The Bay

Guest Blogger Eric Jorgensen

The first time I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge was during last year’s San Francisco Marathon. It was crowded and I focused on the tight space between my lead foot and the trailing foot of the racer in front of me. I did manage to notice a guy wearing a cape and people in tutus, though.

I ran across it again last weekend and still had to tip-toe around strollers, bicycles and so, so many tourists—it’s funny to think that in only two and half months I have transitioned from wide-eyed spectator to a grumbling native. I was a third of the way across the bridge heading north when, I believe for the first time in my life, I stopped in awe.

In my short time of San Francisco runs, I have seen a band of naked cyclists, a gang of people in pink gorilla suits high-fiving strangers, a man wearing a street cone on his head dancing on Embarcadero in heavy traffic, countless people assaulting busses that left them rideless at a bus stops, and lots of sea lions.

Dodging tourists and bouncing across the bridge I looked to my right, out over the bay. I stopped running. I was taken back. The bay was beautiful.

Dozens of sailboats skimmed across the water around Alcatraz, and around Angel and Treasure Islands, and near Tiburon, Marin and the City. I could see Coit Tower where Christopher Columbus is enshrined. I could see the Bay Bridge pushing and pulling commuters. I could see the Exploratorium, Fort Mason, The Presidio, Ghiradelli and Pier 39. I could turn around see to the Pacific Ocean’s horizon. Oh, and I was standing on the Golden Gate Bridge. The City is scenic and the best place to view it was from where I was standing.

I thought back to when I raced last July. I remember observing the sights as I raced, but it didn’t hit me like it did on my run last weekend. It stopped me in my tracks. This doesn’t happen to me often. Outside of humor and excitement, my emotional range falls between a robot’s and a lawn mower’s.

Even if you are from the City, you are going to love this course. The challenge is to catch a glimpse from the Bridge. You’re going to be jockeying for inches, but if you can look out to the bay, do it. It will be early in the morning and it won’t be brimming with sailboats fighting the wind, but it will still be beautiful.

New York City is often dubbed “the city,” and it is undeniably beautiful and alive, but I don’t know if any city is as scenic as San Francisco—the City—when you’re on the Golden Gate Bridge—the Bridge. In the past, I’ve asked where the best places to train are, but I want to know: Is there a more scenic city to train in than San Francisco?

If you haven’t signed up for the race yet, make sure you do so quickly. You don’t want to miss this.