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!


Mile 8 starts on Guerrero Street at 15th Street before turning onto 16th Street. This section of the course is slightly downhill and runs along 16th from Guerrero to Hampshire streets. There is a lot to look at here in this lively corridor which passes through the colorful and multi-cultural Mission District.

TSFM14 Michigan Bluff Photography

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.

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.

The intersection of 16th and Mission streets is the heart of the Mission District. 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 at Harrison Street just before the end of Mile 8 a few blocks later.