San Francisco’s Tenderloin — a loud, dirty disgusting rathole; a lovable, delectable urban historic district. It’s all things to all people, but we have never heard it praised by jogging aficionados (though we have seen folk take off and run through the neighborhood for various reasons).
It’s perhaps easy to see why the TL’s never competed with Land’s End, Crissy Field or even corpse-strewn John McLaren Park for baller-status amongst running routes — the sidewalks are crowded with myriad hazards human, automobile and animal; large hills to the north and east make a jaunt through the TL a pain in the quadriceps; and it’s really not all that big, leaving true runners to make four laps down Ellis in order to get a sweat going, or leave the ‘hood anyway en route to elsewhere.
But according to a quote from SF Chronicle scoopmeisters Matier & Ross, the TL was a favored place to jog for none other than Mayor Gavin Newsom in the heady early days of his term. Gavin stopped his runs down the likes of Larkin and Leavenworth, though, when he was advised by the Police Officers Union head to “jog somewhere else” if he didn’t like the open-air drug dealing. And for those keeping score, that quote was jso nice they used it twice, first in early 2006 (when the mayor’s press flack was Peter Ragone) and again yesterday. Looks like somebody’s getting ahead of those new recycling laws.
Newsom still runs around town in between running for governor. According to a news report from last year, the mayor liked to race around Crissy Field, at least when he was premarital and still lived in Russian Hill. But now that he has a growing family with baby on the way and a new pad in Ashbury Heights — hilly, yet close enough to parkland in Golden Gate Park and elsewhere to be a paradise for both a runnin’ fool and a mayor eager to check into the status of his city — where does Newsom run now?
We checked in with current Mayoral communications director Nathan Ballard and received the following response:
That is to say: nothing.
So there you have it, folks — drugs and family life are murder on a running jones.