I have to say I’m honored to have Pavement Runner visiting today. He’s a witty one and comes up with clever 140 character compositions that would probably take me a few hours to compose. He’s a runner extraordinaire with an adorable pup and little girl. And he’s from San Francisco. What’s not to like?
I’m happy to be a guest post on Love, Life and Surf. Christine was very gracious in agreeing to guest post over on my blog last month. She provided 5 running locations in NY for my blog, so I was excited to return the favor and share 5 running locations in San Francisco.
This is a great place to start because it has a several running options. You can head north-west and run to (or across) the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also head east and run through the Marina and enjoy all the million-dollar homes with views of the Bay, Palace of Fine Arts and Alcatraz. Another option is to go south and explore the Presidio which is typically quiet, hilly, and as close to trail running as you can get within the city. If you are starting (or ending) at Crissy Field there is also a Sports Basement and it’s always a great place to shop and re-stock supplies, at a discount.
Golden Gate Park
Love it or hate it, you can’t find a more run or bike friendly area in the city (it is also 20% larger than Central Park in New York). There are various routes you can take to explore different areas. It is over three miles long (east to west) and a half mile wide (north to south). It has two lakes, two windmills, two museums, several gardens, a stadium and a conservatory… and of course, several bathroom options which is alway important when running. You can also exit the park on the west end and enjoy Great Highway, the beach and get in some hill work climbing up to the Cliff House. Penny games anyone? Also, if you haven’t taken a potty break at the Beach Chalet, you can’t be considered a Bay Area runner. #unofficialruleijustmadeup
Along the Embarcadero
This would be the 2nd option for “run and bike friendly” areas in the city, the only reason it gets knocked down is because of tourists and cars. The trick is to run it in “off” hours and you’ll have a long stretch of distance with no lights for you to wait at. Fisherman’s Wharf at one end and AT&T Park, home of the 2010 World Series Champs, at the other end. It’s a straight stretch of over 3 miles that you can run without any traffic lights… tough to beat that in the city. And another #unofficialruleijustmadeup is if you claim to be a San Francisco runner, then you have taken a number 1 at the Ferry Building at some point in your running career.
It’s San Francisco, there are hills. But if you are looking for a climb with a great view, head up to Coit Tower. You can take the road and twirl your way up to the top or come up from the Embarcadero side and get in some stair work. Great views, but you also have to be aware of heavy tourist activity and cars coming around the curves. It has sweeping views of downtown and the Bay (including Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz). Other hill options include: Bernal Heights, Nob Hill, and the famous California St.
Did you know that San Francisco is only 7×7 miles. That’s right. You could get all sections of the city in a single long run. I’ve done it on training runs and if you’ve run the San Francisco Marathon, you’ve hit most of the major spots. Here is a 22 mile run that will take you to most of the spots listed above. It has it at 21.6, but it calculates going by streets so it’s plus or minus a half mile. This route is also based on an early start time to miss most of the tourist traffic. Click here to look at the route in more detail and view what you’ll encounter.
Have you ever run in any of these San Francisco areas?
If not, which looks the most inviting?
A runner since 2006 after finishing his first marathon in Florence, Italy. You wouldn’t think that would be possible to top, but it was just the start. With 10+ full marathons completed and even more at the half distance, ultras have started to join the party. After a few 50k’s, a 50 miler is next up at the end of 2012.