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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

The Running Traveler: Embrace a New Place With Your Feet!

Beautiful views, trails, and lots of runners to share the road with: living in Colorado makes running a natural activity to take up. With all this beauty and open space, why would you want to run far from home?

Yet, it’s only natural that after some time you stop ‘seeing’ your run. You gravitate to same routes, the same races, and as a result you lose the excitement of discovery.  When I realized this had happened to me, I decided to take my run out of town. A good friend had recently moved to San Francisco, and I had never been there, so I signed up for the San Francisco Half marathon. I decided on this trip, I was going to be a sight-doer, not just a sight-seer. I was going to ‘run this town,’ because the best way to embrace a new place is with your feet! The decision would change the way I travel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That July, there were lots of runners on the flight from Denver to San Francisco. Everyone was pretty eager to chat; we were drawn to each other by the excitement of what was to come.

We traded racing tips and running stories. It was like we were already moving together toward the finish line.

Race day was even better. Running in a new city gives you a physical connection you miss when you simply drive to locations and ‘view’ them.

Running gives you a sense of what it’s like to belong there. You become part of a new tribe, moving toward the same goal, creating a common accomplishment when you all cross the finish line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That day in San Francisco I became a ‘Running Traveler,’ transforming my racing, and expanding the travel experience. Who […]

By |April 29th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

The San Francisco Marathon and Elevation Pacing

“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” — Jack Kerouac, On the Road

By |April 28th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Boston Stronger

The San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors were out in force at the 2014 Boston Marathon. Like for many other runners, this marathon was our chance to honor the victims of the tragic events of last year, and also to pay tribute to the great people of Boston.

The Boston Marathon, more than ever, has shown to the world that it is the model of all marathons. Why is it so special? Yes, it is the oldest annual marathon, and the one that only admits accomplished marathoners based on qualifying standards. But yesterday’s marathon showed that it is much more than that.

Is there any other city that lives in perfect unison with its marathon like Boston? Boston is strong, as we have heard over and over since last year’s events. The total, unconditional success of the 2014 marathon made it stronger.

Celebration and camaraderie started at the finish line, where thousands gathered during the hours preceding the start of the marathon.

Runners then had the pleasure of attending their pasta dinner, a tradition not to be missed in Boston, where for the occasion the mayor, the race director and Bill Rodgers themselves served pasta to runners.

There were many more runners this year, 9,000 more to be precise, for a total of 36,000. It is only natural that runners had some concerns over logistics. The organization handled the extra strain wonderfully. To start, the restrictions on checked bags, well explained in advance to runners, did not create problems. Also, the loading onto the yellow buses that take runners to Hopkinton was neatly channeled for first time through actual bright yellow “gates”. There were 47 of them, as many as the buses in each fleet departing from downtown Boston in continuous […]

By |April 22nd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

TSFM Loves Boston

Year after year, we revere the third Monday in April, arguably the most sacred and meaningful day for the marathoning community: Boston Marathon Race Day. For over 100 years, Marathon Monday, Patriots Day, has been a day of celebration in the commonwealth—and for those lucky schoolkids and employees, a day off from school and work—but today, on the first-year race anniversary of an atrocious act of violence on our sport’s most hallowed ground, we can proclaim, with a conviction so deep and real that it’s palpable, that today is the most celebrated day in the running universe.

By |April 21st, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Simple Truths of Training

I started running when I was a just a kid. I ran my first race (that I can remember, at least) when I was six-years-old and cruised in for a mile time of 8:22. Not bad, right? I must admit, as I grew, I took many hiatuses from running for various reasons. But, I’ve always come back to it. I suppose it took me a while to fully appreciate and respect the sport; to figure out how to make it work for me, instead of against me. Without the proper understanding about running, it can be a most challenging beast to tame. And (spoiler alert!), until you figure it out, that bronco’s gonna buck. At least that was the case for me.

For many years, I was simply aghast at the thought of running a full marathon. 26.2 miles? Are you kidding me?! Even a half marathon was pushing it, but since there wasn’t the tale of the first person to ever run a half marathon and then collapsing to die upon finish, my case against it seemed to pack less of a punch. But, something inside of me decided to attempt the big 26.2 back in the early 2012 and I haven’t looked back since. By the time this is printed, with any luck, I will have completed my fifth full marathon, oodles of halves, and I won’t even admit to how many more fulls I have on the docket for fear someone might try and stage an intervention. Because, yeah, I’m that addicted.

Let me also say this, I work full time. I also have a daughter, a husband, and a determination not to let either feel neglected due to my running. I made […]

By |April 18th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Saving the Farm Animals

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.
Simone Hasenbein – Davis, CA
Running For: Animal Place
 

My husband and I are running the San Francisco Marathon for Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals in Grass Valley, CA. We’ve been volunteering at Animal Place for about a year and have learned so much during that time. Not just about the animals, but most importantly about what makes us better people in this world.

The people at Animal Place work tirelessly to put into action the ideals of universal compassion for non-humans and humans alike. They are one of the most consistent, honest and amazing people I’ve ever met and I’m incredibly thankful for having them in my life. Watching chickens, pigs, cows, goats recover after being rescued from cruelty cases or any other imaginable place makes you appreciate life. It makes you realize that we all can make such a big difference in somebody’s life, no matter what, and that we all are capable of so much more than we might think.

Running a marathon seems like the least we can give in return. My last marathon in 2013 (also in SF) was very painful due to a knee injury, but since I was raising funds for this wonderful sanctuary, it literally made me go the extra mile all the way to the finish line. I knew I can’t drop out since I made a commitment and I wanted to stick with it. Crossing the finish line knowing that I just finished my very first marathon despite all this pain because of Animal […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Categories: Charity||Comments Off

What Moves You?

“Running is a mental sport and we’re all insane” ~bumper sticker on my car. I think it is safe to say that the majority of healthy adults could finish a marathon.  Maybe they couldn’t run the whole way or qualify for Boston, but they could finish. So why has only approximately .5% of the US population actually accomplished this goal? It isn’t because their bodies can’t do it, it’s because their MINDS think they can’t. A marathon is run with strong legs, healthy lungs, pumping arms, a clear mind and an open heart.

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

The Soundtrack of a Marathon

Whether or not to listen to music while running can be a hot debate in the running community, but when I started running several years ago, I never even questioned it. It was just a given that I would. Seriously: Music was as integral a part of my early running experiences as shoes were. About 90% of the reason I started running in the first place was to have an excuse to buy a new iPod Nano, complete with Nike+ iPod kit. My husband’s first running-related gift to me was a mix of running songs from the iTunes store. I loved picking out new tunes and podcasts, making playlists, and developing deeply held opinions on the best headphones.

By |April 14th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Empowered Children. Transformed Lives.

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. Sara Jones Running for: Children of Grace I am running the SF Half Marathon to raise money for Children of Grace, an amazing faith-based Non-Government Organization that provides education, mentors, basic healthcare and hope for orphans who have lost their parents to the the AIDS pandemic in Uganda. 

By |April 11th, 2014|Categories: Charity||Comments Off