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SF Rec and Park: Keeping San Francisco Beautiful

One of our amazing TSFM 2014 Select Charities is The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. SF Rec and Park manages hundreds of parks, and so many of San Francisco’s most beautiful and fun locales. Plus they do a lot of great for our city’s youth. Check out this video and some of the stats about SF Rec and Park.

 
MISSION STATEMENT
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Mission is to provide enriching recreational activities, maintain beautiful parks and preserve the environment for the well-being of our diverse community.
RPD BY THE NUMBERS

4,113 acres of recreational and open space
3,400 acres within San Francisco
671 marina slips
220 neighborhood parks
179 playgrounds and play areas
82 recreation centers and clubhouses
72 basketball courts and 151 tennis courts
59 soccer/playfields (and growing)
1 Family Camp

RPD HISTORY
In 1866, less than 15 years after America’s first occupation of California, the people of San Francisco came up with the idea of a great public park to mirror one being developed in New York City (Central Park). Under the guidance of engineer William Hammond Hall and gardener John McLaren, Golden Gate Park was established on April 4, 1870, from what essentially was a collection of barren sand dunes. The Park Commission was established in the same year by the State Legislature, consisting of three members appointed by the Governor. The City took over the Commission in 1900 under the Home Rule Charter. The three Commission members oversaw decades of development as the park slowly stretched from Baker Street (the Panhandle) all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

In 1898 the San Francisco Chronicle ran the headline, “A Playground for City Boys,” which unveiled a new concept for the City to create an active playground where “boys can play and expend all the energy […]

By |May 21st, 2014|Categories: Charity||Comments Off

The Five Most Memorable San Francisco Marathons

I have completed The San Francisco Marathon for the past 5 consecutive years.  Most people assume it is an extremely tough course with lots of hills, but that is just not the case!  The full marathon course is ½ flat, ¼ uphill and ¼ downhill.  Personally, I love the changes in elevation and scenery, which are just a few of the reasons it keeps calling me back year after year.  Each year holds special memories and I would like to share them with you.

My first year running The San Francisco Marathon was 2009, just a few weeks after my very first marathon and I was hooked.  My family joined me for this marathon and cheered me on.  This was the ONLY time my entire family had attended one of my marathons.  My mom, dad, husband, 2 sons, daughter, and aunt and uncle all were there cheering me on along the course, and at the finish line.  It means so much to see your family there for you! My dad still recalls how much fun it was cheering on the runners, coming up with cleaver ways to encourage perfect strangers to keep running.  My elderly aunt and uncle sat at a near by bus stop, the only area where there was seating, waiting for me to run by and catch a glimpse of me!   Since then, it is usually just my husband out there, meeting me every 7 miles to hand off a water bottle, take a photo and give words of encouragement.  The kids have decided they would rather sleep in!

In 2010 I ran my personal best at The San Francisco Marathon.  It was a perfect day, the weather was cool and overcast […]

By |May 19th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Getting Back Out There

Once in my early twenties, I went for a horseback ride.  A group of my friends decided to go and when I told my mom, she asked if she could come. We got to the stables, saddled up, climbed aboard and set off for a lovely, evening trail ride. Then, about halfway through our ride, we decided to run the horses a bit.  My horse stumbled on a large rock and I went face first into the ground. NOTE TO SELF: BREAK FALL WITH HANDS NOT FACE!

By |May 17th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

When Reality Changes Your Relationship with Running

In 2012 and part of 2013, running was my life. Every weekend I was out somewhere, running something. I was working on trying to build a career post college. I was really excited for the future.  I was the inspiration and the role model.  I was getting faster every day (Even though I am still uncomfortable with it)

And then real life crashed.

My father, who had been dealing with multiple health issues fell and broke his neck. So for three months my priority was to help the family out, and my running schedule defiantly took a beating. It hurt, but I still was doing everything I could when I could manage to make it work.

Shortly after when he started to heal from his broken neck, he ended up back in the hospital in August. His battle with congestive heart failure, and lung failure had gone to the next level. Yet again, running was about making it work. I ran a few races when I could, but I backed out of doing one marathon. My time commitments changes, and honestly so did my money commitments.

I had to face reality.

I could not do it all, no matter how much I wanted to. I could not be there for my family, afford the schedule of running I wanted  to take on, have the time to train for what I wanted. I was still committed to training 5-6 days a week, but some days I was sneaking my training in between medical calls about my father, visits, research, trying to work on my own business ect.  There are some people in my life who have said that I should give up everything all together in terms of my running […]

By |May 15th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Running With Injuries

We are now 75 days away from the San Francisco Marathon. How are you all doing? Are your legs feeling stronger? Are those long runs getting easier? Or has your body fallen apart? Are you struggling with some minor aches and pains? A pulled muscle? Or something worse?

The only time I made the trip to San Francisco for this wonderful race was back in 2011, and I will tell you this, I was not prepared to run a full marathon. The story that you read next isn’t something that I recommend, but it is meant to serve as some inspiration for those of you with ailments that are surmountable in the coming weeks, leaving a few weeks to train yourself to get back into some semblance of running shape, or maybe those who are coming off of injury now and hope to complete what I argue is the best marathon out there.

Back in February I was mid-training for a couple of marathons, and the second largest race in the country (Bloomsday 12k run in Spokane, Washington the first Sunday of May), a five mile race on St. Patrick’s Day, as well as the WSU 100k (team relay). I was hitting my long runs early, getting in 20 milers and feeling great. I planned on running through my first one at the end of May, the Coeur D’Alene Marathon, and from there I would get down to San Francisco after a few more weeks of training and set my sights on the Boston Qualifying time on a pretty difficult course. I wasn’t afraid, I was fearless.

In March I headed to the start line of the five mile race. I ran it in under 31 minutes […]

By |May 13th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Savings Lives As Soon as They Begin

We have a lot of amazing marathoners who are running The San Francisco Marathon for a cause. Check out the story below and find out how you can do good with your run. Elizabeth Nelson – Danville, CA Running for: Nayeli Faith Foundation When I was 4 months pregnant our daughter Nayeli Faith was diagnosed with a severe birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). I had never heard of this birth defect. Doctors gave her 30%-40% chance to survive and suggested terminating my pregnancy. I never gave up hope for our baby girl.

By |May 9th, 2014|Categories: Charity||Comments Off

Bright Lights, Big Data

Armed with an arsenal of old running shoes in my backpack, I checked in at the UCSF RunSafe Clinic a few months ago to undergo a comprehensive assessment of my running form. I brought the shoes so that one of the Clinic experts could take a look at the wear and tear on the soles of the shoes as part of the assessment.

It was the wear and tear on the rest of me that prompted me to search for the clinic. Although I have been a runner since the age of 14, my casual running in the past several years had been causing chronic Achilles tendonitis. I’d tried some things on my own; a switch to minimal shoes and a shortening of my stride helped a lot. But frequently sore feet and occasionally injured ankles were still slowing me down. I was an ideal client for expert analysis by professionals at the RunSafe Clinic.

Dr. Anthony Luke opened the RunSafe Clinic in 2008. His was one of the first such clinics and he has amassed a significant amount of data on almost 2000 runners since his clinic opened. With such a large trove of data on runners who have visited his clinic, Dr. Luke is able to provide a comprehensive assessment of a runner’s strengths and challenges, and make evidence-based recommendations for runners who want to avoid injury and improve fitness.

The RunSafe Clinic assessment involves a four-station circuit. At the first station, a physical therapist (P.T.) examined the soles of the ten shoes I had carried with me. He then closely examined my feet, manipulating them to test flexibility and strength.

At the second station, a P.T. asked me to recline on a table while she […]

By |May 7th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

How I Started Running 14 Years Ago

You know if someone had come to me 14 years ago and asked if I ever would become a runner, I would have laughed right in his/her face. Me? Then, I was a mother of 2 grade-school children, I barely had time to take care of myself. Being a full time mom, I was the chauffeur, I was the cook, I was the cleaner, you name it, I was wearing all hats in my household. Why would someone that busy decide to pick up running then? Sometimes, I looked back and couldn’t figure it out myself. Fourteen years is a long time. It is basically the years it takes a child to go from his/her kindergarten years to graduate Grade 12. That’s 14 years! What had I accomplished??? Today, I look back and I can very humbly tell you this: I still have a long way to go! I had gone from a sedentary housemother to someone who thinks about running daily, not a moment goes by without a running thought crossing my mind.

You might ask then, how did I get started? I was out of shape, I was not confident, I was lacking energy, I felt inferior to Moms who had a career. There was something missing. One morning, after I dropped my kids at school, I decided once and for all to should join a gym. But which one? Since my university days, that was the very last time I stepped foot into a gym. I circled around the neighborhood a couple of times, and said, ”ok, this is it!” I had my big loose sweats on over my black leggings.With a number of deep breaths, I got out and walked into […]

By |May 6th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Practice Your Course

When training for a road race, you need to practice on the road. Don’t do all your training on the treadmill. You have to get out there and experience the pavement, the changes in level ground and elevation. Often we train on the same route or track, but in the event you may have to go up and down curbs, around corners, over dirt paths, concrete and asphalt. This can all effect your running form and if you haven’t practiced on it, may cause your shoe to rub a different way and lead to blisters.

By |May 5th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

The San Francisco Marathon – A History Lesson

Ah yes, The San Francisco Marathon, known as the race even marathoners fear, but do you know much else about this race and the history behind it?

Here’s a brief history lesson.

Held annually since 1977, except for 1988 when the event was called off due to lack of interest, the inaugural San Francisco Marathon was organized by Pamakids Runners Club, a local running club established in 1971 .  Pamakids Runners continued to organize the SF marathon until 1982, when the popularity of the event was such that they needed to relinquish organizational duties to another company.  Pamakids Runners later went on to create the San Francisco Half Marathon, which is now known by it’s sponsor’s name: the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon, another successful running event in SF.

The first San Francisco Marathon was held on July 10, 1977 and it’s first place finishers were Athol Barton, a taxicab driver from Reno with a time of 2:24:59 for the males, and Tena Harms from California with a time of 3:09:08.  The first San Francisco Marathon had less than 900 participants, which is astounding when you think about the fact that we had 5827 participants for the Full Marathon in 2013 alone!  It has really come a long way.

Since it’s inception, The San Francisco Marathon course has had its share of revisions and improvements.  Suggestions made to make the course a bit easier (flatter) so that runners could finish with a faster time were rejected.  Instead, the hills stayed, giving runners optimal views from some of SF’s best neighborhoods.

In 1999, the start/finish line was moved to an area near the Polo Fields of Golden Gate Park.  It wasn’t until 2002 that the start/finish area was moved […]

By |May 1st, 2014|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off