Ever wonder what running the The San Francisco Marathon course is like? Let writer and runner Erin Mara, along with the SFM staff, take you through the experience of running the The San Francisco Marathon mile-by-mile. Get a sneak peak, then get registered and get training!


Continuing along the Embarcadero runners enjoy scenic bay views as they pass Skygate, a sculpture made in 1985 by artist Roger Barr. Skygate was the first piece of public art installed on the Embarcadero. Just after Skygate runners turn left onto Beach Street for an urban section of the 10K course.

Beach Street is a classic stretch of San Francisco with a mix of bars, restaurants and residential buildings. At every intersection, runners can see iconic Fisherman’s Wharf to their right. Towards the end of Mile 3 on the left runners pass the Cartoon Art Museum. Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum has something for everyone—from comic strips, comic books and anime to political cartoons, graphic novels and underground comix. People of all ages can view original cartoon art at exhibitions and screenings, produce their own comics and animation at classes and workshops.

As Mile 3 ends runners pass Aquatic Park on their right. The iconic landmark was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 26, 1984. Constructed by the WPA and turned over to San Francisco in 1939 the park includes the Maritime Museum, the horseshoe shaped Municipal Pier and Victorian Park, which contains the Hyde Street cable car turnaround. The grassy serene park is a perfect complement to the urban stretch of Beach Street illustrating San Francisco’s unique combination of the urban and the natural.