San Francisco Marathon Runners Required to Wear Masks

Participants in the San Francisco marathon were required to wear face masks for certain stretches of the race. ​​Before the race, organizers announced revisions to health protocols requiring that participants in four events must wear masks on some sections of the route.

The National Park Service runs the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes portions of Sunday’s marathon, half marathon, 10K races, and the entire Saturday 5K. The agency announced last month that masks are required indoors and in “crowded outdoor spaces” on park property due to the perceived threat of the delta variant.

KCBS radio reported that runners were required to wear masks at the starting line, strongly encouraged to wear them at the finish line, and in places where people congregate before and after the marathon. Vaccinated race participants were allowed to pick up their race packet inside the Sports Basement’s Presidio location, while unvaccinated runners had to pick up their package outside on Saturday and present confirmation of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Public Affairs Specialist Julian Espinoza told KCBS that event organizers were responsible for enforcing mask rules. Production Director for the San Francisco Marathon Kyle Myers said that runners were not to be pulled from the race but could be disqualified if race officials found out they were not wearing masks. Meyers also said the sections of the race that are on National Park Service property are “significantly more congested than the roadways around San Francisco, so we’re just doing our part to help mitigate any transmission.” He continued saying, “we’ll have all of our course volunteers in masks. We actually have signage for mask zones where those end.”

In addition to possible disqualification, runners who didn’t wear masks could face fines from the National Park Service. Visitors who breached the mask rule on National Park Service grounds “may be subject to citations as appropriate.” according to the agency.

Marathon participants were required to wear masks for just nearly 6.7 miles in the first half of the race. Then runners were allowed to take off their masks at Mile 13.15, after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge for a second time and approximately half a mile into the steepest climb of the course. The half marathon and 10K runners were required to wear masks for 1.5 and 1.3 miles, respectively, outside the start and finish lines.

News of the mask requirements for marathon runners came as San Francisco mayor, London Breed, was caught violating the city’s mask guidelines while out at a nightclub.


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