Berkeley and San Francisco – The Challenge Awaits!

Written By Meg Gudgeirsson, TSFM Ambassador

As a runner, I’m always looking for new challenges. Can I run a distance faster? Can I run a longer distance? Can I tie two of my favorite cities and running events together? The SF/Berkeley Challenge let’s me accomplish that last one! When you run one of the events at The San Francisco Marathon and one of the events at the Berkeley Half Marathon, you have completed the challenge! Your reward? A sweet medal, in addition to your finishing medal, that only challengers are eligible to receive.

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Many of us have taken a trip up to SF but fewer have stayed across the Bay. If you haven’t spent time in Berkeley, you are missing out! The Berkeley Half is the perfect excuse for a weekend in this part of the area. Berkeley offers such as many unique sights as SF, including a stunning waterfront with the incredibly long Berkeley Pier (make this a must stop while in town for the race). And there is so much good food to choose from when carb loading.

The Berkeley Half Marathon is one of my favorite ways to hang in one of my favorite East Bay towns: running! I ran the Berkeley Half (and completed the SF/Berkeley Challenge) in its inaugural year and stayed in Berkeley for the weekend. Everything was very close and made racing super easy. That year, I had the opportunity to help a friend race a sub-2:00 half, so my focus was all about supporting her and having fun! (Read more about that weekend at: https://laughresearchwriterun.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/pacing-a-friend-to-a-pr/)

That allowed me to take advantage of another perk of racing – seeing the town. In its inaugural year, the first 3-4 miles wind through the city portion of Berkeley – I love running the streets much more than driving them! There is a great view of the bay and SF. Thankfully the fog was clearing and we could even see the Golden Gate Bridge. Around this time I also saw some of my favorite running friends/fellow SFM ambassadors! I even helped bring my friend Ashley a new PR! We celebrated with brunch and mimosas. The Berkeley Half was a great race.

I’ve spent time in both SF and Berkeley and I truly believe the best way to see each place is by racing. You have the road to yourself and have the chance to see all the best spots. The Berkeley Half allows you to basically visit all of the best parts of the East Bay: downtown Berkeley, through the UC campus, the funky neighborhoods, and along the waterfront, with one of the best views of SF’s skyline.

I’m super excited for the Berkeley Half Marathon this year too because it has some new events – a 10k and a relay! I’m a huge fan of relays because it makes what can sometimes feel like a solo sport really have a team atmosphere. And with Berkeley just a few days before Thanksgiving this year, it gives me several options to run some calories before the feast. All that while bringing home some extra bling with the SF/Berkeley Challenge!

14 Replies to "Berkeley and San Francisco - The Challenge Awaits!"

  • comment-avatar
    Judith Akida
    July 29, 2015 (8:24 pm)
    Reply

    Hi
    I just did the SF Marathon on Sunday July 26th. Can i still qualify for the SF/Berkley challenge if i run the Berkley half marathon on November 22nd? Kindly let me know. Thanks

    • comment-avatar
      Rob Nyman
      August 4, 2015 (6:27 pm)
      Reply

      Hi Judith, Yes you qualify for the SF/Berkeley Challenge!

  • comment-avatar
    Wally
    August 8, 2015 (3:28 am)
    Reply

    I finished SF half marathon july 26 2015. And I join Berkeley half marathon November 22 2015 also. Is it the same metal as 2015 SF marathon challenge?? The center of the metal is Golden gate bridge and it can flip to the other side. Please! Tell me more details. Thanks!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Dyson
    August 10, 2015 (12:20 am)
    Reply

    Berkeley Challenge Tents at both the 1st Half Marathon and 2nd Half Marathon Finish Lines.

  • comment-avatar
    Drea
    August 14, 2015 (10:12 pm)
    Reply

    Hello, if the Berkeley Half Relay is our first race, can we run an SF Marathon race in 2016 to complete this challenge?

    • comment-avatar
      Rob Nyman
      August 14, 2015 (11:00 pm)
      Reply

      Yes! You would earn your Challenge Medal at the finish line of the 2016 San Francisco Marathon.

  • comment-avatar
    Tony
    October 5, 2015 (4:12 am)
    Reply

    I runn the San Francisco marathon 2015 and am Goin to get two medals at the finish line of the Berkeley race Nov 22 2015?

    • comment-avatar
      Rob Nyman
      October 5, 2015 (5:02 pm)
      Reply

      Yes! If you ran the San Francisco Marathon in July of 2015 you’ll receive TWO Medals ar the Berkeley Half Marathon finish line, your Berkeley finisher medal and your SF/Berkeley Challenge Medal!

  • comment-avatar
    Tony
    October 5, 2015 (4:13 am)
    Reply

    The way I’ll go sign up at these Berkeley half marathon! !

  • Berkeley Bound! | Running4theReason
    October 7, 2015 (1:16 am)
    Reply

    […] along such familiar turf but I’m also looking forward to a DOUBLE MEDAL DAY thanks to the SF Marathon to Berkeley challenge! If you ran the 1st or 2nd half of the SF Marathon in July then complete the Berkeley Half in […]

  • comment-avatar
    Rosa Rosenberg
    October 8, 2015 (5:03 pm)
    Reply

    I read that if one takes more than the 4 hours to finish the Berkeley Half Marathon or isn’t in by closing time, then the person is not considered a finisher. What does that mean? The slow person’s time isn’t counted? The slow person won’t receive a medal?

    Exactly what are the consequences for taking too long to complete the Berkeley Half Marathon?

    I was wondering if walkers, the elderly, and handicapped people are welcome to participate, and many of them are a bit slower.

    • comment-avatar
      Rob Nyman
      October 8, 2015 (5:10 pm)
      Reply

      Hi Rosa,

      If one of our runners falls behind the 4 hour course limit the person may not receive an official finish time. Additionally the course will begin shutting down and the runner may need to move on to the sidewalk as we have to reopen the roads. We encourage everyone who is able to race to participate as we have had a number of walkers and other race participants finish the course in that time limit in the past.

  • comment-avatar
    Christie
    March 15, 2016 (4:47 pm)
    Reply

    Hi , so I did the Berkeley half 2014, and I’m planning to do the SF half this year , can I still get the challenge medal?

    • comment-avatar
      Rob Nyman
      March 15, 2016 (4:59 pm)
      Reply

      Hi Christie,

      To earn your challenge medal you’ll need to run both The SF Marathon and the Berkeley Half consecutively. While you can begin with either event they do need to be back to back. Please let us know if you have any other questions!


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