San Francisco Marathon (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Bay Area people love to run, and with a slew of running options, who can blame them? How about a half or full marathon, a fun run or a run on the trails? If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, there is an obstacle race just right for you. Read on for Bay Area running events, including one that lets you run as a superhero.


San Francisco Marathon
Mission St. and The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
Date: San Francisco Marathon, July 31, 2016  5:30 a.m.

This marathon is a big one and takes runners through some of San Francisco’s most scenic and well-known spots. The USA Track & Field (USATF) certified course that takes a loop through the city begins at the Ferry Building and doesn’t disappoint as it hits classic San Francisco locations, including Fisherman’s Wharf, The Golden Gate Bridge, Haight Street, AT&T Park, and more. A “must do” for serious runners and future wannabes, this is one beautiful and historic marathon that also qualifies for the Boston Marathon. If not up for a full marathon, register for a 1st or 2nd Half Marathon or 5K race. Athletes feeling mighty fit can double up for the Ultramarathon, the incredible challenge of running two marathons back-to-back to benefit a favorite charity. Training programs are available to whip that body into competition shape. Register for everything online.



Calistoga Trail Ramble
Bothe-Napa State Park
3801 St. Helena Hwy North
Calistoga, CA 94515
[ Register here ]
Date: April 16, 2016 9:00 a.m.

The Calistoga Trail Ramble brings runners from all over for romp around some of the most rugged terrain in Wine Country. At the same time, take-in a bounty of the botanical beauty that is Bothe-Napa State Park. Take on their 10k or 10 mile course, this trail run will not disappoint. Afterwards, you can celebrate your survival with a picnic, fitted with the best beer and wine as well as partake in a couple of lawn activities. Bring the entire family and see what challenges you in Calistoga.

Spartan Race 2016
AT&T Park
24 Willie Mays Plaza
San Francisco, California 94107
[ Register here ]
Date: May 14, 2016, 7:30 a.m.

Talk about endurance test! Held at AT&T Park, this obstacle course will test you. You can run around the AT&T concourse. Climb rope in the outfield and do burpees in the dugout. This is gruelling three miles that will include over 20 signature obstacles made to take you down. Check out this video.

(credit: escapefromalcatraz/facebook)


Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
Alcatraz Island, Marina Green
and Baker Beach
San Francisco, CA
[ Register here ]
Date: June 12, 2016, 7:30 a.m. start

Bike, Swim and Run – can you do it all?  Welcome to the one-stop destination for the world’s top athletes, which may include you. Escape From Alcatraz is set in San Francisco, the prefect beautiful site for triathletes to embark on an amazing quest: A 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the Marina Green shoreline, an 18-mile hilly bike ride through the Presidio, and an eight-mile trail run through Baker Beach to Sand Ladder, a steep and rugged stretch of sand and logs, earning it an infamous reputation. View the course map here. This renowned triathlon sells out each year within hours of registration opening, yet just 2,000 triathletes and relay teams can participate. Visit the website for complete registration information as it is categorized and specific.

Superhero Family (credit: Thinkstock)


Superhero Fun Run For a Cure
Coyote Point
1701 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
[ Register here ]
Date: June 18, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

To support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the 3rd Annual Superhero Fun Run for a Cure returns to Coyote Point in San Mateo. What better way to raise awareness and to beat this type of blood cancer than to make a fun day out for family & friends and of raising funds. Superheroes of all shapes and sizes has the options run either a 1 mile, 5k or 10k. Plus there are more activities to paricipate in. At the end of the event, everyone can enjoy refreshments, medals and of course, music!

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art, culture and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Her work can be found at