The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Course: Mile 22

Ever wondered what running the The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon course is like? We asked local writer and runner, Erin Mara, to take us through the experience of running the The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon from a mile-by-mile perspective. What better way to join in the experience of the course than being able to get a sneak peek?






Mile 22 starts on Guerrero Street at 14th Street, and the course runs a few blocks south before turning onto 16th Street. This section of the course is slightly downhill and runs along 16th from Guerrero to Bryant streets. There is a lot to look at here in this lively corridor which passes through the colorful and multi-cultural Mission District.

Two blocks south off Dolores street is local favorite, Dolores Park, one of the most popular and packed parks in the city, offering 16 acres of grassy respite and incredible views.

TSFM14 Michigan Bluff Photography

At Mission Street a few blocks north at 14th street is historic San Francisco Armory, a 200,000 square foot 1914 reproduction of a Moorish Castle that served as a National Guard Armory and Arsenal until the 1970s. Today it is a quirky SF spot, home of, an adult entertainment production company specializing in bondage and alternative sexualities that offers public tours of the space. Ninety minute tours explore the history of building as well as the elaborate and cinematic sets that have since been constructed for use as production studios.

The intersection of 16th and Mission streets is the heart of the Mission District. Known for its tattooed, skinny jeans-wearing, fixie bike-riding, canned beer-drinking hipster population (it was named the second best hipster neighborhood in the country by Forbes), the Mission is the oldest neighborhood in the city — and one of the sunniest. It was named for Mission Dolores, founded in 1776, at Dolores and 16th streets. Many of the city’s pioneers are buried next door in the cemetery, like the first Mexican governor and the first commandant of the Presidio. The Mission and has the largest concentration of colorful street art and murals in the city. Notably, alleys like Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley offer condensed collections. The Women’s Building at 18th and Guerrero street boasts an impressive scene that is a culmination of a multi-cultural, multi-generational collaboration of seven women artists with themes including the contributions of women throughout history. The Mission is also known for housing some of the city’s best restaurants. 16th and Valencia Street is the original location of modern Vietnamese restaurant and SF institution, Slanted Door, which has since moved to its wildly popular location in the Ferry Building. Now, hot spots like Bar Tartine, La Taqueria, Foreign Cinema and Delfina call the Mission home.

There’s a water stop just before the end of Mile 22 at Harrison Street.


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.


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