7 Tips to Crush It at The SF Marathon

Contributed by Jody Stoops, a 2018 Ambassador for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon.

This July 29th will mark my 10th year running at The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon (you can probably guess that it’s one of my favorite race courses!). From the early morning start, to the sunrise on the Golden Gate Bridge, to the lush trees of Golden Gate Park and the iconic views of the city, this marathon has it all. I refer to it as my own personal tour of San Francisco on foot!

Here are My Top 7 Tips for Crushing It at The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon

1.) The weather is usually perfect for a marathon; cool and overcast. With the early morning start, it is still dark and you get the majority of the miles in before the marine layer burns off. The only downside, it can be damp and drizzly on the bridge, so be careful and watch your footing, especially on the rubber mats that are put down over certain sections – they tend to be slippery. If you are lucky and start in an early wave, you will have no problem on the bridge with crowds, otherwise it can get crowded and hard to pass people, so just do so with caution, and please be polite.

2.) Most often I get questions on the elevation for fear that it will be a tough course with a lot of hills, but actually it’s half flat, a quarter uphill and a quarter downhill. The most difficult hill climbs are during the first half as you make your way up onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Pay close attention to volunteers and signage that will direct you during the race. As there are multiple events happening on race day, you’ll want to make sure you stay on course and don’t accidentally take a wrong turn!

3.) When in Golden Gate Park, take a look around. You may spot a buffalo! This is a beautiful park with spectacular flower gardens, ponds, and paths lined with lots of trees making it nice and shady. This is a beautiful section of the course, but it can be challenging due to the slight elevation climb while in the park.

4.) As you exit the park, there is a tough climb entering the city streets. There are some pretty severe downhills as well, so be kind to your knees. Also, be aware of the zig-zag traffic patterns, as you may be asked to cut over to a different street than the people running in front of you, but don’t be discouraged, the distance is still the same. This is the section where you’ll see a lot of police officers directing traffic, so be sure to thank them and the other volunteers out on the course.

Jody Stoops running The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon5.) Next, you’ll come back down towards the water and AT&T Park. This is when you know you are almost done, and all you have left to do is to run under the Bay Bridge and straight to the finish! By now the sun is usually out and the spectators are cheering at the finish line. This is the finish line for both the full marathon and the second half marathon, so make sure you finish under your correct clock (watch for signage and volunteers guiding you).

6.) Don’t forget to get all your finish line goodies, medal and photo as you proceed through the finish line chute. If you have earned other Challenge medals at this race, you will need to find the tent to retrieve those medals, as they will not be handing them out as you cross the finish line.

7.) Celebrate! My post-race tradition is to go to Dynamo Donuts for coffee and donuts, and celebrate the rest of the day with my family.

2 Replies to "7 Tips to Crush It at The SF Marathon"

  • comment-avatar
    Fabiola Lopez
    June 25, 2018 (2:51 pm)

    Do the pacers for the marathon keep even effort or?

    • comment-avatar
      The SF Marathon
      June 26, 2018 (12:31 pm)

      Our pacers strive to maintain an even effort. Depending on the pace of a specific pace group, some pacers may plan on walking through water stations while others run through them; other pacers might even take short walking breaks. Feel free to ask your pacer what their strategy is for the race, as knowing what to expect will alleviate any anxiety you have about the run ahead of you. Check out this recent blog post from Stephanie Laska, one of our pacers this year!