Whether you walk or run, a 5K is a great way to motivate fitness.

7 Great San Francisco Bay Area 5Ks to Run

Planning to run your first Half Marathon this year? The best way to work you way up to it is to run a few 5Ks first. Here are some of the most popular 5K races around northern California in late summer and fall 2015.

1. Richmond District Jog in the Fog, San Francisco, September 13

A popular 5K sponsored by Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, the Jog in the Fog follows a relaxed course through the parks and quiet streets of this picturesque neighborhood.

2. Awesome ’80s Run, Brisbane, September 20

Surrounded by wanna-be Madonnas, Cindy Laupers, and “brat pack” surfer dudes, you can’t help but join the silliness that is the Awesome ’80s Run. Whether you choose the Radical 5K or Totally Awesome 10K, it’ll be a race to remember.

3. Hers Breast Cancer Run, Fremont, September 26

Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month by joining in the Hers Breast Cancer Awareness Run with proceeds benefiting the Hers Foundation.

4. SF Aloha Run, San Francisco, September 27

The annual Hawaiian-themed Aloha Run along San Francisco’s waterfront has courses for all levels, including a “keiki run for the kids. And there are Hawaiian snacks, too!

5. Marin Color Run, Novato, October 3

A wacky family event benefiting the Ignacio Rotary Foundation, the Marin Color Run is held on the Indian Valley College track, where participants are sprayed with rainb0w-colored powder as they go by. Note: wear clothing you don’t mind staining.

6. Strut Your Stuff Mutt Walk, San Francisco, October 3

A national 5K event benefiting the Best Friends dog charity and local animal rescue groups, the Strut Your Stuff Mutt Walk takes place in San Francisco’s McLaren Park. No dog required, just a love of animals.

7. Mermaid Run,  San Francisco, Nov 1

Ever wanted to run across the Golden Gate Bridge? The Mermaid Run is your chance. Another race primarily for women, the Mermaid Run’s 10K course crosses the span, while the 5K offers gorgeous views along Crissy Field.

More Runs: The Couch to 5K web page maintained by Active.com has a comprehensive list of 5K races around the San Francisco Bay Area.


Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.