The San Francisco Marathon Course: Mile 23
Mile 23 takes runners through the Potrero Hill neighborhood, down 16th street to 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue, heading east toward the San Francisco Bay.
Potrero is a residential area with an industrial vibe. 16th runs under the 101 freeway, passing warehouse buildings and bountiful condominium construction.
Many think the crookedest street in San Francisco is Lombard Street, but it’s actually Vermont Street located here, between 20th and 22nd streets near McKinley Square. Vermont is more crooked because of its steeper grade and tighter turning radius; it boasts a sinuosity of 1.56 versus Lombard’s 1.2.
Just past the 101 to the north is San Francisco’s Design District, starting at 16th and Kansas streets, stretching between the Potrero and South of Market neighborhoods. An influx of new residential housing and tech businesses over the past few years has livened up the area with a concentration of showrooms and upscale shops. Once open to trade-only, the Design District boasts plenty of premier showrooms that cater to the public. The heart of the district is Townsend and Henry Adams streets and the Design Center, but there are shops dotted among blocks within the borders and just beyond as well.
Anchor Brewing is just south of 16th Street down De Haro Street, operating a brewery and distillery in a historic building and has been in business since 1896. Anchor is one of the last remaining breweries to produce California Common beer, also known as Steam Beer, a unique 100% American style lager made with methods dating back to the late 1800s in California when refrigeration was a luxury. Anchor Brewery offers free tours on weekdays with free beer tasting.
Along 16th Street, between Bryant and Potrero streets, is the Safeway shopping complex. From 1931 to 1959, this was the site of Seals Stadium, an 18,600-capacity venue that hosted the San Francisco Seals and the Missions of the Pacific Coast League. When the then-New York Giants arrived in San Francisco, they played the 1958 and 1959 seasons at Seals Stadium while Candlestick Park was being built.
Potrero Hill was the fictional home neighborhood of Inspector Harry Callahan in the “Dirty Harry” movie series, and parts of the famous car chase scene featuring Steve McQueen in the classic 1968 action film “Bullitt” were shot here.
Water stop 13 is in the middle of this mile, as the course turns from 16th Street onto 17th Street. Mile 23 ends just past the 280 overpass.
About the author
Erin Mara is a writer and runner living in San Francisco. Her favorite city runs, along with her trusted training buddy, Izzy, include the Bay Trail from Fort Mason to the Golden Gate Bridge; Golden Gate Park out to Ocean Beach; and the Bay Area Ridge Trail, through the Presidio and out to the California Coastal Trail and Baker Beach – where she recently got engaged mid-run at the Pacific Overlook.