Overall Rating
Overall Rating (134 Reviews)
4.2
(134 Ratings)(134 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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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Nora Wong
    norawong FIRST-TIMER '17

    Course has some hilly challenges to get to the bridge but otherwise best course. The medal was absolute beautiful and huge and worth the run! MORE

    Course has some hilly challenges to get to the bridge but otherwise best course. The medal was absolute beautiful and huge and worth the run!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Shawna house
    houseparty4 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Amazing race, beautiful scenery, challenging hills make it a fantastic run. 2nd time running this and it never disappoints. I highly recommend this race, and the big ass medals are … MORE

    Amazing race, beautiful scenery, challenging hills make it a fantastic run. 2nd time running this and it never disappoints. I highly recommend this race, and the big ass medals are epic.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Alycia Cavellini
    alyciaz REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Not a ton of restrooms at the start line and there were long lines. The expo prior to the race was not impressive. Wish there was a map of the … MORE

    Not a ton of restrooms at the start line and there were long lines. The expo prior to the race was not impressive. Wish there was a map of the course prior to race. Wish there were Gu’s At some of the water stations.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    Profile photo of Sandy Bourne
    sbourneirun REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Medal was awesome, post race food was pretty much nil. T-shirt was too small and couldn’t exchange. Expo was awful. Couldn’t downgrade to 5k without a $10 fee. Ran the … MORE

    Medal was awesome, post race food was pretty much nil. T-shirt was too small and couldn’t exchange. Expo was awful. Couldn’t downgrade to 5k without a $10 fee. Ran the race partially injured because of that.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Antonina Kozyryeva
    akozyryeva REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Train running hills before you do it, that’s where most runners loose time and smile for the camera because you might not like your pictures from the race hahah Year … MORE

    Train running hills before you do it, that’s where most runners loose time and smile for the camera because you might not like your pictures from the race hahah
    Year of 2016 felt little bit more organized, they’ve changed finished line and I didn’t like that. It was less water stations. Can medals please get smaller? hahahahahah extra big and oversized this year,but I like the shirt, great quality and water cups were filled with water at the finish line and it’s better cup too

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Profile photo of Jean-Francois Roy
    jeanfrancois848 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Love this race. Smaller size (I would say 5000) with the pros and cons that come with it. Pros: - It is well organized. Everything was well explained, communicated - … MORE

    Love this race. Smaller size (I would say 5000) with the pros and cons that come with it.
    Pros:
    – It is well organized. Everything was well explained, communicated
    – The course is beautiful. Not only the GG Bridge but the trail going below the bridge on the Marin side offers beautiful views
    – The volunteers are super nice and water/gatorade was always available right away
    – It is not crowded. No wave or complex start. Pacers are available.
    Cautions
    – It is hillier than it may seem by just looking at the map. They make you climb twice before entering the bridge on the SF side, and one more time on the Marin side.
    – The mile markers are not always right (I had exactly 6mi when I passed Mile 6 marker on my watch, and 7.51 mi when I got to the 7mi marker, then back to matching at Mile 8. The Mile 7 was obviously at the wrong spot.
    – Parking in the start area is a b*tch. Arrive early or Uber.
    – There were no portable toilets on the Marin side, and very few along the course. Not a big issue but don’t drink too much before the start.

    All in all, this is probably one of the best races to run the GG Bridge, Crissy Field. There is no marathon so cut off times are lower (3hrs).

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of John Hanson
    jonoringading FIRST-TIMER '16

    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
    SWAG
    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. 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
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    SWAG
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    My Media

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    kyrah 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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    M_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 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
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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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
    SWAG
    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.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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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
    SWAG
    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
    SWAG
    4

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    kalliaume 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 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
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    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
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Emily Gartland
    egartland FIRST-TIMER '16

    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.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
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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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