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The weather was perfect for this year’s San Francisco Marathon and Half Marathons

There is a new men’s champion at the San Francisco Marathon for the first time since 2016.

After Jorge Maravilla won the race in each of the last two years, Gregory Billington captured the 42nd edition of the event Sunday with a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 25 seconds. He averaged a blistering pace of five minutes and 33 seconds per mile, which put him ahead of Maravilla’s second-place time of two hours, 29 minutes and 28 seconds.

On the women’s side, Nina Zarina jumped out to an early lead and won without much drama with a time of two hours, 47 minutes and one second.

She completed the course well ahead of second-place finisher Eleanor Meyer (two hours, 52 minutes and 16 seconds) and the rest of the field. Zarina added another accomplishment to her 2019 resume after being named the female global champion at the Wings for Life World Run in Switzerland in May.

It appeared in the first portion of the race as if Maravilla would join her in the winner’s circle when he paced the field through the first 5.5 miles.

However, Billington pulled even by the halfway mark before turning on the jets and building a comfortable lead:

There would be no doubt from there, as the American maintained and added to his lead through the back half of the course and prevented Maravilla from three-peating in the Bay Area.

Billington, Zarina and the rest of the runners started at 5:30 a.m. PT at Mission Street and The Embarcadero on a 26.2-mile course, which is a Boston Marathon and Olympic time trials qualifying race.

The finish line was at Folsom Street and the Embarcadero but only after runners went past a number of San Francisco landmarks and neighborhoods. Runners went past the famous piers and Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Presidio, through Golden Gate Park, across the Golden Gate Bridge and past Oracle Park, where the San Francisco Giants play.

They dealt with a total elevation gain of about 1,175 feet in a city that is known for its hills, further testing their endurance and strength on a grueling course.

Ultra superstar Michael Wardian won the 52.4 mile Ultra (that’s two SF marathons).  Pictured with MBR  Director Bob Anderson who clocked 1:46:42 at age 71 for the second Half race good enough for first 65 plus. 

(07/28/2019) ⚡AMP
Bob Anderson, Michael Wardian
San Francisco Marathon Weekend

San Francisco Marathon Weekend

The San Francisco Marathon (Full Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, 2nd Half Marathon, 5K and Ultra marathon) will fill San Francisco’s streets. The course is both challenging and rewarding. You’ll enjoy waterfront miles along the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Crissy Field; feel your heart pound as you race across the Golden Gate Bridge; speed past landmarks like Coit Tower, Golden Gate...


Dean Karnazes is set to run the San Francisco Marathon 52.4-mile ultra, an event he started years ago

The San Francisco Ultramarathon is two full marathons; certainly enough to warrant a ride home. Yet, on the day of the event’s first year, Dean Karnazes, one of its creators, ran about three marathons. Karnazes, who still resides on the Kentfield/Ross border, ran to the Embarcadero for the start of the inaugural ultra seven years ago. Following the 52.4-mile feat, he headed home, on foot, reaching the Golden Gate Bridge before the lure of a passing bus was too enticing. Altogether, Karnazes estimates he ran between 75 and 80 miles in the 12-hour period. Karnazes, who has watched the event grow from eight people in its first year, is one of about 100 runners set to embark on the San Francisco Ultramarathon, which begins at 11 p.m. Saturday. The ultra, originally titled “Worth The Hurt,” is a fundraiser, with participants either raising $1,000 for a charity of their choice or paying a higher entrance fee, donating the difference to the race’s featured charities. The first loop begins in front of the Ferry Building Marketplace. The course is the San Francisco Marathon backward — sans the trek over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County — and includes navigating through overflowing bars in the Mission District and Haight-Ashbury. Runners finish, eat, change into dry clothes and often nap, then join the 9,000 marathoners at 5:30 a.m. There are expected to be 27,500 total participants in the ultra, marathon, both half marathons and 5K. “It’s been remarkable,” Karnazes said. “I still can’t believe that we get about 100 participants now at the race. We don’t really advertise it too much; it’s more word of mouth. Ultramarathoning is still very grassroots. I don’t think we’ll ever see it as a mass-participant event. “Dare I say it: it’s actually very fun.” Karnazes, 55, one of the most decorated ultra runners in the world, has proved his definition of fun differs from most. (07/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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