I ran the SFM in 2008. It is a wonderful race and running across the Golden Gate in the morning is just amazing!!! The sceond half of the race is a bit less scenic as it loops you back through SF to get to the baseball stadium where the finish line is. The reason the race starts so early is simply that it is very expensive to clear the bridge and so they want to get everyone over and back by a certain time.
The expo is pretty nice, especially be our European standards. It is at a different location than the start of hte race but easy to find so no worries there.
We went for beers almost immediately after the finish and it was no problem to find places serving beer and American grub so I wouldn't let that discourage you, haha.
One last thing. There is a course video featuring Dean Karnazes on YouTube so I would look that up to get a feel of the terrain.
Well, I started this thread and haven't been on in ages. You know how it goes...work and crap.
Anyhow, my Boston # is 5062 so I'll be in middle of the first wave. I am arriving in Boston on sunday morning (arriving in the US on Friday), watching the Sox and picking up my gear. I am really looking forward to the atmosphere but also wishing it was on a different weekend than London which I ran last year.
Training has also been affected by work but I ran an ultra last month and a half earlier this month both in decent times so I am just going to run hard for hte next 2 weeks and then taper up, hoping that the base is still there. In all honesty, I am looking to enjoy this more than try for a PB.