The San Francisco Marathon Race Review

Lately I've seen a ton of negative reviews coming from the San Francisco Marathon.  Such as THIS one. However, every race is an entirely different experience for each individual runner. And I'm here to tell you that I LOVED the San Francisco Marathon! 
I had bad plantar fasciitis, was in pain the last few miles, but STILL had a great time.  So that says a lot.  Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'll keep the PROs and CONs short.  Then we'll get to ALL the awesome pics. ;-)
Now, here's a quick rundown of the PROs:
--The weather was PERFECT!  Overcast, foggy, slightly chilly but perfect for a full marathon.  The sun DID come out a little later but not until about mile 20. 
--The start was practically right under the Bay Bridge and since we were staring early, it was still night.  The Bridge was all lit up and made for an awesome start!

--The scenery! I wasn't the only one snapping selfies left and right!  We ran out AND back across the Golden Gate Bridge. Through Golden Gate Park.  Through the city streets, Fisherman's Warf, The Marina... and so many other great parts of the city! Some great opportunities for awesome photos. 

--Speaking of pics, this race offered all the digital photos for FREE!  You don't have to shell out tons of money just to post some awesome shots on your social media pages.  Some of the shots I've shared here were taken by the race photographers and I was able to download them in just three days after the race!

--All the aide stations had plenty to offer.  Granted I wasn't at the "back of the pack" like many that have written negative reviews, but I wasn't at the front either! Nuun, GU, water... it was all there and plenty to choose from.
--Post-race at the finish line, I was in muffin heaven!  I think there were two separate times to snag any sort of muffin I could think of.  Unfortunately, my stomach was upset after running 26.2, so I had to pass on the pastries.  There were also tons of chocolate milk, coconut water, etc. to munch on. 
--Afterwards, I discovered the city of San Fran itself is perfect for celebrating and "re-fueling"! I treated myself at every bakery I passed, and couldn't leave without having a Ghiradelli sundae! :)

 Every race does have its CONS:
--Early Start. The Marathon started at 5:30am. Pretty dang early for me, but at least you get to start early which means you FINISH earlier too!
--Fog. Unfortunately, the fog made the picture-perfect bridge a little less picture-perfect. But hey, check out all the shots I still was able to get. AND I was running across the freakin' bridge itself! The Fog didn't ruin the experience in my book!
--HILLS! It's a rolling course. Nothing HORRIBLE. But Hills are Hills. So don't go expecting a downhill, or pancake-flat course.
--Boxed Water. Yeah, boxed water. Like in a milk carton. Environmentally friendly, I get it, but the struggle of opening this thing post-26.2 was less than desirable. 

Despite my injury I finished under 4:30. Maybe not my BEST time, but definitely the most triumphant victory! .

So my PROs out number my CONs.  Overall I thought it was a great race!  Okay, okay, you wanna see more pics? BOOM. Check 'em out below! 


If YOU have ran the SF Marathon, let me hear how it went by sounding off below in the comments. 


  1. Hey, great job! I had to skip the pastries at the end too, but I did have a piece of cake later!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the marathon. I can understand why people had complaints, but I really thought this was an amazing race. I'm still a little emotional thinking about it!

    It was good to meet you, Bart, and the other guys at the lunch on Saturday!

    I have about a zillion things to say about running, so I started a blog too! It's still in its baby stages, but feel free to check it out if you want:

    Happy running, and hope to see you at TSFM again soon!

    1. Was great to meet you too! I'll be sure to follow your blog! Happy Running and I'm sure I'll be back to SF to race again soon! Maybe the 52.4 Worth the Hurt? :P

    2. And we'd love to hear what you have to say on where you can leave race reviews!! Come check it out! :)

  2. I have no idea about the lack of water and hydration. I had nuun and water at every station. I will definitely do this race again. Love that they gave away the photos for FREE and they were quality shots! Ummm, if I had a gripe, its only 1 and that is the gear pick up took me 40 mins. there was only 1 staffed at our ups truck and we had the biggest range of numbers 10,000...while the other ups was only 1000/5000. Aside from that, I loved it!

    1. Apparently it was a big problem for the "back of the pack" runners, but while I hung out around the finish line, I didn't hear ANY negative comments. Who knows. I had a great time and now all my friends did too so that's what counts! Also, I didn't have any gear checked so guess I'm glad I didn't have to deal with that. LOL

  3. Maybe I spoke too soon on Steve's FB. There are some DAMN GOOD PICS on here!!! Good job man. - Marshall V.

  4. Looks like such an Amazing race! Def on my to do list!

  5. Great pics! I want to add this race to my long to-do list now!!! Ha, I totally just saw Boxed Water for the very first time at Nekter juice bar here in Scottsdale. Too funny!

    I hear ya on the 5:30am start time, yikes. I had a 5:30am start time for the Princess Half at Disneyworld which was unpleasant at first, but then I realized how fantastic it was to be done by 7:30am and beat Florida's heat and humidity!

  6. Looks like a great race, San Francisco is definitely a dream city for where I'd love to run a race! I was loving all the pros and was surprised about the 5:30 am start time and boxed milk haha! Either way it sounds like an amazing experience. So cool that you got free digital pictures!

    1. Boxed WATER! I know, crazy. LOL. It was definitely a great experience. You should definitely make it there to run across the Golden Gate Bridge!

  7. Love this recap! The race is on my list of must runs. Wish I could have gotten to it this year as I was in CA anyway. Interesting about the boxed water.

    1. You'd love it! Definitely a great bucket list run!

  8. well done!! pic's are great as is the recap :-)


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