San Francisco is known for its beautiful seascapes and eclectic scenes. Instead of taking a trolley through town, tour the golden city by foot or bike! Our favorite races in San Francisco offer something for everybody with different distances, views, and vibes.
Oct. 1, 2017
The Bridge to Bridge Run makes our list for the best races in San Francisco for its simple, scenic courses. In both the 12K and the 5K, runners start downtown by the Bay Bridge and make their way along the shore, through Fisherman’s Wharf to Crissy Field with the Golden Gate Bridge in sight. With perfect weather and perfect views, this October race is a can’t-miss event for tourists and locals alike!
July 23, 2017
Each summer, the San Francisco Marathon takes more than 27,000 runners on an exciting tour through the city’s most iconic landmarks. Flanked by over 80,000 spectators, athletes start the race along the Embarcadero through Fisherman’s Wharf and Crissy Field. After running out and back across the Golden Gate Bridge, you head into the city to see Golden Gate Park, vibrant neighborhoods, and the home of the Giants at AT&T Park. Then, it’s back to the Embarcadero to toast to your victory at the finish line festival and beer garden!
Aug. 27, 2017
If you’re a fan of the San Francisco Giants, this is your race. It’s a weekend of family-friendly fun with a half marathon, 10K, 5K, Kids Race and Family Relay! Each race, as well as the pre-race expo and party, start and end on the field of AT&T Park for the ultimate fan experience. Plus, you get a commemorative bobblehead of a different Giants player each year to accompany your finisher’s medal and technical tee!
April 8, 2018
If you’ve ever participated in a Rock ‘n’ Roll race, you know it’s just one big party from start to finish! The course is lined with bands and true San Francisco entertainment like the Elvis Fist Bump and Drag Queen Disco experience. Plus, it’s one of the only San Francisco half marathons to cross the Golden Gate Bridge! You’ll run, sing, and dance your way from the city to the bridge, down the shore and back into the city for the Finish Line Festival and concert.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a 5K or 10K race through one of San Francisco’s most colorful districts: Chinatown! Festive Chinese dragons welcome you and 1,500 other participants as you start your run through North Beach, the Embarcadero, and the city’s financial district. In 2018, the race will be celebrating the Year of the Dog and its 40th year of supporting the local YMCA. Woof!
April 23, 2017
The Presidio makes our list for the best races in San Francisco for its beautiful views and variety of courses. Athletes of all ages and abilities can choose from a 10-mile, 10K or 5K course, all starting and ending in Crissy Field at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. There, you’ll enjoy live music, massages, hot breakfast and – our favorite – beer and Bloody Marys!
March 25, 2017
For a different view of San Francisco, tackle this half marathon trail through the Marin Headlands! As you reach the peaks of this course, you’ll have the Pacific Ocean to the west and the San Francisco Bay to the east, featuring stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s the perfect way to experience the scenic city without the hustle and bustle – but sign up early! Participation is capped at 400 and sells out quickly.
July 9, 2017
The Across the Bay 12K is a San Francisco classic! The USATF-certified 12K is a reasonable distance for most runners and has become the longest running footrace across the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll run point to point from Sausalito to Aquatic Park on Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Crissy Field. At the finish, take in the view and celebrate with live music!
June 11, 2017
Escaping from Alcatraz was never easy, and neither is this Olympic-distance triathlon. You’ll start your race by jumping from a ferry into the freezing waters off Alcatraz Island. After swimming the 1,500 meters to the shore, grab your bicycle for a challenging 18-mile ride through the hilly streets of San Francisco and the Presidio. Then, run the final 8 miles through Crissy Field and up the 400-step sand ladder at Baker Beach. By the time you finish, you’ll be ready to toast to your escape with a celebratory beer in Marina Green!
May 21, 2017
The Bay to Breakers 12K is San Francisco’s ultimate party with more than 50,000 participants each year. The world’s oldest annual footrace is also one of the biggest funk-fests in the country with costumes and music galore! All ages, abilities and lifestyles are welcome to make the trek from the San Francisco Bay to Ocean Beach, but be prepared for naked joggers if you bring the little ones. You’ll also see “centipedes” of 13+ runners linked together, “salmon” who run the race backwards, and the race’s pink gorilla mascot Ape Hashbury!
What San Fran race gets you going? Let us know and register for Athlinks to claim your results and build your California race calendar!12k