The San Francisco marathon is arguably the most beautiful and scenic marathon in America. It is packed with adrenaline just like in the other world’s major cities. The marathon gives the participants an opportunity to enjoy numerous eye-catching sights; within a span of a few hours in a non-tourist form. The marathon course stretches from the waterfront downtown through the fisherman’s wharf, then goes past the Golden gate park over the bridge then via the AT&T park and finally goes back to downtown.
San Francisco marathon is unique. It allows the participants to make a choice between two distinct half-marathons all on the same race course. The race also includes an ultra-distance running which is generally longer than the usual marathon. Pamakids, a renown runners club in SF, were the organizers of the maiden marathon which was won by Barton Athlon, in 1977. Less than 900 people participated in this first race. Its popularity grew with time seeing a gradual increase in participants in successive years to over 21,000 participants in 2009.
The race course has also gone through its fair share of modifications over time since it was launched. The starting point was the first to be affected. It was shifted to SF from Marin County in the 1980s. In 1999, the course was modified so that the starting and end points were situated near the Golden Gate Park. The stretch running across the Golden Gate Bridge instead of running along the Great Highway. Later in 2002, Embarcadero became the new starting and finishing point after moving from Golden Gate Park. The marathon prize has also gone through its own share of variations across the years. When it was launched, the winner was awarded a T-shirt. Since 1986 the prize was changed to cash and other greater rewards like cars.
Today, the marathon has grown to become one of the greatest events in San Francisco attracting great numbers of participants. Its greatness has not only grown due to the status it has built but also has become more attractive in terms of the prize. Participants can now get a chance to build a collection of medals by earning challenge medals on top of the finishing medal. Participants can also compete in the year-over-year test by taking on different sets of races concurrently as a way of challenging self. Furthermore, the marathon currently acts as the qualifiers for the famous Boston Marathon with 324 runners in 2018 qualifying for the Boston marathon.