Sunday, September 19, 2021 • San Francisco, CA • Course Maps
Note: A virtual option is available for the 2021 event. Registration details are included below.
For runners in San Francisco’s late summer/early fall marathon running event, you’ll have a choice you won’t find at most other races — there are actually two half-marathon events to choose from at this race, as runners may run either the first or the second 13.1 miles of the full marathon course. (There’s also an ultramarathon.)
Both races show off different parts of what makes the city what it is, 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.
The course for the first half marathon starts on the waterfront downtown, at Embarcadero and Mission Street, and takes runners on a point-to-point course that follows a mostly westward route along the waterfront through the city, all the way to Golden Gate Park.
Along the way, runners are treated to sights such as the sea lions barking on the shore along Fisherman’s Wharf to local architectural icons like the Transamerica building and the Coit Tower. The course also takes runners past the gorgeous homes and yachts in the Marina, as well as past the wetlands areas of the Presidio.
For the second half marathon, the race picks up quite literally where the first half left off, starting runners off in Golden Gate Park and taking them on what is largely an eastward route through the city, on the way toward the finish line on the waterfront at Embarcadero and Folsom.
From the start inside Golden Gate, the course first half unfolds almost entirely along roads through the park, taking runners past Strawberry Hill, the Conservatory of Flowers and Stow Lake.
The second half course exits the park on Haight Street and takes runners through a neighborhood that will take you back in time to the 1960s, past Sharon Meadows and through the Alvord Lake Tunnel on your way to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
From there, the course takes runners next toward the Mission District, which has a distinctly Latin vibe, and along the promenade behind AT&T Park, where Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants play.
After the baseball park, the course takes a quick run under the Bay Bridge on its way toward the finish line for the second half, along the Embarcadero at Folsom Street.
The race is run entirely on paved city streets, and for what is in many places a very hilly city, the race is thankfully free of any steep, sudden changes in elevation, either uphill or downhill.
There are hills, to be sure — most notably between mile markers 5 and 6, and 9 and 10 — but runners won’t have to climb the intimidating hills that the city is known for.
The 2021 race includes a virtual option for runners unsure of their race plans or what the next few months might bring.
Race Weather & Climate
San Francisco’s weather was perhaps best described by Mark Twain, who famously noted that “the coldest winter I ever saw was a summer I spent in San Francisco.” In September, the city’s weather is typically mild to moderately cool, while rainfall amounts during the month are almost nonexistent.
On race day (Sep. 19), the average low is 59°F and the average high is 71°F.
- 2019 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results (Virtual)
- 2019 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2018 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2017 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2016 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2015 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2014 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2013 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2012 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2011 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 2010 San Francisco 1st & 2nd Half Marathon Results
- 5:30 AM – full marathon
- 6:40 AM – 1st half marathon
- 8:45 AM – 2nd half marathon
Course Time Limits
- 3 hours – 1st half marathon
- 3 1/2 hours – 2nd half marathon
- $156 and up for the half marathon
- $186 and up for the full marathon
- $99 and up for the virtual half marathon
- $129 and up for the virtual full marathon
To reserve your spot in the summer 2021 running of either of the half marathon events at the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in either San Francisco Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.