Spectator Guide

Spectators are a huge part of the racing experience – and it is just as important for spectators to prepare for race day as it is for the athletes themselves.

We’ve put together a list of the top tips for spectators to remember that will be sure to help them give their runner the extra motivational kick they need to make it across the Finish Line.

Spectator Guide - All Things Expo
  • Location: Pier 35
  • Dates: April 6-7, 2018
  • Expo Hours:
    • Friday, April 6 @ 3-7 pm
    • Saturday, April 7 @ 10 am-5 pm
  • Parking & Directions:
    • Our recommended parking garage location is the Pier 39 Parking Garage, just a short walk from the expo.
      • Garage Entrances: From The Embarcadero to Beach St. and on Beach St. (between Stockton and Powell)
      • Hours: 24 hours
      • Cost: Friday: $10/hour (max $50 daily); Saturday: $12/hour (max $60 daily)
        • Visit the PIER 39 booth at the expo to receive 1 hour FREE parking
        • Visit any PIER 39 full-service restaurant to receive an ADDITIONAL 1 hour FREE parking
  • Public Transportation:
    • Plan your trip to the Expo with the San Francisco Trip Planner (www.511.org).
  • Free and open to the public
  • 2018 Exhibitor List and Floor Plan
Spectator Guide - At the Start Line
  • Race day is Sunday, April 8, and features BRAND-NEW start and finish lines less than a mile apart in San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf area along the San Francisco Bay.
  • Start Line: PIER 39 at The Embarcadero
  • Start Time: 6:15 am
  • Spectator Tips:
    • Iconic Start: This year’s brand-new start kicks the race off at San Francisco’s iconic PIER 39, home to restaurants, shops and the famous barking sea lions. Be sure to visit PIER 39 throughout the weekend for great eats, shopping, views and photos — and have your runner show their race bib or medal to receive special Runner Perks discounts.
    • Breakfast & Coffee: 
      • Biscoff Coffee Corner (located just inside PIER 39) will be open at 5 am to satisfy all your caffeine and light-bite needs.
    • Treat Yourself to VIP: Enjoy a warm indoor VIP hospitality experience just steps from the start line by purchasing a pre-race or full-day VIP package. Before the event, you’ll be able to enjoy indoor restrooms, indoor seating, coffee and hot beverages, and a light continental breakfast before cheering on your runner! Learn more about the VIP experience here.
  • Parking & Directions:
    • Our recommended parking location is the PIER 39 Parking Garage, located next to the Start Line and less than a mile from the Finish Line. YOU MUST PRE-PURCHASE PARKING ONLINE (THROUGH APRIL 1) OR AT THE EXPO (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST) TO ENTER THIS GARAGE ON RACE DAY. 
      • Pre-Purchase Online: CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ONLINE (through April 1). 
        • Pick up Pass at Expo: After purchasing online, you MUST pick up your parking pass at the Parking Booth at the Expo.
      • Pre-Purchase at the Expo: While supplies last, purchase and receive your parking pass at the Parking Booth at the Expo.
      • Parking Hours: Pass valid 3:00 am-11:59 pm on Sunday, April 8; must be parked by 5:15 am.
        • Looking to arrive later than 5:15 am? There are many local garages in the area. Rates and hours may vary.
      • Cost: $30 flat rate (special race discount reduced from $60 flat rate)
  • Public Transportation:
    • Plan your trip to the Expo with the San Francisco Trip Planner (www.511.org).
      • NOTE: BART does NOT operate in the early morning on race day and will NOT be available for traveling to the start line.
      • AC Transit’s All Nighter Lines (actransit.org) DO operate throughout the night and early morning from the East Bay to San Francisco.
  • Check out the Start Line Venue Map posted at the Race Weekend Information Center. 
Spectator Guide - During the Race
  • Getting from Start to Finish: The new start and finish lines are less than a mile apart.
    • Head west on The Embarcadero and continue onto Jefferson.
      • You’ll be cruising along the main drag of Fisherman’s Wharf. Be sure to check this area out during race weekend for great sites and good eats. Check out our Runner Perks for special discounts for runners and their guests.
    • Turn left at Hyde St.
      • Or take a short detour and continue straight to enjoy the beach at Aquatic Park and the stunning views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge.
    • Turn left at Beach St.
      • You’ll cross the famous cable car tracks at this intersection and head toward the finish line into the Finish Festival area.
    • The finish line is located on Beach St. 
      • Get ready to cheer in your runner then enjoy the Finish Festival on Beach St. and in the park as well as the beer garden just up the steps inside Ghirardelli Square.
  • Course Map PDF: Download/print a the course map by clicking here.
  • Interactive Course Map: Download the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series app to access our interactive course map.
  • Runner Tracking: Runner Tracking technology lets you know the progress of your runner on race day. Download the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series app (available for Apple and Android devices) to follow your runner on race day.
Spectator Guide - At the Finish and Finish Line Festival
  • Finish Line: Beach St. at Ghirardelli Square
  • Expected Finisher Arrival Times: 7:20-10:50 am
  • Finish Festival Ends: 11:30 am
  • Spectator Tips:
    • Iconic Finish: This year’s brand-new finish line is located on Beach St. next to world-famous Ghirardelli Square, home to restaurants, shops, and of course the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Be sure to visit Ghirardelli throughout the weekend and on race day for great shopping, eats and treats — and have your runner show their race bib or medal to receive special Runner Perks discounts.
      • Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop: Visit the shop and get a  FREE chocolate bar with any Ghirardelli Sundae purchase!
    • Treat Yourself to VIP: While you wait for your runner to complete their 13.1-mile journey, take advantage of the VIP experience by purchasing a full-day VIP package. Our VIP team will be waiting with a full catered buffet, VIP bar, charging station, private indoor restrooms, and a warm indoor place to enjoy the morning before cheering your runner into the finish. Learn more about the VIP experience here.
    • Track Your Runner: Runner Tracking technology lets you know the progress of your runner on race day. Download the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series app (available on Apple and Android devices) to follow your runner on race day.
    • Designate a Post-Race Meeting Location: After the race, reunite with runners inside the Family Reunion Area at the finish line festival and celebrate your runners accomplishments! With a large number of participants, and hundreds of spectators, it can be difficult to locate friends and family without a plan. It is highly recommended that you designate a meet-up location PRIOR to the race. The Family Reunion Area will have tall, clearly marked signs by letter (A-Z), so be sure to coordinate and plan to meet at a pre-determined letter!
    • Beer Garden: The beer garden is open to everyone 21 and older inside Ghirardelli Square’s West Plaza. Runners receive one complimentary Mich ULTRA to celebrate their accomplishment and they’ll be plenty more to purchase for thirsty runners and spectators alike. Last pour at 11:00 am.
    • Headliner Concert: It’s not called the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series for nothing! Rock out to the bands performing on the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series stage throughout the morning.
  • Check out the Finish Line Venue Map posted at the Race Weekend information Center.

 

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