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San Francisco Marathon 2024

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The event in a few words


It’s barely 5:30 AM here in San Francisco 🇺🇸. In the distance, albeit with some difficulty, a bridge becomes visible, the Bay Bridge. The fog is thick that day 🌁 but the usually turbulent ocean remains calm. The camera slowly moves forward, keeping pace with the music, inching closer to the San Francisco Bay. The image grows clearer. The San Francisco Bay is now just a few meters from the lens. Suddenly, the camera stops, the music halts, a piercing noise sounds. A crowd of runners then bursts forth right in front of you! Welcome to the San Francisco Marathon in California

And…ACTION! Let’s take three to four minutes to pitch you the San Francisco Marathon 🏃‍♂️. Established in 1977, this race is a true sports monument 🏛! The San Francisco Marathon is somewhat the Alfred Hitchcock of running 🎬. It’s an incredible, almost legendary race that every runner dreams of participating in… 🏃‍♂️ In short, it’s one of the seven wonders of the running world. The San Francisco Marathon takes place annually at the end of July. The weather should therefore be ideal for running. Indeed, during this period, along the West Coast of the United States, temperatures generally fluctuate between 53 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit ☀️. And take note, this year it’s not just one but seven races being offered to you 🏅: an Ultra-Marathon (52.4 Miles), a Classic Marathon (26.2 Miles), two Half-Marathons (13.1 Miles), a 10K race, and finally two 5K Races.

And...Action 🎬! The sun will barely have risen when the starting gun for the San Francisco Marathon goes off ☀️! Your race will begin at the Embarcadero, the city’s waterfront, near the Bay Bridge 🌁. Then, you'll have the chance to explore some of San Francisco’s most beautiful districts like Fisherman’s Wharf ⚓️, a famous area home to the Maritime Museum along with numerous restaurants whose specialty is, of course, crab 🦀! You’ll also discover Marina Green, a vast public park offering exceptional panoramas of the Golden Gate Bridge 🌁. Moreover, you will cross Crissy Field, a former airfield turned leisure area. At Crissy Field, you’ll find numerous marshes, restaurants and even a beach 🏝! Finally, you will have the privilege of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, a legendary bridge made famous by movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Hulk, and Terminator. If you’re lucky, you’ll cross this bridge just as the sun rises… The view is likely to be breathtaking! Get your camera ready 🌅! Lastly, you will pass by Chase Center, the arena that hosts Stephen Curry’s basketball team, the Golden State Warriors! 🏀 

The San Francisco Marathon is over 40 years old today! It gathers thousands of people each year. Whereas in 1977, the first edition welcomed only 900 runners! Indeed, you’ll need to give it your all if you wish to break records! The record for the San Francisco Marathon is held by Siméon Kigen who finished the race in 2 hours 10 minutes and 18 seconds! 🏅 

And… Cut 🎬! What, it’s over already? No! There’s still more to explore in San Francisco. Indeed, if you take a few days to explore this incredible city, first head to the Golden Gate Bridge 🌁, a true icon of the city offering fabulous panoramas (especially at sunrise 🌅) of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean 🌊. Then, make your way to Fisherman’s Wharf 🐟 where you might see some seals basking in the sun 🦭 or head to one of the many restaurants in the area to enjoy a lobster 🦞 or even some crab 🦀! Lastly, we recommend ending your trip with a visit to the San Francisco MOMA 🎨, one of the most important contemporary art museums in the United States 🇺🇸 !

And… That's a Marathon wrap! 🎬

4 reasons to join this race

🇮🇹 The Only Marathon in San Francisco
There are those who love to travel, those who prefer running… but above all, there are those who cherish combining travel and sport! The San Francisco Marathon is especially for them, as the city is an open-air museum! On your route, you'll have the chance to run through some of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city: the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Crissy Field. NBA fans, take note! Your path will also take you past the Chase Center, home to the Golden State Warriors! 🏀
🏆 A Massively Popular Race
Today, the San Francisco Marathon draws thousands of runners! For instance, in 2021, over 3,000 runners crossed the finish line of the Marathon! However, during its first edition in the late 1970s, only 900 people participated! In just a few years, this marathon has become an institution that attracts new runners every year as well as veterans who wouldn’t miss the event for anything.
⏱ Beat the Clock
Wanting to clock a personal best? You’ll need to buckle down as the San Francisco Marathon features a total elevation gain of 550 meters. For your information, the record is held by Siméon Kigen, who completed the course in 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 18 seconds! 🏅Moreover, the San Francisco Marathon serves as a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.
🇺🇸 American Dream
The San Francisco Marathon is incredibly lively! At the start of the race, as with all marathons in the USA, the national anthem is sung a cappella! Additionally, runners from all around the world participate!

A distance for every taste

  • Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 10:15 PM

    A few more words

    The Ultra-Marathon involves running the San Francisco Marathon course twice in a row. Note that the race starts at 11:00 PM, so make sure to bring your headlamp! 

    • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 5:15 AM
    • Elevation gain : 567mD+

      A few more words

      The marathon kicks off at 5:30 AM.

      The course is a loop that starts and ends on the Embarcadero, close to the ocean and the Bay Bridge. In the first few miles, runners get the unique opportunity to race alongside the Pacific Ocean, passing through the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf. Then, at around mile 6, you'll cross the Golden Gate Bridge, making a brief round trip to soak in the breathtaking views it offers of the Bay. Next, you'll make your way to Golden Gate Park, San Francisco's answer to New York's Central Park! Finally, you'll cross the city from west to east towards the AT&T Park, a baseball stadium home to the San Francisco Giants! Eventually, you'll cross the finish line right where you started, back on San Francisco's Embarcadero!

      • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 6:30 AM
      • Elevation gain : 444mD+

        A few more words

        This 13.1-mile race kicks off in front of the Ferry Building, a major terminal for all ferries that cross the San Francisco Bay. You'll then make your way to the Fisherman’s Wharf area until you reach the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Following that, you'll cross through the Presidio Park. Finally, you'll finish your race in Golden Gate Park for a triumphant arrival in front of the large crowd gathered to cheer you on that day.

        • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 8:15 AM
        • Elevation gain : 241mD+

          A few more words

          This 21.0975 KM race starts at Crissy Field, right across from the Golden Gate Bridge. After a few kilometers, you'll make your way through the Presidio Park enjoying a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. You'll also pass through the Sea Cliff neighborhood, renowned for its extraordinary homes overlooking the ocean! After several kilometers of perseverance, you'll reach Golden Gate Park and then Haight Street! Just before the end of the race, you'll go by Chase Center, home to the Golden State Warriors. Then, you'll come upon AT&T Park, the baseball stadium that hosts the San Francisco Giants! Finally, you'll head to the Embarcadero for a triumphant finish facing the Bay Bridge and the Atlantic Ocean.

          • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 7:00 AM
          • Elevation gain : 40mD+

            A few more words

            This 10.2 KM race will let you explore the San Francisco Bay area with minimal effort! 

            Similar to the Marathon, your race will start at the Embarcadero near the Bay Bridge. Then, you'll run along the San Francisco Bay up to the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood where you'll loop back. Throughout your journey, you'll always have the Pacific Ocean in sight... The views are absolutely stunning!

            • Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 7:30 AM

              A few more words

              The route of this 5K race unfolds along the seaside in the northern part of the city, specifically in the Marina District. As you run, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, and, most notably, the Golden Gate Bridge. 

              • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 7:50 AM

                A few more words

                The route for this 5K run takes place along San Francisco's Embarcadero. Along the way, you'll be able to take in sights like the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and the Ferry Building. The course is relatively flat and smooth, making it an ideal choice for beginners! 

                The devil's in the detail

                The cost of races in the United States tends to be higher than in other countries, especially now with the inflation hitting the US hard.

                It allows you more leeway in your planning, with the option to cancel your reservation should your plans change or unforeseen events occur.

                Yes, you can leave your belongings in the morning before the race at the Expo.

                There are 16 refreshment stations planned along the marathon route.

                Yes, pacers will be available to help guide you through the course.

                Any more questions?

                You will need to go to the expo at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd, on Friday from 11am to 7pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm to get your bib and your collector T-shirt. If you're unable to attend the expo, a friend or family member can pick up your bib for you, make sure they have your bib number and a copy of your ID.

                Yes, shuttle services are available for runners of the second half marathon from the main start line near the Embarcadero to the start line of the second half marathon (located in the Presidio, 610 Old Mason Street... at Sportsbasement). 

                Shuttle services will also be available for runners of the first half marathon from the finish line in Golden Gate Park back to the Main Finish Line Festival on the Embarcadero.

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