The Best Races in the Bay Area this Fall

Fall is the best season to race, hands down. We’ve gathered races from the end of summer all the way up to the very beginnings of winter. Whatever your goal is, we got you covered. Challenge yourself on some trails in the East Bay, cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge on foot, take the kids to race a turkey, or train hard for the famous California International Marathon in Sacramento (or race the 5K and watch the rest). Best of luck! And remember: you signed up to have fun! Right?

Featured Photo: Berkeley Half Marathon

San Francisco and Marin

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Photo: Courtesy of Run Local

Across the Bay 12K & 5K

August 28

August may be foggy, but if you’re lucky, this run may feature the most iconic views of them all (plus fog is great running weather!). With historic roots that you can listen or read about here. Across the Bay features a 12K that starts in Fort Baker where runners will cross the bridge and run along the Presidio, finishing at Aquatic Park. The 5K starts at Fort Mason and finishes across Marina Green.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of Marin Fest

Marin Endurance Festival

October 29 & 30

Gear up for a Halloweekend of racing in San Rafael at the Marin Endurance Festival. The weekend will have a race for everyone: the triathlon races will kick off the weekend on Saturday with options in both sprint and Olympic triathlon distances and relays, and the 5K, 10K, and half marathon will wrap up the weekend on Sunday.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of Golden Gate Half

Golden Gate Half Marathon & 5K

November 6

If you can’t make Across the Bay in August, or if you’re itching to race the bridge again, try this one! The 5K will take you along the waterfront for beautiful views of the bay, and the half marathon will surely be a great tour of the city — taking you across the Golden Gate twice.

More info:

East Bay

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Photo: Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Diablo Trail Race

September 18

Ring in the start of fall with a trail run in the picturesque Diablo State Park. Hosted by Coastal Trail Runs, the event will feature 4mi, 10mi, half marathon, marathon, and 50K race options. Ever thought about making it all the way up to the top? Every distance from the half marathon up will summit Mt Diablo (the 50K will summit twice!). Pro tip: If you enjoyed this outing, Coastal Trail Runs will host a run at Lake Chabot on November 5 with distances from 8K, half marathon, 30K, marathon, and 50K.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of San Ramon Valley Education Foundation

The Run for Education

October 9

Celebrating its 39th year supporting the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation, The Run for Education is the largest fun run for education in Northern California. The Expo for Education will kick off Saturday, October 8, followed by the race on Sunday in Bishop Ranch. The Run for Education holds a Mini Run for children under six and a Friendship Run for children with special needs.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tilden Trail 10K & Half Marathon

October 22

Tour all the best trails the Bay has to offer with Urban Coyote Racing, who puts on races year-round at distances for everyone. This fall, check out the view of the iconic Berkeley Hills in their Tilden Trail 10K and Half Marathon in October.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of Berkeley Half

Berkeley Half Marathon

November 13

Make the Berkeley Half your marquee event this fall. The course has something for everyone: the course winds through Telegraph Street, Fourth Street district, the Cal campus, and the beautiful Berkeley hills. Other race options include 10K, 5K, and a family 1K race. Elite seeding options are available.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of Brazen Racing

Brazen Racing Nitro Turkey Trot

November 24

Bring the family out for a morning of fun before the feast commences. Hosted by Brazen Racing, the event will benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano. The day will have a 5K and 10K run, as well as a kids’ race to chase down the turkey. Costumes are encouraged!

More info:

Sonoma County

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Photo: Courtesy of Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder

August 27 & 28

Tough Mudder is coming to Sonoma County! This infamous event is one the family won’t want to miss. Race distances include a 15K, 10K, 5K, plus a kids’ event with ½ mile and mile options.

More info:

Greater Northern California

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Photo: Courtesy of Wiki Commons

The Auburn Half Marathon

October 8

Ever wanted to check out the Western States course, but not wanted to run 100 miles in a day?! Start here, with the Auburn Half Marathon. Also with 12K and 5K distances, each race will meander through the famed trails of Auburn State Recreation Area.

More info:

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Photo: Courtesy of California International Marathon

California International Marathon

December 4

Is this your year to run CIM? This renowned marathon that brings in nearly 9,000 runners every year is one of the fastest courses out there — starting in Folsom and ending down at the front of the State Capitol, which makes it a hot spot for Boston qualifiers. If you aren’t quite ready for a marathon, the weekend’s events also include a kids’ fun run and a 5K. Or, come out to the Capitol steps on Sunday to watch some of the fastest marathon runners in the world.

More info:

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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