When Lori Shannon first announced her intent to run a marathon, people responded with more than a hint of incredulity. Lori had no experience and, at 5’3” and a size 16, she didn’t cut the form of a typical distance runner. Even so, she set to work and completed the 1993 New York City Marathon, proving to herself that with the proper training and dedication, she need not live life as a spectator. Since crossing that first finish line, Lori has never looked back; she has since run multiple marathons, competed in triathlons, and ridden her bike cross-country.
Seven years later, Lori founded See Jane Run in San Francisco, hoping to empower women to test their limitations and bolster their own fitness and self-confidence. The female-operated fitness company has since grown to encompass four West Coast locations that sell women’s running gear, including shoes, sports bras, and aerodynamic shower caps. At its four retail locations, like-minded runners come together with free weekly run clubs, giving them a group setting in which to train to meet their own individual goals or prepare for one of See Jane Run’s half marathons or 5Ks.
Foxhound Urban Adventures founder Shannon Bruzelius is an organizer. Growing up in Colorado, Shannon was always outdoors, putting together events such as epic games of hide-and-seek at night, holiday scavenger hunts, and New Year's Eve sledding festivals. When he moved to San Francisco, visiting friends and family put him in the role of designated tour guide, which naturally progressed into what is now Foxhound Urban Adventures.
Jericho San Francisco is a spy adventure based on the party game Jericho, which offers locals and visitors a new way to see San Francisco neighborhoods. Players are split into two teams of up to 6 people each and charged with a specific mission, then armed with a bag of modern spy gadgets, including laser-tag gear and walkie-talkies. During the game, agents race through the city for up to 4 miles and just as many hours, sightseeing, outwitting opponents, and wasting time interrogating statues.
Typically, baseballs fly out of AT&T Park to splash into the water. This Thanksgiving, it will be runners who dart from a starting line outside the stadium to trot along the waterfront. From there, these racers—some dressed as turkeys, sleeping uncles, or other iconic Thanksgiving images—wind into the SoMa district before bending into the heart of the city and finishing at City Hall.
Proceeds from the race benefit the San Francisco and Marin Food Bank, an organization dedicated to ending hunger in the community. The race organizers have completely committed to the giving nature of Thanksgiving, not just with the race's date and charitable cause but also with its route. The course is designed to showcase the work being done to help those experiencing hunger, as well as "create a visual representation of the real care being delivered by the community," as the race site states.
Girls on the Run cultivates an active, noncompetitive atmosphere for 8- to 13-year-olds. Their programs help them develop confidence and a healthy body image through playing games and going for runs with each other. At the end of each 10-week program, participants, their families, and neighborhood squirrels lace up their running shoes for the Girls on the Run 5K, a fun run that snakes through Golden Gate Park. Following the event, runners gather for a celebration complete with face-painting and festive tunes mixed by a professional DJ.
Golden Gate Knights began when two Star Wars fans discovered they had something in common. Alain Bloch, who also has experience with Kung Fu and other martial arts systems, and Matthew Carauddo, who is a licensed fencing instructor, joined forces and developed their own unique system to teach students how to effectively and safely wield a lightsaber. During classes they focus on techniques to develop electrifying choreographed fights, including proper warm-ups, flourishes, spins, and meditation.
Team In Training's certified coaches provide nutritional and fitness advice to help participants meet their physical goals, and they welcome experienced athletes and green-but-determined terrapins alike. The program adopts a double-pronged training method, incorporating personal attention from coaches with weekly group sessions. Participants also receive travel to and accommodation at their selected event.