First things first, let’s prove that the top of the Hayes Street Hill on Hayes Street is not the highest point of the current B to B route.
Here’s a route profile, starting from the SoMA near the bay going all the way to the breakers of Ocean Beach. See that big incline just before mile marker three? That’s the vaunted Hayes Street Hill.
And here’s another shot at it:
And here’s a contour map of the Hayes Street area:
But here’s your winner. It’s the 270-something-foot-high saddle on JFK Drive betwixt Prayer Book Cross and Stow Lake / Strawberry Hill, just underneath where “KENNEDY” is written:
So that’s it.
From the organizers:
“Under Armour will have a strong race day presence as the official sponsor of the notoriously challenging “Hayes Hill,” awarding prizes to the fastest hill runners from select racing categories.”
(People from around here call it Hayes Street Hill, but otherwise this is fine. The name of the hill itself is Alamo Heights.)
This was what the organizers used to say every year:
“Around the 2.5-mile mark runners climb an 11.15% grade between Fillmore and Steiner, bringing them to the highest point in the race, approximately 215 feet above sea level. The remainder of the course gradually flows downhill alongside the Panhandle and through Golden Gate Park.”
So yeah, the course gradually flows downhill, but only after peaking in Golden Gate Park.
All right, let’s see how the MSM handles this in 2014…