- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, 50 miles
- Road Race
I last ran TSFM in 2010 on sub-par training (and pregnant), so I was really excited to see what I could do on the course this year with significantly better training (and not pregnant). Folks can run 26.2, the first 13.1 of the marathon, the back 13.1 of the marathon, a 5k, or 52.4 (the marathon twice, beginning at midnight). It's a tough course, especially the front half, but you get some terrific views of the city, the opportunity to run on the Golden Gate Bridge, and some vehicle-free running in Golden Gate Park. Just like with any urban marathon, there are some sections of the city that are perhaps more industrial than others, but it's minimal; also, with a 5:30 start time, you're usually guaranteed cool weather but, depending on your pace, fairly minimal spectators... in case that's important to you.
This year's aid stations had water and nuun, and while I didn't have any problems at all with the stations' frequency or fluid availability, I'd recommend that the race use bigger cups next year, instead of the little Dixie-sized cups, just so runners can ingest more fluids, more quickly (and on the go, no less).
New this year, too, were free race pictures, courtesy of Gameface Media (provided you 'liked' their TSFM facebook page), and of the 24 marathons I've run--and many of them use major service providers like MarathonFoto--my 26.2 pics from TSFM '14 are unquestionably my best.
Aside from the small fluid cups, my only other suggestion for the future is to ensure that there are mile markers at every single mile in the 26.2. It's highly likely I missed some, but I feel like some weren't around.
The swag was great this year--nice, gender-specific LS tech tees; the medals are enormous (coaster-sized); they had a lot of neat sponsors for a marathon (NUUN, Boxed Water, Pebble); and I really think that this race will just keep improving over time. Definitely plan for and prepare for some hills, and you'll have a great race. (My garmin indicated nearly 1,500' elevation).
TSFM is a blast and is totally worth the pricetag. Sign up early! (and for more details about my actual race, check out my entry at runningruminations.com) :)