phone at 415-391-2000 or 415-392-0328 (TTY/TTD), by written request to the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, 900 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Domestic and international shipping charges apply.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop links with more than 30 international points on 25 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with more than 65 cities in the U.S. on 20 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com.