How are those New Year's resolutions coming along? What's that? Not good? Oh, you haven't made any yet? Ok, we'll cut you some slack since it's only been one week since the beginning of 2013.
There's no better way to stick to fitness goals than to sign up for a running race. Whether it's the annoyance of paying a steep entry fee or the fact that you broadcast your grand goals to everyone you know, committing to a race is motivation enough to follow through with the plan. Not to mention, it's a fantastic way to get to know San Francisco as you breeze through various levels of training. Here are a few city races we recommend in the coming year:
The Bay to Breakers 12K is more of a rite of passage for a San Franciscan than anything else. If you have already quietly observed B2B from the sidelines, or participated in the debaucherous parade in full regalia, it's time to do it the proper way - run as a registered racer (it's only about 7 miles, so very doable with minimal training). All of the misconceptions about B2B (the drunks, the crowds, the public peeing) are thrown out the window when you actually run the race. With a 7 a.m. start time, don't be surprised that the Panhandle is completely empty as you run through and by the time you finish, most revelers are just crawling out of bed. Discounted registration available through 1/15 here. Sunday, May 19, 2013.
For those looking to ease their way into a running race, a 5K is just over 3 miles, so easy peasy if you've ever put one foot in front of the other and not tripped. This is a good warm up for Bay to Breakers a few months later. No 5 a.m. start times here, both distances begin at 8 a.m. in the middle of Golden Gate Park. It's a nice course because it covers the Panhandle before heading downhill through the length of the park out to the flat flat flat Great Highway. A good choice for those wanting to avoid SF hills at all costs. Register here, February 3, 2013.
The SF Marathon is popular worldwide because it crosses over the Golden Gate Bridge and back (a total of 4 miles roundtrip, in case you are wondering). There are also two half marathon options if the idea of 26.2 miles causes you to hurl. The first half begins at 5:30 a.m. from the Embarcadero and takes the bridge route. The second half begins at a much more reasonable 8:15 a.m. and though it doesn't go over international orange, the route carries you through Golden Gate Park, down through the Haight and the Mission, and finishes up at the Bay Bridge. Expect colorful fans, Burning Man art cars passing out tequila shots on the last three miles, and lots of fog (thank god). Discounted registration available through 1/15 here. June 16, 2013.
The Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon is sold out. Sunday, April 7, 2013.
Nike Women's Marathon
An incredibly challenging and hilly course (and we mean hilly), Nike Women's is open to both men and women, and is a bit more of a serious race as it raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. Registration is not available until April and it's a lottery system, so mark your calendars. Mid-October, 2013.