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San Francisco man runs all 76 accessible peaks in city, creates 104K challenge

After running for close to 13 hours, Luke Wicker completed what he has dubbed the San Francisco Round

Photo by: Instagram/lukewicker

San Francisco is known to be quite a hilly city, and a local runner named Luke Wicker recently took advantage of that topography for a new ultrarunning challenge. Attempting the San Francisco Round, as Wicker calls it, he ran up “every accessible peak” in the city, covering a whopping 104K and 3,100m of climbing in a little under 13 hours. The run took him all over San Francisco, and he has said he hopes to see it become a regularly contested FKT (fastest known time).


After his successful completion of the San Francisco Round, Wicker posted a series of tweets explaining why he decided to create this route. “San Francisco is a beautifully complex city and its many peaks, staircases and urban trails make it a perfect spot for [mountain, ultra and trail runners]. So, we felt that it was time we established a route that showed off the city and got people excited to explore more of it.”

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Wicker wrote that he was inspired by other well-established FKTs that hit all of the peaks or hills in certain regions or cities. He pointed to the Bob Graham Round, perhaps the most famous of these challenges. The Bob Graham Round is an FKT that sees athletes run all 42 peaks in England’s Lake District, totalling around 8,000m of elevation gain. Wicker also noted the 13 Peaks Challenge near Cape Town, South Africa, which tasks runners with running 100K and climbing 6,200m over 13 peaks in a national park.

Like the Bob Graham Round, Wicker’s San Francisco Round doesn’t have a set starting point, and runners who attempt this route in the future can begin their runs wherever they like, just as long as they finish at the same spot. This adds some strategy to the run, as runners can map out what they consider to be the fastest order to tackle all 76 of the cities peaks.

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On Instagram, Wicker also noted that while there are actually 79 peaks on the city’s mainland, only 76 were accessible, and the other three  the round hits 76 of the 79 peaks on the city’s mainland, and he had to skip the others “for reasons of access and inclusivity.”

The route has yet to be added to the official database of FKTs, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to earn that status. It’s long (although FKTs don’t have to be a certain distance), it takes runners around a major city and it has lots of climbing (again, not an official FKT requirement, but the more painful a run, the more people will want to test themselves on it). Canadians won’t be able to try this route for a while, but once the border opens up again, this is a must-do for ultrarunning enthusiasts visiting San Francisco.

To check out the official file of the first-ever run on the San Francisco Round, click here.

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