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Top 5 Places to Run in San Francisco

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Being active and fit is no easy task. One could always resort to an indoor machine like a treadmill or elliptical, but staring straight ahead for 30 minutes can get boring. Luckily, San Francisco is a large city, with a large variety of places to go on a walk or jog. Here in San Francisco, you get a good variety of routes with hill’s, flats, scenic routes, and runs that go through a diverse range of neighborhoods. These runs don’t require experience because they’re fairly simple and straightforward routes and all they require is the motivation to exercise. As a Varsity runner for Cross Country and Track and Field here at SHC, I have a lot of experience running in the city both for training and for fun. These are the ones I find the most enjoyable:

  1. Crissy Field is a place for both beginners and experienced runners. With about 3.6 miles round-trip, it is a nice place to get an easy run in. The scenery is beautiful. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the view of the bay, you will never get bored running this trail. Although you will have to watch out for the many tourists, the path is very wide, giving you room to move as you see fit.

 

  1. The Great Highway is perfect for people who enjoy getting a nice run in then going to relax immediately after. This route is directly across from Ocean Beach, giving you options. On nice, sunny days, you could choose to run on the beach rather than the concrete. With about 4 miles of path, you are able to get a decent run in. To make things even better, the path is usually not crowded, so you don’t have to worry about bumping into anyone.

 

  1. Due to Golden Gate Park’s large size, you have a variety of places to run. For weeks you can go on completely different routes. You can run through quiet areas of the park to get an easy run in or go to Stow Lake to run on Strawberry Hill. If you need to take a bathroom break on your run, there are several bathrooms placed throughout. The scenery is nice, but you must be mindful of events that happen in the park. If you happen to run during Hardly Strictly Bluegrass or Outside Lands, certain areas will be blocked and the park will be packed with people. Running down John F. Kennedy Drive has its advantages. Being the main artery of the park it leads into the varying routes of the park, including the Great Highway and Ocean Beach.

 

  1. Embarcadero is a good place to get an easy run in. Being along the piers, it has its pros and cons. The good part about running here is that it is short (2 miles) and you can get food when you’re done. The downside is that it is crowded with tourists, especially around Pier 39 and Cupid’s Span. You just have to be mindful of crowds walking and bikers on the sidewalk.

 

5. Lake Merced is a go-to destination for those who live in the Sunset district. One lap around the lake is about 4 miles, giving you a good workout. The path around the lake is not flat, though. There are several inclines and even a hill, giving runners a challenge. Lowell High School is very close to the lake. So if you are running around the time school lets out, you are likely to run into several students including their track and cross country teams.

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Top 5 Places to Run in San Francisco