It's a pre-dawn 5:30 a.m. start of the race, when moderate temperatures are expected to be ideal for runners, and rainfall is rare in the city by the bay.
Some 24,000 runners will complete a full or a half-marathon incorporating famous San Francisco landmarks and stunning bay views along a unique loop course which begins and ends near Bay Bridge. A highlight for runners and spectators alike is the dart back and forth across the 1.7 miles span of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Both of the city's bridges across San Francisco Bay celebrated their 75th anniversaries in 2012. In addition to inspiring bridge and bay views, runners take in views of Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and Coit Tower before passing through two city parks, the forested Presidio and green spaces of Golden Gate Park at the half-marathon finish line. Then, it's on to Haight-Ashbury, Mission District, and Dogpatch neighborhood streets lined with supporters.
Full marathoners completing 26.2 miles will finish the race's loop course in the shadow of the Bay Bridge right near the start.