Welcome To San Francisco | Your SF Marathon Race Weekend Guide

Welcome to San Francisco! Where the city meets the bay and Karl the Fog (yes, he has a name) glooms over to cool you during the hot summer days. With so many places to eat and see, knowing how to plan your trip can seem overwhelming. The San Francisco Marathon team has put together a must-see list of attractions and entertainment while you’re in town. Still need to book a hotel? Check out one of our partner hotels here: Race Weekend Hotel Partner . Read below on how to make the most out of your weekend trip to our city by the bay.


Friday, July 24th

Crissy Field, Fort Mason, Ghirardelli Square, & Fisherman’s Wharf 

The Capital One Health and Wellness expo officially opens at 12pm-7pm on Friday so this gives you the opportunity to grab some coffee at Equator Coffee and go for a walk along the Marina toward Crissy Field. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the sites of Alcatraz Island, sail boats, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Make your way into the Marina District and you can find well-known breakfast spots populated with foodies and trendsetting San Franciscans. 

After your morning of sightseeing, head back to the Capital One Health & Wellness Expo located in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason. All race participants are required to pick up their bib, timing chip, and race shirt at the Capital One Health & Wellness Expo. If a runner cannot attend the Capital One Health & Wellness Expo, a friend or family member may pick up the packet with a copy of the runner’s photo ID. 

Once you’re done with the Capital One Health & Wellness Expo, it’s time to check out a few of the cities vibrant offerings. Walk up and over Fort Mason into Ghirardelli Square. Here you can take in views of the city by the bay and enjoy the shops, attractions and did we mention chocolate?! Also located near Ghirardelli Square is transportation spot for our famous Cable Car which you can take all the way to Union Square. Pro tip: buy your ticket in advance to beat lines. You can buy them here: SFMTA Trip Planner 

Within walking distance of Ghirardelli Square is the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf. Here you’ll be able to go shopping, rent bikes, and eat at waterfront dining. Known historically for their seafood stands; enjoy a stroll along the water enjoying attractions such as include Pier 39, the Sea Lion Center, and the Aquarium of the Bay.



Saturday, July 25th

Ferry Building, SF Giant’s Stadium, Union Square, Chinatown

Missed Friday’s opportunity to head to the Capital One Health & Wellness Expo? No worries, please join us from 9am-5pm to pick up your race bib and swag bag. Also, make sure you stick around for speaker events and nutritional advice from your favorite brands. Want to join us for our 2nd annual 5k Race?! Sign up today as one of the 1,000 participants. Join our Double Up Challenge for extra fun!


Once you’re done, head over to the Ferry Building to catch the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market which includes some of San Francisco’s best known chefs and famous farmers. 

Keep walking down the Embarcadero for a chance to see Cupid’s Arrow, the Bay Bridge, and the home of the San Francisco Giant’s, Oracle Park. At Oracle Park, you can hop on the Muni transit to head back into the Financial District for more shopping, food, and sites such as Union Square, Transamerica Building, and the Dragon’s Gate, the entrance to Chinatown. While in Chinatown, make sure you get some Dim Sum, and handmade fortune cookies at Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Co. 


Dinnertime serves as an excellent opportunity to experience San Francisco’s food culture. A few of our favorites restaurants are Wayfare Tavern, Cafe Claude, E’ Tutto Qua, North Beach Pizza, La Mar, Foreign Cinema, Outerlands, Gracias Madre, El Techo, Tartine Bakery, and Humphry Slocombe ice cream. Pro tip: take the elevator to the Top of the Mark for a night cap and 360 degree view of San Francisco.


Lastly, don’t be on your feet too much and keep hydrating. You’ll want to get a good night’s sleep before race day!



Sunday, July 26th

Race Day Highlights

After months of training, the day has finally come to race the 2020 San Francisco Marathon. Be prepared for an early race start of 5:30 am PST. The course is a scenic loop of San Francisco where you’ll run past iconic landmarks, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and through historic neighborhoods. 


2019 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador, Jeanne Corey wrote an excellent blog post on why she considers San Francisco the ultimate bucket list race. In this blog post, “Why I Run The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon,”she recaps her favorite race day highlights which keeps her coming back year after year. 

As you pass Oracle Park the anticipation of game day is in the atmosphere and at this moment, you know you have almost completed 26.2 miles. The roar of the crowd grows louder and louder as you make your way toward the Ferry Building where the finish line awaits. Get ready to throw your hands up in accomplishment and smile for the cameras! You are a 43rd Annual San Francisco Marathon finisher!


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