With spring upon us, we decided to get up with three of Major League Soccer's brightest stars to tell us what it's like to run in their city. Yesterday, we spoke with Lamar Neagle of the Seattle Sounders Football Club. Next up, Brandon Barklage of the San Jose Earthquakes.
What is the running community like in San Francisco?
Running in San Francisco is an experience of its own. The size of the city is ideal. In just a seven-mile run, you can see a majority of the major landmarks and tourist attractions the city has to offer.
How would you categorize the overall running environment and landscape?
The landscape of San Francisco can either be intimidating for even the most experience runners, or pleasant as you have the option to run along the more flat areas of the city.
What type of personality would you ascribe to it?
San Francisco is a very vibrant, active, and scenic area to live, and includes some of the most beautiful views in the country.
How would you describe the running scene in San Francisco?
Running in San Francisco never gets old. The weather is normally perfect for a nice jog and the views and unique clientele never gives you a dull moment in your run.
In terms of running, what makes San Francisco unique?
Running in San Francisco is unique because there are so many different areas to run. Each area offers something special. There are routes that take you alongside the Bay to enjoy the beauty of the water, or there are more wooded and naturesque paths that give you a unique experience.
Where do you run, and why do you run there?
I’m partial to Golden Gate Park because I love the outdoors. This route takes me through nature. There are beautiful trees and grassy areas that make me feel right at home.
I own a yellow lab who loves to run with me. Crissy Field is the most pet-friendly area in the city and offers amazing views of the famous Golden Gate Bridge along the way.
When my body is feeling good and I’m looking for a more challenging run, I choose Land's End. It’s a dirt path that takes you along the ocean offers views of the historic shipwrecks that lie under the tide.
Strawberry Hill is one of the most relaxing, tranquil and peaceful spots to run. It’s a perfect place to get a nice regenerative run after a challenging or stressful week of work.
I recommend the Panhandle to visitors who are looking for an easier, less challenging stroll. The area is extremely family friendly and has a flat, paved path that goes around the perimeter of the park.
For someone that doesn’t love to run, but wants to see San Francisco from a different point of view, where would you recommend they go?
I recommend San Francisco’s Cliff House to those who are looking for a great spot to sit down and have a nice dinner and relax while overlooking the ocean.
The adidas Energy Boost 2 is a versatile shoe with a bunch of tech features targeted at urban environments and running conditions. How does this translate to your running style?
These shoes translate well to my style because they are versatile enough to handle the large urban hills of San Francisco and also the dirt paths that take me through the more rigid and rough terrain with stability and comfort.
What makes your running routine different than others?
Whether I’m on a treadmill or enjoying the outdoors, I use my running as a way to build endurance for my profession. It also enables me to rid my body and mind of any stresses throughout the year.
Why is running a lifestyle for you?
Running has been a part of my life since I was a little kid. It’s important for me to stay healthy and to be able to compete at a professional level. At this point, my body needs a running/active lifestyle to feel normal.