Brice Daubord completed the 42,126 km San Francisco Marathon 2023 in 2h26! In an exclusive interview with Arnaud Auger for, he shares his valuable tips for running the marathon that goes across the Golden Gate Bridge.

While the American anthem echoed at the start of the San Francisco Marathon, it was indeed a Frenchman who crossed the finish line first! Cocorico! It wasn’t one of the many French runners living in San Francisco, some of whom are part of the French Running Club of San Francisco, but rather someone from Orléans who came to fulfill his dream. Frédéric Jung, the Consul General of France in San Francisco, didn’t miss the opportunity to congratulate the one who proudly represented France in California.

Why did you choose to come and run the San Francisco Marathon?

The San Francisco Marathon was a serendipitous choice! Eight years ago, I came here, and as I was leaving, I told myself I would love to run in this city along Alcatraz and on the bridge! Since I had stopped doing triathlons and couldn’t participate in a race like the Escape from Alcatraz, I looked at the marathon calendars in the USA, and I stumbled upon this one, so I inquired about it… The challenging course motivated me even more to run here. There’s a challenge within the challenge… not only is the marathon difficult, but it’s also hilly and takes place early in the morning… that was motivating!

How did you manage the time difference?

Regarding the time difference, I arrived at 2 PM local time on Tuesday… and I decided to stay as close as possible to the race schedule… so on the first night, I went to bed at 8 PM and woke up at 5 AM… Wednesday and Thursday were easy days with just a morning jog at 6 AM and stretching at 5 PM! On Friday, I slept a lot… fatigue hit me… and the waiting was long… Saturday at 4:30 AM, and back to bed at 7:30 PM. My little mistake was taking a nap before the start between 3:15 and 4:15… I wasn’t properly warmed up and a bit drowsy, I must admit!

What were the specific features of the San Francisco Marathon course compared to all the others you have run?

The course had several specific features: the start was very early, the route wasn’t very fast due to the wind (though not too much this year), a section is on a trail, and there are some challenging uphill portions! Another difference compared to the Paris or Valencia Marathons is that there’s less runner density, so you can find yourself alone, which isn’t favorable for setting personal records! Anyway, on a course like this one, you have to forget about the time and focus on managing your effort.

What advice would you give to amateur runners specifically for the San Francisco Marathon?

To run the San Francisco Marathon, like any marathon, it’s essential to have regular training in the months leading up to the race. One specific aspect of “my” preparation is to work specifically on uphill and, especially, downhill running for muscle endurance! The repeated downhill slopes can be traumatic, which is why I believe that true downhill training on roads or trails is crucial! Alternatively, for runners with less time or those afraid of injury in natural settings, working on eccentric exercises in a gym could be a solution.

What are your goals for the future?

As for the rest of the season, I’m still considering whether to participate in the Valencia Marathon! With my job, it’s quite challenging to maintain the required level of preparation and discipline that the marathon demands! It takes me some time to recover: about 15 to 20 days for physical energy and a little over a month for the mental desire before I can fully motivate myself to run again! During the rest period, I engage in various sports like golf, swimming, mountain biking, boxing and I love it. If I were to go back to Valencia, it would be to aim for a 2h26 marathon and see when I beat my own record!

Did you have a favorite moment during your visit to San Francisco?

For the past 15 years, I’ve watched the movie “The Rock” at least once a year… so going to Alcatraz was a very enjoyable moment! I loved the city because I got to spend a week there after the race, exploring the parks in the heart of the city, taking a long stroll in Sausalito, another hike in the Presidio, and a fantastic bike ride along the Pacific coast! San Francisco is a beautiful and diverse city where numerous populations coexist. I loved it!

Merci Brice Daubord!

Subscribe to our Newsletter Receive the Latest News from MerciSF

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Inscrivez-vous à notre newsletter pour recevoir les dernières infos de MerciSF

Vous êtes maintenant dans notre base de données et vous recevrez notre newsletter ! Merci