The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon

Sunday, December 4, 2016 • San Francisco, CA • Course Map

Set to take place in the stunningly gorgeous — and very hilly and challenging — Golden Gate National Recreation Area just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, the North Face Endurance Challenge features a weekend filled with a variety of race distances, from a full marathon, 50-mile and 50K on Saturday to the half marathon, 10K and 5K on Sunday.

While full of scenic views and gorgeous trails, this course is not for the unprepared. Runners will experience plenty of climbing as they ascend a total of 2,253 feet over the course of 13.1 miles. The terrain is not very technical and there are portions of paved areas throughout the course, but this is mostly a trail race.

Runners will begin at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and take Bunker Road out of the main event site. The course then takes a fireroad until it reaches the first trailhead area that connects to the Miwok Trail.

After that, runners will take the hill up to Old Springs Trail where they will make a left. Old Springs Trail will be an easy descent at first and then turn into switchbacks. At the bottom of the hill, runners will pass through the Miwok Livery Stable and to the first aid station at Tennessee Valley.

This first section is tough — with almost 900 feet of elevation to climb right in the beginning.

(MORE: Is This America’s Toughest Road Half Marathon?)

After leaving the Tennessee Valley aid station, runners will take a paved path that turns into a fire road. The Coastal Fire Road then climbs 400’ in elevation in just a half mile. Once mastering the climb, runners will make a right onto Coyote Ridge Fire Road.

At Fox Trail, runners will make a right and take the trail all the way until reaching the pavement. Once the racers are back on pavement, they will make their way to the Tennessee Valley aid station once again.

Upon exiting the aid station again, the course will follow Marincello to the top of the hill. This next section is just 2.9 miles. Once at the top of the hill, runners will take a left on Bobcat Trail and then a right on Alta Trail. As the course reaches the final aid station at Alta, runners will know they only have 2.8 miles of downhill left.

Once runners exit the Alta aid station, they will take the Rodeo Valley Trail. The course continues along this trail until intersecting with the Coastal Trail. They will make a left and then cross a footbridge which will carry them to the perimeter of the parking lot along Bunker Road.

The final left onto Simmonds Road will be the perfect time to kick to the finish as racers make their way to the finish at Fort Barry.

Race Weather & Climate

San Francisco features a mild Mediterranean climate with moderate winters. December temperatures average in the upper 50’s for the highs and 40’s for the lows. An average of 4.57 inches of rain falls in December — so a bit of moisture is a possibility on race day.

On race day (Dec. 4), the average low is 48ºF and the average high is 60ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 8:00 AM – half marathon
  • 9:00 AM – 10K
  • 9:15 AM – 5K


  • $65 for the half marathon, if registered by March 16, 2016
  • $75 between March 17 – September 10
  • $90 between September 11 – November 30
  • $105 on race week, if not sold out


To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at here.

Official Race Website

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