12 San Francisco Half Marathons You’ll Love

Courtesy San Francisco Marathon.

Courtesy San Francisco Marathon.

“No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living” – William Saroyan

“San Francisco has only one drawback. ‘Tis hard to leave.” – Rudyard Kipling

Truer words were never spoken about this city, which has race after race scheduled throughout the year. Here are some of its best and most popular 13.1-milers:

1) Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K

If you’ve ever traveled to San Francisco and driven through or just walked past the gorgeous landscape that is Golden Gate Park, then you know why Runner’s World ranked this as one of the country’s most scenic half marathon races.

February • Race info & signup »

2) Golden Gate Headlands Half Marathon

Run along a backdrop that combines gorgeous natural vistas with views of San Francisco’s urban skyline in the distance, as well as a hilly and challenging course, this race features some dramatic changes in elevation — the half climbs and descends roughly 800 feet overall in elevation.

April • Race info & signup »

3) Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco Half Marathon

This race’s stretch over and back across the Golden Gate Bridge, which — if the weather cooperates — offers up some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever see. The sun glinting off the waters of San Francisco Bay, coupled with the dramatic red-orange architecture of the bridge itself, is something to behold.

April • Race info & signup »

4) Divas Half Marathon & 5K in San Francisco Bay

Pink is a color you’ll definitely see here, as runners don pink feather boas, pink running shorts and shirts and pink headbands for a race that starts and finishes at Bayside Park near the San Francisco International Airport, and never strays far from the waterfront with views of the city off in the distance.

June • Race info & signup »

5) See Jane Run Women’s Half Marathon – San Francisco Bay Area

Organized by the San Francisco-based athletic apparel company by the same name, the See Jane Run Half Marathon & 5K is designed exclusively for women runners, along a course that runs through Alameda’s Bay Trail and features views of the bay and the city skyline throughout.

June • Race info & signup »

6) Golden Gate Trail Run Half Marathon

Mountains, beaches and a challenging hilly trail run through a vast, unspoiled wilderness that sits right across the bay — that’s what awaits runners at this race, part of an event that also features a full marathon, 50K, 30K and a 5-miler.

July • Race info & signup »

7) The San Francisco Marathon & Half Marathons

There are actually two half marathons at this race, and each shows off different parts of the city, from the Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf in the first half to the scenery of the second half, including gorgeous Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury district and AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

July • Race info & signup »

8) ZombieRunner San Francisco Run Half Marathon

Part of a series of more than 20 races in the Bay Area, this race unfolds through the Presidio and the parks along the San Francisco coastline. You’ll run through Fort Point and the Presidio, and then Baker Beach, Land’s End and Sutro Heights Park along the area known as South Bay.

August • Race info & signup »

9) The Giant Race Half Marathon

If you’re a baseball fan and you live anywhere near the Bay Area, this is the race for you, as runners finish their 13.1 miles literally by crossing home plate inside San Francisco’s gorgeous AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

September • Race info & signup »

10) Golden Gate Half Marathon

Formerly known as the US Half Marathon, the Golden Gate Half takes uses the same course since its first running in 2002 — a run that starts and finishes next to Aquatic Park and then unfolds across the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, to the Marin Headlands and back.

November • Race info & signup »

11) Salomon CITYTRAIL San Francisco Half Marathon

This hilly race features a mixture of single track, crushed gravel, and asphalt, with an out-and-back course travels along the north end of San Francisco with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay as backdrops.

November • Race info & signup »

12) The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon

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 full marathon, 50-mile and 50K on Saturday and the half marathon, 10K and 5K on Sunday.

December • Race info & signup »

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