The San Francisco Marathon: Golden Gate Challenge V


By Diane Rudholm
Photos by Myles Smythe

Photo at right: Runners prepare themselves at the starting line of the San Francisco Marathon on July 27.


The San Francisco Marathon weekend was absolutely remarkable, well-attended (it sold out!) and inspiring. Unfortunately, though, my husband and I didn’t get to participate as planned.

While we were careful about avoiding training pitfalls that would hurt our joints and muscles beyond use, we weren’t so careful in other areas. Basically, we messed up our lungs and energy levels by continuing to train hard when both of us had lingering mystery coughs.

Hindsight is 20/20, and we should have traded out a long run or two for some rest or gone to see a doctor sooner. In any case, our mystery coughs progressively got worse with each run for a while. My husband’s cough turned into bronchitis. Mine turned into pneumonia. We’re on the mend but pretty disappointed.

Pacers help their fellow runners meet their race goals as they cruise past Pier 39.

While we may have missed out on an awesome weekend in San Francisco, there were more than 25,000 people who did get to be there for the races (which included the full marathon, a double marathon, two half marathon routes and a 5k run), including social-activist and homeless artist Robbie Goodman who completed his first half marathon to raise funds for a community organization called Hospitality House ( If you aren’t familiar with Robbie, check out his art and the press links on his website ( I’m definitely a fan.

Runners keep going strong as the morning sunlight floats through the clouds.

Our friends in San Francisco told us that the streets were packed, and that the sold-out event meant that there were a record number of people out on the streets. Of those 25,000-plus people in attendance, there were some truly incredible runners – not only in terms of skill but in terms of background and motivation, too. Kudos to all of the runners who made it out, and huge congratulations to the runners who placed in each category! August Brautingam of Reno, Nev., won his first full marathon in the men’s category with a time of 2:32:16. Anna Bretan of Berkeley, Calif., placed first in the full marathon women’s category for the second year in a row with a time of 2:47:50. For a complete list of runners who placed for each event, go to:

Colorfully-clad runners make their way across the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you want to jump on the proverbial bandwagon for the next San Francisco Marathon on July 26, 2015, you’re in luck! Early registration is open:

Diane Rudholm is the managing editor and social media manager of OutdoorsNW.

Other posts about the San Francisco Marathon. . .

>> I. Up the hill!

>> II. Rain or Shine

>> III. Shift, improve and grow

>> IV. San Francisco or bust!

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to our Enewsletter