What I’m Looking Forward to Most at #TSFM2018

Contributed by Erin Mink Garvey, a 2018 Ambassador for The San Francisco Marathon.

With the 2018 San Francisco Marathon weekend just eight weeks away, your training for the marathon, half marathon, 5k, or ultramarathon is probably picking up steam. You may already be imagining what it’ll feel like to cross the starting line and run in the city that Runner’s World famously dubbed the best American city for runners. If not, no worries; there is still plenty of time to both train and daydream.

This year’s race weekend will mark my sixth time participating in one of The San Francisco Marathon’s events, my fifth year as an ambassador, and my fourth go at the challenging and exhilarating SF full marathon course. The first time I ran a TSFM race, back in 2010, I flew in for a quick weekend from Chicago to run the marathon “for fun.” After doing it – and having an absolute blast in the process, seeing and experiencing SF for the first time ever – I vowed I’d return.

Since moving to the Bay Area with my family at the end of 2013 for my husband’s work, I’ve been delighted to return to race the streets of SF every July. SF is my new “hometown marathon,” and as soon as I finish the race, I already eagerly await next year’s iteration.

There are so many things to look forward to when you run The San Francisco Marathon, either half marathon, 5k, or ultramarathon, that honestly, it’s challenging to pare down the list. Here’s my best attempt at describing what I look forward to most.

What I’m Looking Forward to Most at #TSFM2018

  1. The hills. San Francisco is synonymous with hills, and boy, are they fun! No, really! Train for them, and you’ll do great. (I promise!) The elevation varies tremendously depending on which TSFM race you run, but all the hills are runnable and guarantee some hard (and gratifying!) work. Plus, what goes up must come down…
  2. The running-favorable weather. More often than not, the weather gods tend to smile on TSFM race weekend. Of course, we may be subjected to something out of the ordinary, but generally speaking –and especially when compared to the rest of the US that’s usually in the grip of a suffocating heat and humidity wave in late July – SF in July is home to some perfect running weather. Be sure to check the weather and dress accordingly, especially if you’re traveling into SF for the race.
  3. The eclectic city. The city by the bay is relatively small in geographical size but dynamic in personality. Especially if you’ll be running one of the longer distances, you’ll be treated to a moving tour of the city’s many vibrant neighborhoods and personalities. Everyone has a favorite SF neighborhood, and you’ll be able to decide yours mid-race.
  4. The community. Since moving here and returning to the race nearly every summer, The SF Marathon race weekend has become a homecoming of sorts for me. I see so many people I know, both locals and folks who travel in for the weekend, during the race weekend that I feel like my heart is going to burst. It’s also a lot of fun to meet people I’ve connected with online through this race, such as folks who are in my Strava training group, and perfect strangers I meet at the Saturday shake-out run. Chances are that even if you’re traveling in from the other side of the country (or even the other side of the world), you’ll probably know someone else running one of the events. Don’t be a stranger; runners are a friendly bunch.
  5. The bridge. There’s only one Golden Gate Bridge; one man-made, International Orange-colored architectural feat. Seeing it while breathing in the crisp ocean air is a pretty cool experience. If you’re lucky, and Karl the Fog isn’t out on race morning, you’ll be treated to some lovely views of Marin County and SF during your run. Soak it all in!

There’s so much to love about running the streets of the San Francisco marathon, half, 5k, and ultramarathon, and I especially appreciate that there’s something for everyone during race weekend. Whether you want a hilly and scenic half marathon, a flat and fast 5k, or a challenging and tactical marathon – or the beast that is the ultramarathon! – you’re guaranteed a good time when you run SF.

#ThisIsHappening – it’s time to get excited!      

2 Replies to "What I'm Looking Forward to Most at #TSFM2018"

  • comment-avatar
    Allan Holder
    June 2, 2018 (11:18 pm)
    Reply

    Can runners wear costumes?

    • comment-avatar
      The SF Marathon
      June 5, 2018 (3:07 pm)
      Reply

      Yes! While we don’t actively advertise it, runners are more than welcome to wear costumes. See you on race day!


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