Why You Should Run The SF Marathon: 2019 Race Recap

Written by Dr. Lisa Gonzales is a 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Ambassador and 7-time pacer for the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. She is also a USATF certified head coach for South Bay RUN365 club.


This year’s Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon is in the record book! From new attractions at the Health and Wellness Expo to the latest smartphone apps to the new addition in Challenge Medals, Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon really shined as the must-run race of the year!


Let’s start with the Expo. The BSFM has a large, expansive expo held at Ft. Mason. Parking is always tight, but the extra walk is a great warm up for race day. BSFM offers a fairly large variety of race merchandise close to the entrance that is always a great draw and important first stop. For those who might have traveled to San Francisco for race weekend and left an essential item behind, they were just about guaranteed to find a replacement at the expo. Many race ambassadors were on hand to answer last minute questions about transportation and the course.


Race morning was clear, calm, and warm. Summers in San Francisco have a tendency to be cool and fogged in. But this year will definitely go down as one with chamber of commerce quality weather, although warm on the second half marathon course. It was close to 60 degrees at the start of the marathon and by the time the later marathoners were finishing up in the Embarcadero, it was mid-70s with no breeze. 


Aid stations were staffed by excited and helpful volunteers who cheered on runners as well as handed out hydration such as water and electrolytes from our official on-course hydration sponsor, Generation UCAN. Runners could enjoy the benefits of UCAN Hydrate due to its no sugar and zero calories, plus five essential electrolytes to replenish the mix of nutrients lost in sweat. The Berry Hydrate flavor was quite delicious and light in flavor. I was delighted to find it at every water stop. 


Also located at each aid station was a team of medical staff including doctors and nurses. Especially on such a hot day, the medical teams were ready to assist anyone needing medical attention and support. Runners could also apply title sponsor, Biofreeze, to relieve their cramped muscles and joints. 


Runners have become accustomed to the expertise of the long-standing Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon and its reputation for great customer service. The emails leading into race weekend helped runners have a stress-free race weekend. One of the perks is the partnership with parking company SpotHero that helps users prepay for parking and easily access their chosen parking lot. Not only was I able to find a parking spot by the finish line, I was able to arrive on time and relieved of additional race morning stress. Two other smartphone apps I found really helpful was the official Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Race app as well as Neurun. The Race App isn’t just for runners! The app allows you to track one or more participants along the course, at the same time (with optional push notifications on runner progress and race updates), and access important race weekend information, all in one spot. Nuerun app allows runners to visualize the course, clicking through smooth HD footage of the entire route with water, restroom, and aid station markers,  and plan out your race day strategy with RUN365 coaching tips throughout the video tour. Neurun reviewed all three of the top courses: the full marathon, the first half, and the second half. 


Did you know that the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon has a veteran team of pacers for the three races who not only meet their finish time within 15 seconds, but know the course and can coach runners through race strategy along the way? Most pacers return year to year and often compete on race day with the same runners who they ran with in years past. Likewise, Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon offers an ambassador program for race spokespeople of all ages and backgrounds. Their inspiring personal stories help to connect this international marathon with runners who strive to set new goals and encourage others. 


Few races can boast what San Francisco has to offer: beautiful scenery, great race day support, a high quality expo and a challenging course. Runners are able to run through most of the city’s neighborhoods and experience the culture and ambiance that makes San Francisco one of the world’s most visited cities. I look forward to running next year, and I hope you will join me at the start line in 2020!

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