San Francisco Marathon 2013 Review

I ran my first marathon here in San Francisco, back on June 16th, 2013. The course itself had plenty of beautiful scenery even for those who are familiar with the area, you’ll still get excited looking around. You won’t regret running the Wipro San Francisco Marathon except for the hills but that is what makes it fun right?

How Race Day unfolded:

Woke up at 4:20AM to get ready for the race. Runner’s high for good luck right? HA! My wave was #7 and started at 6:22AM. Since everything was ready, I grabbed my gear (and coffee!) and drove to San Francisco.

I was dropped off by @tammiedinh510 so I didn’t have to worry about parking. I arrived in the city at 5:30AM.

Coming in early was actually a good thing because I had to wait for about 15 minutes for the restroom.

At the starting line, I took a few pictures and videos of the sunrise.

Wipro San Francisico Marathon

San Francisco Marathon Starting Line

Wipro San Francisco Course Map

SF Marathon Course Map Elevation

Ready. Set. Go!

MILE 1 – 2: First Half and Full Marathon Starting LineWipro San Francisco Marathon Starting

My plan was to have these 2 miles be my slowest miles to conserve energy and I had that fear of bonking and cramping because I have a history of 2 cramps in 2 different races.

Check out the story here: Spartan Beast

Also the terrain was flat so it was the perfect warm up.

Mile 3-5

SF Marathon Mile 3 to Mile 5

Time to speed it up! I went on marathon pace which was averaging 10:15. Around this time I passed up the 4:55 pacer. The scenery is just beautiful because there were no clouds or fog in the golden gate bridge.


(Not actual Race Day pic)

Mile 5.5-9.5 Golden Gate

Wipro SF Marathon Golden Gate

The Golden Gate Bridge starts starts and ends around this distance. The bridge also has a slight elevation gain/loss and not exactly 100% flat. Don’t worry you barley feel it.

On the way back from the halfway mark on the bridge, I suddenly had my name called


Just so happened I bumped into Michelle @inanutchelle


Anyone have an answer to the question above đŸ™‚

Mile 9-11.5 Down Up Down Down

SF Full Marathon Lincoln BLVD

Lincoln Blvd is full of rolling hills and a good amount of downhill! I’m going to say there was more downhill but as a side note, do not attempt to run it down if you’re not used to running downhill at a fast speed. You will cramp! (Happened to me : US Half Nov 2012)

My pace at this point was 11s-12s due to hill climbing.

Mile 11.5-12.50 Richmond District

Wipro Marathon Richmond District

I ran this exact path before and these were even more rolling hills! Suddenly my pace dropped to about 11-12mins miles. Still had energy but you can slowly feel your legs get a bit weaker.

You can tell that the hills are overpowering a lot of runners. A lot of runners were walking.

Mile 12.50- 19 Run through the Forest

Marathon Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park. I call this the “Never Ending Forest” This literally broke me down.

To make things worst, the sun was gone and I were left with a cool wind and a very lazy atmosphere.

Reminds me of this :


Seriously, Golden Gate Park is Beautiful in any weather but under the sun it’s just way better

(Not actual race day photo)

When I hit Mile 13.1 I was tired already. A lot went into my mind and I started questioning myself during mile 13.1-15mile

  • You’re feeling tired and only halfway
  • Just give it up already, run another one next month
  • You got this far, it’s good just stop running now
  • Look at everyone else, some are walking
  • These people are passing you up.

I kept up with the 4:55 pacer before I passed Mile 14 and was left in the dust.

Snacked on a slim jim, salt packets, and a clif bar.

My moral just ran dry from there.

Mile 16 Restroom Break

I stopped completely for my first restroom break since my pace was already sinking to 12:30mins-13miles and there’s no way I will pass the passer. Took my last salt packet and ate a clif bar.

Had no idea my bladder was that full when I walked out of the porto potty.


I felt recharged and I was back on 11/min again. The next few miles were cake for my physical being but my mental status just hated me at the moment.

Mile Twenty 20

The race just started.

SF Marathon Mile 20

Once I got out of that endless Forest (I still hate you right now) , I hit the 20 mile marker which I applauded myself but then I realized now “I’M HALFWAY”. At least we were back into the city and had a lot of cheers from strangers. YAY!

Now the sun was up but you’re getting fried now. There’s a huge temperature difference but it wasn’t “too hot”

Mile 21 Mile 22 Mile 23

That took forever!

I swear to god, time just slowed all the way down. I would look at my watch and it would say 21.60 then it felt like 10 minutes later it would say 21.70!! Oh Gawd!

Mile 23-24

It was great when we took the turn to go up North. At this point I just felt tired but my confidence level was at 100%

Mile 24.50 was the last water stop

I stopped here to recharge so I can finish with a blast and I knew that by the time I finished, this stop’s hydration was for post race recovery.

Then it happened

Michelle caught up to me! So from there we just gunned it down the track. Our pace got up to 10:30 and this was good considering the hot sun and exhaustion . I can see we were passing up a lot of runners, everyone was at the verge of heavy fatigue.

Honestly all those runners just needed that extra boost

Mile 26 : Home Stretch

Full of adrenaline. I know it’s a finish for RunningMileCom. My last bit of energy we just used our fast twitch muscle fibers and sprinted to the finish. Note that these muscle fibers still have more energy because they have no been used as much in the last 26 miles!

Got the pace down to 8:30 and then topped out at 7:40.

Human body is incredible! 


WOW! Just WOW! Couldn’t get tears of joy due to 26.2 Miles, but I was speechless. I got my medal, free food, and took pics!

RunningMileCom and Inanutshell

And to the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden!

Asked the bartender “What’s the strongest?”. >>> Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Sierra Nevada Beer Garden

Used my SF Marathon Heat Blanket as a place to sit/stretch (there was really no use so late in the day now to keep warm) sat down and I just chilled.

Literally chilled and daydreamed. Drank my beer and spoke to a few runners. Everyone was in a good mood.

$5 for a beer but I still had another one.

Walked into Perry’s


Decided to eat first before I take the dreaded 50min BART Ride home. Spoke to some more random runners at the bar and had a good time!

Cheers to the random lawyer guy who bought me a beer

Perry's SF

Runners are sociable.  Even walking around the city to the Bart Station, people gave random high fives and yelling to congratulate you while in their cars.

Headed home and iced.

Knocked out for a few hours then of course..went out to celebrate, even though I couldn’t walk straight!

“This is the longest 10k I ever ran” – Jason Tolentino (RunningMileCom) 2014

Get Social!


Running Fanatic who loves to inspire people through Social Media. I have been running for over 3 years ranging from mud runs, 5k and all the way up to marathon running. Isn't it great to run!?