The San Francisco Marathon

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Grow Organically and Sustainably

In 2001 the management team that had produced the Bay to Breakers for over 20 years resigned from that event to concentrate on building The San Francisco Marathon as a crown jewel for the city. The desire was to create one of the most beautiful and challenging urban road race marathons in the United States offering an idyllic summer running event. The race would be built organically with the local runner in mind, the quintessential San Franciscan healthy outdoor-lover, the one that embodies the natural, sustainable, genuine beauty of the city itself. True to local style, The San Francisco Marathon values authenticity and took on this effort with a philosophy learned from its two decades of producing road races.

In the spirit of the many entrepreneurial endeavors by individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area, the goal was to make the event sustainable on its own, to build its base focused on the very people that make up the event—the runners— instead of sponsoring-up with corporate logos that had proven to be unreliable in earlier efforts and for other events. The management team chose to take the long view and instead of courting large corporate sponsorships to underwrite the expenses, the team sought sponsors who will truly enhance the race, who will bring real value and benefit to every runner’s experience during Marathon Weekend as well as throughout the year.

The team wasted no time in securing the ideal course for local runners, one that crosses the Golden Gate Bridge offering a once in a lifetime and only opportunity to run on the roadbed of the famed bridge and hit some of the cities must beautiful hills—a perfect combination of stunning views and killer climbs. Thus, The San Francisco Marathon has remained a race rooted in local support, with 60% of participants hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area and 80% from California.

The San Francisco Marathon has begun to build a reputation attracting endurance athletes from around the country and the globe, who come to this event to share the same amazing aspects of the city that the residents love—to embrace and celebrate the challenge of running the country’s toughest big city marathon—rewarding the over 25,000 runners’ efforts with unparalleled breathtaking views and a Well Earned Finish to call their own.

In 2011, with The San Francisco Marathon joined forces with Wipro Technologies, naming them Presenting Sponsor of the event. The following year, Wipro became the Title Sponsor for 2012 and 2013. The partnership has allowed The San Francisco Marathon to set itself apart from other top marathons, offering cutting edge technologies to athletes and enhancing community programming. The San Francisco Marathon and Wipro strive to maintain the community experience and remain a race designed by and for the runners.

The race prides itself on being a bit different from the pack, like the city itself the race is more individual, the course more challenging, the terrain more beautiful – an event The Wall Street Journal referred to as “The Race Even Marathoners Fear” – we feel the accomplishment of finishing this race makes the many hills worth it.

RUN365

The mission of RUN365 is to educate participants by providing physical, mental and motivational tools to new and experienced runners that will lead to the completion of a half or full marathon and a lifetime of healthy running. Our training practices are based on RRCA coaching guidelines, fitness and nutrition research with a specific emphasis on the health and safety of each trainee. The run club supports the community by offering Train for Free, an optional fundraising program.

The San Francisco Marathon Fundraising Program

The San Francisco Marathon is a premier fundraising event. Runners have raised over $11 million for good causes since our fundraising program began in 2002.