Bay to Breakers
The beloved and popular Bay to Breakers race is a 12 kilometer foot race that also doubles as the world’s longest and largest block party, starting from the Rincon Hill district near the Embarcadero, traversing a number of sights along the path, and concluding on the Great Highway on the Western edge of town.
Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
In this Escape from Alcatraz, participants are tested in three parts. First, a swim of 1.5 miles in icy waters, often below 60 degrees. After the swim, a bike ride 18 miles in length, going through various parts of town. The final challenge is a run of 8 miles long. By the time participants reach the finish line, a total of 27.5 miles of total ground will be covered.
San Francisco Marathon
The San Francisco Marathon is the Bay Area’s best official offering for those with knees and ankles of steel. This competition involves running a distance that is likely longer than the average commute to work, 26.2 miles to be exact. Running along the Embarcadero, through the Presidio, on the Golden Gate Bridge, through Haight-Ashbury, and through AT&T Park are all just part of the fun in this grueling, but invigorating race.
San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon
Although perhaps not as recognized as its Bay to Breakers counterpart, the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon is nonetheless is just as exhilarating as it is entertaining. This course offers participants a run through the scenery of downtown San Jose, with plenty of crowds, fans and entertainment to keep the energy and excitement going from start to finish.
Big Sur International Marathon
Although it’s a bit outside the Bay Area, the Big Sur International Marathon is a must for any running aficionado. It takes participants along Highway 1 from Big Sur to Carmel, offering unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, runners will traverse redwoods, ranches, and the famous Bixby Bridge. Be prepared to go to sleep very early the night before, though, as the race commences quite early.