Coupon Code for the SF Marathon 2017

Are you the type of person that can’t commit to something next week? Well then this post is not for you.

If you are willing to commit to a race almost a year ahead of time, then you could be rewarded with some pretty decent savings. This post is for The San Francisco Marathon, which I ran a few weeks ago for the fifth time. I especially love the second half since it reminds me how grateful I am to be in this city, whether as a tourist or resident.

If you aren’t familiar, there are a TON of options for this race, including an opportunity to run 52.4 miles! But the main events are the full marathon, the first half marathon, and the second half marathon. The first half starts along the Embarcardero, crosses the Golden Gate Bridge, and then back over the bridge to Golden Gate Park. The second half starts in Golden Gate Park, goes through some iconic SF neighborhoods, and ends on the Embarcardero. The full marathon covers both courses.

The first half tends to be the draw for most people but personally, I didn’t care for it. First off, it starts at 5:30 AM. 5:30 AM?!?!?! Unless you are an elite runner, you feel like you are in a can of sardines by the time you get to the bridge. It feels like a shuffle versus a run since it is so packed with people and there really isn’t  a whole lot of room to move around the crowd. Karl the Fog tends to take over the bridge towers and the first half is hilly. The perk is that you are done early enough to hit up any popular breakfast/brunch place without having to wait in line since you will be the first one there.

The second half has my heart. It’s more sleep friendly, though the start time was an hour earlier this year at 7:15. There are some rolling hills but the course is net downhill. You go through Golden Gate Park (hello Buffalos!) and so many wonderful SF neighborhoods including Haight Ashbury, the Mission, Potrero Hill, and Dogpatch. You run by AT&T Park, under the Bay Bridge and then finish on the Embarcardero.

The race next year is scheduled for July 23, 2017. It will be the 40th anniversary and the marathon is currently priced at $110 and both half marathons are $95 each. The coupon code 10TSFM40 will get you an additional $10 off and is good through November 1, 2016. That means $85 for the half marathon and nowadays, that is not a terrible price

Happy running!

Getting Discounts on Race Fees

Sure, any of us could go out for a run at whatever distance without spending a dime. But it’s so much more fun when roads are closed off to cars, a ton of people cheering you on, music and aid stations along your route, and of course, the glorious bling as you cross the finish line. Yes, all of this costs money (here’s an idea of the costs associated with a race) but some of these race fees are becoming outrageous – the New York City Marathon costs $266 with processing fees! Unless you live outside of the United States, you can expect to pay nearly another $100.

I definitely plan to add to my bling collection this year but I definitely can’t afford to do a ton of these, especially when travel is involved. Here are some of my tips to cutting costs on race fees:

  1. Google the race name with words like coupon, promo, or discount. I do this every time, even if the race fee is reasonable, because who wouldn’t want to save a few bucks? RetailMeNot or similar sites typically will pop up with various codes – try them all out. For one race, I went through about 10 codes and wanted to give up, but then the second to last discount code saved me $20!
  2. Go to the expos of other races. They usually have vendor booths for upcoming races and offer discounts if you sign up at the expo.
  3. Sign up for the race the day after it’s over. Sure, it’s a year away but signing up early guarantees the cheapest prices.
  4. If you run enough races a year, consider getting a membership with Active Advantage. It’s $70 for the yearly membership but they usually waive processing fees and the fifth race is free, up to $70, so paying for itself.
  5. Smaller races are sometimes cheaper. AND depending on your speed, it can be easier to place at smaller races!
  6. If you are looking for a race in SoCal, here’s a website, RaceSched, with a compilation of race discounts and coupons.
  7. If you are a member of a larger running group, check with them to see if they already have or can get a discount to an upcoming local race.

Hope this is helpful. If anyone has any other websites or tips, please feel free to share in the comments. Happy running!