Overall Rating
Overall Rating (129 Reviews)
4.2
(129 Ratings)(129 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.7
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.8
The Golden Gate Half is more than just a 13.1-mile run through San Francisco. Rather, it is a spectacular journey through this stunning City by the Bay. The chance to run across the Golden Gate Bridge is an experience unlike any other, but it is far from the only breathtaking … MORE
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    If you haven't run over the Golden Gate, then this half is a good way to do it. There is a small technical section of trail that goes under the … MORE

    If you haven’t run over the Golden Gate, then this half is a good way to do it.
    There is a small technical section of trail that goes under the bridge, and a number of out and backs to get the distance correct. It has a nice fast flat finish, but it can get crowded with non-runners, so be careful.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
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    3

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    Profile photo of Mike Sohaskey
    M_Sohaskey REPEAT RUNNER '16

    BOTTOM LINE: The race name says it all—the iconic International Orange landmark that attracts tourists from all over the world is the main attraction of this race. And it’s worth … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: The race name says it all—the iconic International Orange landmark that attracts tourists from all over the world is the main attraction of this race. And it’s worth the price of admission. Not counting relays, this is one of only four races I know of—the other three being the SF Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll SF Half and Across the Bay 12K—that crosses the Golden Gate Bridge on foot. And whether it’s a clear day, or a foggy day, or a windy day, or a rainy day, I’ll never turn down a chance to run the bridge, especially with the added bonus of not having to dodge pedestrians on the walkways. I’ve run this race 3x now (twice in its original iteration as the U.S. Half) and could happily run it 20x more without ever tiring of the course—from the start in Aquatic Park through Fort Mason and the Presidio, to the bridge itself, to the quick down-and-back-up turnaround on the north side of the bridge, to Fort Point for a cool underside view, to the final mile along the marina before finishing in Fort Mason. San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the world, and if you don’t like running here then you probably aren’t cut out for urban running.

    Three things for first-timers to keep in mind: 1) In foggy or rainy weather, footing can be slick on the bridge’s steel access panels; 2) If you’re looking to set a personal best and this isn’t your first half marathon, you’ve come to the wrong place—this is San Francisco in all its hilly glory, and you’re more likely to enjoy the ride if you ease off the accelerator and focus on the journey rather than the destination; 3) This is always a crowded race, and for back-of-the-packers the first few miles can be tough to find elbow room. So if you’re a faster runner and want to ensure you can run at your own pace, do yourself a favor and don’t get stuck waiting for the porta-potties when the starter’s pistol fires, as I’ve done twice now. Line up close to the front of the start corral so you don’t waste valuable energy weaving around slower runners.

    PRODUCTION: Smooth as silk, for the most part. Sure there weren’t enough porta-potties, but then again there rarely are at road races, and if I’m planning to run a serious race I take no chances and hit the lines early. As far as the expo, it was small and easily navigated—we showed up on Saturday afternoon (race was on Sunday) and picked up our packets lickety-split with no waiting. The course was well-marked, not that making a wrong turn is a concern when you’re following several thousand people the entire way. And there were a couple of out-and-backs including opposite sides of the bridge, where you could keep an eye out for friends coming the other way.

    Despite the chilly weather, the SF Marina is an awesome place to finish a race. The highlight of the post-race party was catching up with fellow Raving Lunatics @kenspruell, @JennyMax and @emcclendon and enjoying a complimentary beer at the Sierra Nevada tent—never a bad idea after a 13.1-mile effort. And for those who brought their wallets, several opportunistic food trucks were serving coffee, donuts and other offerings. One production-related glitch: finish line volunteers handed out nice GGH-branded water bottles (which I now use regularly) but didn’t bother to make finishers aware of the huge jugs of water available near the back of the chaotic finish chute, so that several of us were left carrying empty water bottles while absentmindedly hunting for water.

    SWAG: I’m torn on this one; thus the 3-shoe rating. On the one hand the medal scores high marks for doing exactly what it should do—it features the Golden Gate Bridge (see photo, and note that 5K finishers weren’t so lucky), and for that reason it’s an eye-catching conversation starter. On the other hand the shirt is disappointing—a black tech shirt with ¾-length sleeves and an attractive-enough design, but with a sloppy neckline that made it look like a woman’s blouse on me and which earned it an immediate trip to the recycle pile. It also proclaimed “FINISHER” in huge white letters on the back, which seemed a bit presumptuous given how many runners wore the shirt *during* the race. Overall I’m much more of a medal guy than a shirt guy, so I’d say I came out ahead. 🙂

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    Kyrah Ayers Nov 28, 2016 at 12:04pm

    Great review. Sad I missed this year's race. In 2015 we ran on the pedestrian path. I'm glad they changed this.

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    Mike Sohaskey Nov 30, 2016 at 11:27am

    Thanks Kyrah, we missed seeing you out there as well... let's find a start or finish line to meet at soon!

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    Kyrah Ayers Nov 30, 2016 at 11:35am

    Definitely. I've been mapping out my 2017 race calendar (using RaceRaves of course). Check it out when you have the chance and let me know if you're interested in any listed.

     
    Profile photo of Katie Ho
    Katie_Ho FIRST-TIMER '16

    The Golden Gate Half & 5K provided an excellent reason for us to stay in San Francisco as tourists, since visits to the Bay Area often revolve around seeing family … MORE

    The Golden Gate Half & 5K provided an excellent reason for us to stay in San Francisco as tourists, since visits to the Bay Area often revolve around seeing family or friends.

    On race day, since the start and finish lines are at different locations (and because parking in that neighborhood can be a challenge), we took a short Uber ride from our nearby hotel to the Aquatic Park Pier, dropped off our bags (long line went quickly) and headed to the start. Weather was great for pictures the day before and after the race, though no bridge sightings on race day (note: 5K course does not run on bridge). But it was perfect for racing – cool with a light misting rain.

    The 5K course starts on an immediate but short uphill onto Van Ness Ave around Fort Mason to Marina Blvd. The turnaround is at the east part of Chrissy Field, going along a short stretch of gravel trail before heading back on Marina Blvd. My Garmin recorded the 5K as a little short, just shy of 3 miles.

    Post-race was festive… handed a free water bottle (volunteers could have done better job of directing to the actual water stations) and bananas at the finish, various vendors were handing out free samples (e.g. Muscle Milk, BarkThins dark chocolate pretzels – yum!) and a couple of food trucks were onsite selling coffee and donuts. The Marina Green was a pleasant venue to hang out afterwards, and the free Sierra Nevada pour at the beer garden was a nice perk. We had great fun hanging out with fellow Raving Lunatic @emcclendon.

    My only disappointment was the swag – 5K medal was generic and captured nothing unique to either SF or the race other than the ribbon. And the tech tee was a strange ¾-length sleeve that was somewhat ill-fitting.

    That said, we had a great time and will definitely be back to run this race again!

    DIFFICULTY
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    Profile photo of Yazmin Lugo
    yazhlugo FIRST-TIMER '16

    This is a challenging but beautiful half marathon. The feel of misty air. The sight of a vast ocean. The sounds of crashing waves. And the smell of salty water. … MORE

    This is a challenging but beautiful half marathon. The feel of misty air. The sight of a vast ocean. The sounds of crashing waves. And the smell of salty water. Nothing like it. And you not only get to run across the bridge but under it as well. Definitely a different experience than other SF half marathons!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Norelia Caldera
    noreliacc REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Running this half marathon was great. It was well organized with great views. Running on the Golden Gate Bridge is breathtaking. While the course is hilly, the views make it … MORE

    Running this half marathon was great. It was well organized with great views. Running on the Golden Gate Bridge is breathtaking. While the course is hilly, the views make it worthwhile. The weather was perfect on this day. The race was well run, yet the shirt was not that great.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Rabeea Abbas
    beea.abbas FIRST-TIMER '16

    I grew up in San Francisco, so being able to run the city, and the most beautiful bridge was a dream come true. Highly recommend the race, as the people, … MORE

    I grew up in San Francisco, so being able to run the city, and the most beautiful bridge was a dream come true. Highly recommend the race, as the people, views, and not to mention the swag at the finish line are over the top!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    4
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    Profile photo of Lauren Sison
    lauren.sison FIRST-TIMER '16

    Exhilirating view from Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. Loved the positive cheers from the volunteers. Room for improvement: more port-a-pottys at the starting line; could use 1-2 more water stations … MORE

    Exhilirating view from Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. Loved the positive cheers from the volunteers. Room for improvement: more port-a-pottys at the starting line; could use 1-2 more water stations especially at the end of the race; course could be stretched so it doesnt’t wind around the same road on the way to the bridge. Would definitely recommend this to others.

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    4
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    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    Profile photo of Justin Edwards
    MisterHNIC REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Be prepared for quite a few hills and even more scenic paths as you run through the beautiful presidio to cross the landmark known as the Golden Gate Bridge. MORE

    Be prepared for quite a few hills and even more scenic paths as you run through the beautiful presidio to cross the landmark known as the Golden Gate Bridge.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
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    4

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    Profile photo of bernard dadolle
    bernard FIRST-TIMER '16

    premiere fois a San Francisco Dommage que le soleil n'etait pas au rendez-vous. La course était difficile notamment les montées vers le pont, mais quel plaisir d'y participer. L'organisation était … MORE

    premiere fois a San Francisco
    Dommage que le soleil n’etait pas au rendez-vous.
    La course était difficile notamment les montées vers le pont, mais quel plaisir d’y participer.
    L’organisation était parfaite, les ravitaillements nombreux avec une très bonne ambiance et un grand public à l’arrivée.
    Un très grand moment !! merci à tous pour votre acceuil.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    4

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    KristelAlliaume Nov 23, 2016 at 2:33pm

    Au nom de toute l'équipe du SoFi Golden Half, nous vous remercions de votre participation et souhaitons vous revoir l'année prochaine bien sûr! Et même en Français :) A très bientôt

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    Profile photo of Joy Cannon
    bjc2 FIRST-TIMER '16

    Leading up to the race, I felt like I would have liked a little more communication from the race directors. Maybe a more detailed email about where to find the … MORE

    Leading up to the race, I felt like I would have liked a little more communication from the race directors. Maybe a more detailed email about where to find the start line. Mostly the packet pickup was inconvenient, and struck me as a money grab. If you don’t want to brave the city on the weekend, you have to pay $35 to have the privilege of picking up your packet race morning. For those of us who work in the city but live elsewhere, it stinks – a Friday evening pickup is a much nicer option.
    The 7am start is painful, but otherwise the race itself was fine – my running buddy and I got dropped off near the starting line and found our way there despite the lack of specifics. The gear check was nice and easy enough an hour before the race; there was no porta-potty line when we got there. However, by 6:30am the line for both the porta-pots and gear check were quite long, and when the gun went off at 7am there were still a lot of people in line.
    The course was pretty nice, although the climb up to the bridge is definitely challenging. I had not really trained, so this was a pretty painful race. We were disappointed that the fog was heavy and we didn’t get the awesome pics we hoped for on the bridge, but no race director can control the weather.
    We took our time, between being under-trained and the hills, and finished in just a little under 3 hours. By the time we crossed the finish line, the food and beverages were pretty decimated. There were several water dispensers, but all but one or two were completely empty. We got some water and a granola bar, but not much else. Some fruit even would have been nice. All in all it was a solid race, and I would consider doing it again (if I trained).

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Alys DiMercurio
    thereisnotry REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Clearly I dig this race seeing as I came back for a second year, and I'll probably do it again, but won't keep my hopes up too high until I … MORE

    Clearly I dig this race seeing as I came back for a second year, and I’ll probably do it again, but won’t keep my hopes up too high until I see that the race organizers are really taking hints from other successful races and valuing their runners’ feedback.

    – Pro: Packet pickup is quick and easy
    Con: “Expo” is really weak, they don’t even give you a bag to put your items in, feels like a waste to go all the way out there just to get your bib and some free potato chips
    – Pro: Excellent scenery, hard to get bored out there when you have sights and hills to keep you feeling alive, course seems to be accurately measured and marked
    Con: For a race of this size (and growing) with thousands of runners of varying levels, they’ve GOT to implement a seeding system or wave starts! It’s insanity in the beginning, especially starting on an uphill incline. I lost a solid 2 minutes in my first 1.5 miles just trying to safely push through people. Also I would love if there was some fun loud music and a countdown at the start line like most races do. Finish line was very tight and had a curve at the end, but was still much better than 2015’s finish line.
    – Pro: Complimentary Muscle Milk, beer, foam rollers available at finish area
    Con: No thermal blankets at finish, which thanks to the beautiful yet cool wet climate of San Francisco equates to a lot of shivering runners. I hope to see this added next year; I’m sure sticking a sponsor’s big logo on them would cover the cost. Would greatly appreciate bags to be passed out at the finish so runners have something to put our freebies in. My sports bra can only hold so much. Not much offered in terms of food for runners, unless you want to buy something from a food truck. Nothing keeps half marathon runners happy quite like some bagels and peanut butter, y’all!
    Pro: Awesome medal as usual, cool water bottle I’ll actually use
    Con: The shirt this year was a joke. Great logo design, but dreadful shirt quality, and judging from others’ comments I’m not the only one who thought so. I know that race shirts aren’t always reliable but I’m not even kidding that these were ridiculous and unwearable. Mine wasn’t even completely sewn together and had strings and part of the collar hanging off. I emailed RaceForce about it but haven’t gotten any response. I feel like it was so botched that they at least owe us an apology or a coupon for next year.
    Pro: Nice volunteers, happy that time results were available online almost immediately, Capstone photography always does a great job (the only race I’ve ever actually bought photos from). For those who don’t live here, be advised that November is actually a beautiful time of year in SF and this race is a solid reason to make a multi-day getaway.

    In summary: pretty nice race and scenic course, just don’t expect it to be as well put-together as some other comparable athletic events in the area.

    DIFFICULTY
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    Profile photo of Imelda Sales
    meda148 FIRST-TIMER '16

    Best run and scenery I ever had. Runners enjoy running in Golden Gate Bridge.It was one of a dream for runners to be able to run in one of the … MORE

    Best run and scenery I ever had. Runners enjoy running in Golden Gate Bridge.It was one of a dream for runners to be able to run in one of the most iconic landmark.Enjoyed it alot.Best weather aswell.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    4
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    Profile photo of Cathee Hill
    bubblegumfrog FIRST-TIMER '16

    Great course! Challenging but great views and perfect time of year to run! Aid stations were stocked with water and electrolytes for runners. If you are from out of town … MORE

    Great course! Challenging but great views and perfect time of year to run! Aid stations were stocked with water and electrolytes for runners. If you are from out of town it’s a great course to experience the golden gate bridge and take some touristy photos. Should be on every runners bucket list to run.

    Easy finish line, not a HUGE crowd, no huge lines if you arrive early, beer garden was [email protected]

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
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    The course was my favorite part, and it was the entire reason that I decided to run this race. Great scenery! The swag was pretty good - nice t-shirt and … MORE

    The course was my favorite part, and it was the entire reason that I decided to run this race. Great scenery! The swag was pretty good – nice t-shirt and beautiful medal. There were only 6 aid stations though, so I wish I had brought a water bottle with me as I had gotten dehydrated. The commemorative water bottle given at the finish line was nice. I would have appreciated a few more post-race food options. I have run 7 other half-marathons, and I’m used to a large selection of food to replenish. Packet pick-up went smoothly as well, although I was surprised we did not receive any type of bag to put everything in. Makes it easier to carry things around at the expo. Overall, good experience but some improvements required.

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    Profile photo of Jennifer Hulsey
    jnhulsey REPEAT RUNNER '16

    There should be corrals at the start. There was not enough water/sport drink stops. With that amount of humidity there should be a water stop every mile. When I finished … MORE

    There should be corrals at the start. There was not enough water/sport drink stops. With that amount of humidity there should be a water stop every mile. When I finished (and I wasn’t anywhere near the last person to finish) they were already out of bananas and running out of water.
    Overall I expected more from this race and was disappointed.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    Profile photo of Sara Foster
    sarasdfitness REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Great scenery, good amount of hills but lots of places where there are bottle necks and it is tough to pass, especially at the race finish. They also don't give … MORE

    Great scenery, good amount of hills but lots of places where there are bottle necks and it is tough to pass, especially at the race finish. They also don’t give you water at the finish, you have to fill up the reusable water bottle they give you.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    3
    SCENERY
    5
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    3

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    laurabofill REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The course was beautiful. Since I live in SF I wasn't too surprised or disappointed that the bridge was covered in fog - it was actually kind of cool to … MORE

    The course was beautiful. Since I live in SF I wasn’t too surprised or disappointed that the bridge was covered in fog – it was actually kind of cool to run through it. The hills during the first half of the race (and directly after the end of the bridge) were pretty challenging – I was able to run all of them but very slowly. I was more sore in the days after than I have been after other half marathons, but not overly. Next time I’ll know to train on more hills.

    The race organization was alright. The start was extremely crowded and even though I started a bit closer to the start than I normally do, I still had to dodge people who started out walking for quite a while. It would really help if they did different waves or something – the first 2 miles were really congested. The ‘swag’ was OK – the medal is awesome and I really liked the shirt until I put it on and realized the sleeves are 3/4 length…still pretty comfortable but just a weird choice in my opinion.

    Overall, I’ll definitely sign up for this race next year!

    DIFFICULTY
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    Profile photo of Cindy Lu
    nakedorangie REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Pros: The medal is huge and has a lovely design on it. The course is scenic (running across the bay bridge and into Marin) and the finisher area provided plenty … MORE

    Pros: The medal is huge and has a lovely design on it. The course is scenic (running across the bay bridge and into Marin) and the finisher area provided plenty of space for finishers, friends and family and event sponsers. Sierra Nevada as a beer sponsor with four different types of beer on tap was wonderful. Thank goodness Kettle Chips was there (see cons below for reason why).

    Cons: They ran out of food at the finish line! I don’t know if other runners were taking too many or if the event organizers did not purchase enough food for a SOLD OUT 5k/half marathon race. The volunteers should have been tasked to only give out one of every type to the finishers. My brother finished well before me and the oranges and bananas were gone. By the time my sister and I finished, ALL of the food was gone. 250 people finished after me for the half. I can only imagine how equally frustrated they were. Additionally, the organization running the Golden State Series half needs to coordinate between their different races better. I purchased a complete my tour pass in Livermore and had to contact the organization multiple times to get added to the Oakland and SF races. The shirts this year were held up in customs and were extremely ill fitting for men and women. I do not know if the race was looking at a cheaper supplier or if So-Fi, the event sponsor, had a say in the change in supplier.

    Neutral: The beer garden area was large and the space accommodated the long lines easily. There were various tables in the no alcohol section that probably should have been moved into the beer garden, or at the very least, provide extra chairs and seating. There was an extremely strong feces smell near the doughnut truck, right after the finisher area. I’m not sure if a runner had problems “holding it in” or if there was some sort of other unknown issue.

    In a nutshell/ TLDR: Medals are heavy, large and feature a nice design. Course is scenic and challenging enough to keep you on your toes. Food was gone at finisher area.

    DIFFICULTY
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    Profile photo of Brian Goldman
    siegp185 FIRST-TIMER '16

    I ran the 2016 SoFi Golden Gate Half Marathon in San Francisco that was on November 6, 2016. It was one of my bucket list races and I got to … MORE

    I ran the 2016 SoFi Golden Gate Half Marathon in San Francisco that was on November 6, 2016. It was one of my bucket list races and I got to check it off the list. The race used to be called the US Half Marathon. The idea of running across the Golden Gate Bridge and the awesome scenery were the main reasons why I was so drawn to this race. The temperature in San Francisco this time of year is fairly dependable and is perfect for racing.

    Sponsors
    SoFi, Muscle Milk, Sierra Nevada, and Vitalyte

    Pre-Race Information

    There were tons of emails that said where to park, what to bring with you, packet pickup/expo information and more. There were 4 emails the week of the event along. There was a lot of great information. I opted to pay $25 for race day packet pickup.

    Starting Area and Parking

    I got up at 2:30 to drive from Sacramento to San Francisco and get there by 5:30. I parked near Fort Mason in the Yacht Club parking area. None of the people who parked there knew if we were allowed to park there or where to go from there to get to the start. There could have been better signage and a better list of where to park and how much it would cost. There should have been some signs in Fort Mason that pointed people in the right direction since you needed to walk up some stairs and through a park to the starting line from the parking area that I was in.

    The start was rather packed and it took several miles before it was easy to pass people. They could have organized the start a little better by either pace or in waves to reduce the congestion at the start. There were quite a few of walkers up front that you had to make your way around.

    Course

    You start the race at the Muni Pier in Aquatic Park. You could get some great pre-race pictures with the Alcatraz and Ghirardelli in the background. Here is a breakdown of the course.

    Miles 0-3

    The race starts out by taking you immediately up a short hill and around to the marina and Presidio on your way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The course is fairly flat for the first 3 miles until you start your hill climbs.

    Miles 3-6

    The first hill is about 0.3 miles long with about a 60 foot elevation gain. Followed by an equivalent downhill section. Then you start your biggest climb, about 250 feet of elevation gain over 1.5 miles. The next mile (from roughly mile 5-6) is primarily downhill and takes you to the Golden Gate Visitor Center where you get on the bridge.

    Miles 6-10

    You run along the Eastern sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge for the next mile. Where you head up to the vista point, which is a great location to take a quick selfie or bridge pic. The course then takes you on a gravel downhill section that winds under the freeway and up a small hill to the Western side of the freeway. Runners will run along the Western sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge until they get off the bridge.

    The sidewalk on the Golden Gate Bridge was wide enough for 3-4 people to run side by side, but most of the time they were running 3 across and it was difficult to pass. You just had to plan your passing when there were opportunities.

    Miles 10-13.1

    After you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, you come to your final hill. A 100 foot elevation gain over 0.15 miles. You are rewarded by a 0.75 mile downhill stretch where you lose 150 feet of elevation. This is where you can make up some time. You follow the bay to Fort Point where which is the end of a short out and back. The last two miles consist of rough paved roads and running on hard packed sand as you pass Chrissy Field and finish at Yacht Harbor.

    There is a total of 1,215 feet of elevation gain according to my Garmin. I felt that the most difficult part were the hills were between miles 3 and 5. Let me also say that my Garmin showed the race as being 13.2 miles, which can be explained by me not running tangents (cutting the turns closely). This is the most accurate race in terms of being close to 13.1 miles. Usually I find that races measure a little short or long. Great job in that aspect.

    Race Experience

    There were plenty of aid stations and they were well placed throughout the course. Each aid station had water in one area and Vitalyte on the other side. The Golden Gate Half Marathon had more photographers than at any race I have ever been to (which I thought was awesome). For most of the course, they had one street lane blocked off for runners and a wide pedestrian sidewalk.

    There were pacers, but I am not sure how many. The one I saw only had a little white sign and it would have been hard to spot on the course. I feel that they could have done a better job in this respect. My recommendation would be to have more pacers and signs that are easier to see (neon colors).

    The weather was in the mid 50’s to low 60’s and it was foggy. One of the key draws for me were the views, which you couldn’t see because of the fog. Not the races fault by any means. The temperature was great though and other than a fine mist, there was no precipitation, which is what was forecasted.

    Pre-Race Expo

    The expo was held the day before the race (Saturday, November 5th) from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. You had to attend the expo to pick up your race bib and event tee unless you wanted to pay for one of the options that allowed you to either get the bib and timing chip mailed to you or wanted to pick up the bib on race day (both options have an additional fee associated with them).

    Swag

    You get a long sleeve tech tee when you picked up your race bib. The quality seems decent, but not exceptional. The design is nice and clean. I love the idea of giving away a long sleeved shirt since I have plenty of short sleeve shirts but only a few long sleeve race shirts.

    As you cross the finish line, you get your medal and a water bottle. The medal is larger and heavier than any medal that I have received to date. It is at least 4” in diameter, maybe more, and looks great.
    There was a virtual Swag bag that included discounts from various races like the Surf City Marathon & Half, 30% off the HipZipp, and 20% off goodies from the Divas Half and 5K. They also had discounts off Injinji, Brandinc, Pro Compression, and Uber plus a few others. Really, there wasn’t anything that I would use.

    Post-Race Party

    They did have food and goodies after the race. They had bananas, Kind Bars, Kettle Chips, and a few other samples.
    Sierra Nevada was on hand for those people 21 and older. There were a few food trucks, one of which had some huge doughnuts for sale that looked amazing.

    Muscle Milk had an area with Yoga mats and Trigger Point Rollers for people to stretch and roll after the race. You could also pick up a free bottle of Muscle Mile, which was awesome.

    They also had a Sofi relaxation zone with round couches that had plenty of pillows. There were a few people taking naps. There were some picnic tables and nice padded benches to sit on.

    Bark Thins was also on hand and was giving away samples as well as an area to play Corn hole and Backyard Jenga.

    There was a large white tent that had tons of race booths, specialty health drinks and snacks to sample, clothing you could purchase, and the gear check.

    Gear Check

    They did have a gear check at the beginning of the race and you could get your stuff after the race in the big tent where they had the vendors. There weren’t any signs stating where you could pick up your gear and it was extremely unorganized. There were no lines and really no order of where they placed the bags from what I could tell. Just big piles of backpacks.

    Why I would recommend the SoFi Golden Gate Half Marathon

    1) Amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Baker Beach and more (weather permitting)
    2) An awesome finishers medal and reusable water bottle
    3) The experience of running across the Golden Gate Bridge
    4) Challenging course
    5) Usually great temperature (Average low: 52 degrees, Average high 66 degrees)
    6) Several places to park within about ½ mile of the start/finish line (some locations are pay by the hour parking structures)
    7) Tons of spectators
    8) Plenty of aid stations
    9) Great picture opportunities
    10) Great post-race party

    Conclusion

    This was my first race that I traveled outside of the Sacramento area for so keep that in mind. I thought the information provided by the event via email and directions were well put together for the most part.

    I was impressed by the course, aid stations, and amount of photographers on hand. There were a few things that could be improved upon including better pacing, parking directions, and where to pick up your gear. I really liked this race and would recommend it in the future. Any large event will have areas where they can improve and even thought I mentioned some negative things, you should know that the event was well put together and I hope to race it again in the future. Please let me know if you have any specific questions and I will be more than happy to answer them.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Mike Sohaskey Nov 12, 2016 at 10:23pm

    Amazing review, Brian! And wow, what attention to detail. Gotta agree that if you're going to wake up at 2:30am for a race, the GGH is a solid choice. Like you I was bummed to find the bridge shrouded in fog (especially after it was clear and beautiful a day earlier), though that definitely added to the SF vibe. I hadn't run this race in several years but was quickly reminded why it's one of my favorites—and since I wasn't running for a PR (not on those hills!), I didn't even mind the crowds in the first few miles. Keep running strong, and look forward to reading more of your racing adventures!

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    Profile photo of Megan McDoulett
    meganmcdoulett REPEAT RUNNER '16

    It is a good race. I have done this race three times but it is very crowded. The race needs more bathrooms at the start. Shirt is a horrible fit … MORE

    It is a good race. I have done this race three times but it is very crowded. The race needs more bathrooms at the start. Shirt is a horrible fit and very small this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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