What do you do for work and what do you like to do in your spare time?
I do customer success for a tech startup based out in Marin County. In my spare time, I run a lot. I’ve been traveling a lot more and I might just curl up at home and read a book.
What are some of your favorite places to run in San Francisco?
It’s mostly all in Golden Gate Park. I think it is the best lot of land you can run in maybe all of America. It’s incredible views and great weather year round.
How would you describe running in San Francisco to someone who has never been there? What’s unique about it?
What’s so unique about running in San Francisco is that you get a little bit of everything. Obviously, San Francisco is seven by seven miles. By all accounts it’s not too big of a city, but it has a very dense population and it has a lot of really cool urban trails, cool flat roads, hills, and times where you can run through these parts of San Francisco where you’re like, where am I exactly, because you’re in these forests and deep trees and there’s all kinds of different terrain . No matter where you’re at in the city, you can catch yourself in these unique parts.
How has running shaped your perspective of San Francisco and the Bay Area?
Running, especially in San Francisco, has completely changed my lifestyle, and my perspective of this place. San Francisco is in movies and there’s a lot of cool tourist spots, but when you get to explore this area on two feet, you discover a lot of new areas. That’s how I got into running, actually. I was reading a book and they hit a lot of landmarks in the city. So I just kind of checked it off. I went to Presidio, I went to Lovers Lane, learned about the history of Lovers Lane and through there, found my footing in running.
Why is running an important part of your life?
Running now occupies a space in my life where that’s where I get all my socializing, where most of my goals are set, and it’s kind of where my sense of accomplishment comes from. A lot of the adventures and travel that I go on is running related and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a cool way to use your own two feet, your own strength and fitness to discover these new areas.
How would you describe the running community here in San Francisco?
The running community in San Francisco is so unique, so vibrant, and it’s a melting pot of different kinds of experiences, people, backgrounds, and goals. You have your ultra runners, you have your marathoners, you have your track runners, pretty much everything you can find and some weekends you’re on a long run in Golden Gate Park, and all those people come together and we all run together.
Do you have any specific favorite running memories here in the city?
Ironically enough, during the pandemic and 2020, there were these really cool projects happening throughout the city. There were these challenges where you run different segments for time. There were virtual races that were happening. Also friends were undertaking these big running endeavors and being a part of all that was a really special time.
Have you ever run the SF Marathon or Half?
I did The San Francisco Marathon in 2018 where I was actually an ambassador for the race. I had such a good experience. I was still new to marathoning. It was only my second marathon ever and so my expectations were low, but the delivery of the race was very high. I got to explore parts of the city that were really cool, run with people, and it was a very quiet race. It starts at like 5 a.m. and while everyone is still sleeping, you’re running through the city, which is a really cool way of experiencing San Francisco.
What’s your favorite part of the course?
My favorite part of the course is the section where you’re coming down one of the Richmond streets and you’re heading into Golden Gate Park and then you kind of loop through Golden Gate Park and you’re coming out to Haight Street. Haight Street is usually where all the people start lining up and cheering for you. At that point you’re at mile 18 of the race and in a road marathon, that’s when your legs are starting to hurt and you’re starting to really need that boost from people. For me, that was the most memorable part.
Why should people come to the San Francisco Marathon?
The San Francisco Marathon is such a unique race. Obviously the Golden Gate Bridge is the most iconic part of the race, but people don’t realize there’s so many other parts of San Francisco. All you gotta do is explore on two feet. It gives you really cool views of the Marin Headlands. It gives you really cool views of pretty much all the city. Any advice for someone who’s looking to start running or switch to trails or longer distances? I would say the best way to get into running is to just get out and run one mile, if that’s what you’re capable of doing. Use that as an opportunity to meet people and have their experiences teach you how to get better and faster, if that’s something you want to do, teach you about what
races to sign up for. Meeting people and using their wisdom and experience is a great way to expedite your experience of running.
What keeps you in San Francisco?
The community that’s been built out here. The community with running has really, really helped me out here. There’s been a couple of times in more recent years where the opportunity to leave has come up, but I just can’t turn my back on this community. I think the running community is amazing. We overlook the high prices of things for the community and the things that bring you more intrinsic value.