About Us








Running San Francisco since 1971


It all started when...


Established in 1971, the Pamakid Runners Club formed when members of the San Francisco Dolphin South End Runners (DSE)—the land-loving offshoot of the San Francisco Rowing Club, Dolphin Club, and South End Rowing Club—wanted to compete as a club at local races, but AAU (Amateur Athletic Union), kept them from doing so. At the same time, the Cunneen and Boitano families were having a great time on their Wednesday night runs around Lake Merced, with men, women, and children all participating. (This is significant considering the AAU didn’t allow women to participate in races until 1974, and the general public still assumed that women weren’t strong enough to run.) Some of these young Lake Merced runners were also DSE members and wanted to enter Bay to Breakers under the DSE name, but again, the AAU would only allow them to run as “unattached.” 

Armed with a desire to run as part of an official running club, Betty Cunneen called a meeting to form a new AAU club. They set a date for September 2, 1970 to discuss club details, including the name. The group tossed out several good ideas, including gems such as Runaway Pancakes, Lake Merced Striders, and Pacific Pacers. Grant Newland invented the name Pamakid ("Pa-Ma-Kid")  and a bird called Soonar as the club mascot. The name, and the mascot, won by a landslide.

With their name intact and Betty Cunneen on board as the first club president, the Pacific Association of the AAU officially sanctioned Pamakid Runners Club in January 1971. The Wednesday night runs continued for more than 15 years, almost always followed with a potluck or dinner at a nearby pizza parlor. The club’s first organized race was an 8-mile jaunt from Daly City to Lake Merced. A few years later, they organized a relay race at Lake Merced, which later evolved into the annual Rites of Spring Run and Dinner.

In 1977, under the guidance of then-president Jim Scannell, the Pamakids organized the first San Francisco Marathon. The marathon continued under our direction for five years, until the weight of organizing such a large event took its toll. No stranger to endurance events, the Pamakids also participated in a 24-hour relay event put on by Runner’s World. About 100 teams participated in this ‘round the clock event. Club members enjoyed running (and socializing) so much, they began organizing weekend trips around races, which ultimately led to annual camping/running excursions to the Gold Country town of Volcano, Calif., for the 7.7-mile Jug and Rose race.

After letting go of the marathon, in 1983, the Pamakids put on the inaugural San Francisco Half Marathon, later sponsored by Home Depot. While the course has remained virtually unchanged (except for occasional fidgeting with the last quarter mile), the event has grown steadily in attendance and popularity. With the support of title sponsor Kaiser Permanente beginning in 2005, the San Francisco Half Marathon has become one of the city’s largest road races. In 2013, the Pamakid Runners celebrated the event’s 30th anniversary with over 9,500 registered runners—our largest field to date!

The success of the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon allows the Pamakids to donate over one hundred thousand dollars annually to such organizations as the Koret Family House, Northern California Hemophiliac Society, Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, Meals on Wheels, and many other local San Francisco Bay Area charities.

Today, Pamakid Runners boasts a diverse membership of “Pas,” “Mas,” “Kids,”and grown-up kids who actively participate in local running events and club-organized social events, including our “Rites of Spring” run and dinner, a holiday gala (where club awards are given annually), club picnics, and other festivities. Our racing team competes in several road, track, ultras, and cross-country events each year, from the 800K to 100 mile ultras. So the next time you’re running around Lake Merced, Golden Gate Park, or Kezar Stadium, watch out: you may find a Pamakid on your tail. We’re friendly creatures…but keep an eye on their avian friend, Soonar. He just might drop something on you!

Join Us

You are invited to join Pamakid Runners. Our club purpose is to promote healthy lifestyle, support the running community and charitable causes, and have fun while doing it. We have weekly fun runs and occasional larger events including the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run. We offer coaching and subsidize our running teams in select races. We support youth and local high school track teams. We are also have numerous club socials such as picnics, BBQ, running camps, dinners and many others.

To Join:

  • Online - Go to SignMeUp and follow the online instructions. Click HERE to confirm your registration, but please allow up to 4 weeks to process your registration.
  • By Mail - Download Pamakids Club Application (PDF) and mail it along with a check to P.O. Box 27557, San Francisco, CA 94127.

In addition to joining our club, we highly encourage you to consider joining the PAUSATF and declaring Pamakids as your team (#134). For more information about the PAUSATF, click HERE. This is not required to become a club member but is required if you want to run in PA races.

After you are a Pamakid member, if you plan to participate in team races, it is highly recommended that you join the Pamakids Racing Team Yahoo Group so that you get updates, information, and announcements about races and racing team-related items. To join the Pamakids Racing Team Yahoo group, click HERE

Also, all Pamakid members are encouraged to also join the Pamakid Runners Yahoo group to receive updates, information, and announcements about club-related but non-racing related events and news. To join the Pamakid Runners Yahoo group, click HERE

For more information, please contact the membership chair at membership@pamakidrunners.org.

Pamakid Runners Events


Pamakid General Membership Meeting, Sunday, March 25, 2018: Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Dimond Room (tentative)

Betty Cunneen Rites of Spring, Friday, April 27, 2018: Fun run around Lake Merced followed by team dinner banquet at the Lake Merced Boathouse

Pamakid Picnic Day: July 30, 2018 and Rodeo Beach. Gathering of all club members for a day of fun in the sun and great food. This year will include the annual PamaBEAST Donut Beer Run

Holiday Party, December 2, 2018: Sir Francis Drake Hotel. PamaNation in formal attire for a little fun, celebration, and awesome music and food!


Board of Directors Meetings

Held monthly on Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

Members are welcome to attend.

Please contact info@pamakidrunners.org for meeting details and to RSVP.

Charity Committee

Meets four times per year: January, April, July, and October.

The Committee is made up of three to five club members appointed by the Board of Directors. At least one member of the Charity Committee shall be a board member. All club members are welcome to attend meetings.

Please contact charitablegiving@pamakidrunners.org for meeting details and to RSVP.

Please download the Charity Committee Guidelines (PDF) to see how direct requests for donations to charities are made through the Charity Committee.

Club Info

Website: pamakidrunners.org

Email:  info@pamakidrunners.org

Mail: Pamakid Runners, P.O. Box 27557, San Francisco, CA 94127

Facebook Public Page: www.facebook.com/pamakidsrunningclub

Facebook Private Group: www.facebook.com/groups/pamakidrunnersclub

Twitter: twitter.com/pamakids

Club Group Emails: Join Pamakids Racing to receive messages about upcoming races and join Pamakid Runners for all other club activities.

Board of Directors

The Pamakid Runners BOD currently meets monthly, except for every 4th month of the calendar year (April, August, and December). Members are always welcome. For information on the next BOD meeting, e-mail info@pamakidrunners.org.

President - Andy Chan

VP of Finance - Monica Fernandez

VP of Club Activities - Thang Ta

Secretary - Megan Nguyen

Social Chair - Phyllis Nathan

Racing Team Directors - Lee Novich and Kelly Haston

Membership Chair - Jodi Thirtyacre

Directors at Large - Monica Zhuang and Anthony McGrath

Immediate Past President - Bill Dake

Charity Committee

As stated in our mission statement, supporting charitable causes is very important to our club. We have a Charity Committee that meets four times a year (January, April, July, and October). Please read the PDF file on the website for more specific details about the Charity Committee: Pamakids Charity Committee Guidelines (PDF)

To recommend a charity or to find out when the next Charity Committee meeting is, please e-mail charitablegiving@pamakidrunners.org.

Club Socials

For information on upcoming club Social Events e-mail social@pamakidrunners.org. We want club member's ideas for new events! To suggest a new social event for which you would like the club to consider providing support and promotional outreach, provide event info to the social chair in writing at least 90 days before planned event date.

Racing Team

The racing team attends Bay Area races every month. Joining the Racing Team Yahoo! Group is the best way to keep informed about racing opportunities. See the racing team schedule and more info on the racing team page. If you have specific questions, you can e-mail a racing team captain at info@pamakidrunners.org

The Pamakid Runners attend many races that are sanctioned by the Pacific Association (PA) of USATF. In order to score for the club in those races you must join the PA and declare Pamakids (club #134) as your team affiliation. To join the PA go to this website and click on Join Now: www.pausatf.org.

Disclaimer: It is encouraged but not required that you join the PA and declare Pamakids as your team affiliation.

The Pamakids keep age graded scores on every race that any club member runs while representing the club. Read the Age Graded Performance Awards (PDF) for all the details. Awards for top performances are passed out at the Holiday Gala. Add your race results or e-mail your race results to John Gieng racing@pamakidrunners.org.

We ask that club members race in the Pamakids team singlet as much as possible. We also have other Pamakid clothing items. For information on buying clothing e-mail uniforms@pamakidrunners.org.

Track Workouts

Coach Andy Chan coaches track workouts at Kezar Stadium on Tuesday nights at 6:30 PM. Current fees are $5 per session for non-members. Pamakid members pay $3 per session, with the club subsidizing the cost. E-mail coach@pamakidrunners.org for more information.

Soonar or Later Blog

Soonar or Later is the official Pamakids Running Club blog. If you have a submission, please send it to the editor by the 15th of the month preceding the next issue. Please submit your item at your earliest convenience or risk missing the submission deadline.

The Newsletter Editor is John Gieng, Email: info@pamakidrunners.org


Quarterly Newsletter of the Pamakid Runners

Soonar Soundings was a quarterly newsletter published for the Pamakid Runners Club. Under the direction of former editors, George Rehmet and Marlyss Bird, Soonar Soundings won numerous RRCA Western Regional award for small/medium club newsletter from 2002-2012. A subscription to the newsletter was included with each membership through the last issue for Fall 2012.  In early 2013, Pamakids decided to go completely digital and replaced the quarterly newsletter with a more interactive blog, Soonar or Later, under the leadership of John Gieng and Yvonne Ou.  You can find our new and exciting blog under the About Us tab.

Past Issues:

Download the Fall 2012 Newsletter

Download the Spring/Summer 2012 Newsletter

Download the Winter 2012 Newsletter

Download the Fall 2011 Newsletter

Download the Summer 2011 Newsletter

Download the Spring 2011 Newsletter

Download the Winter 2011 Newsletter

Download the Fall 2010 Newsletter

Download the Summer 2010 Newsletter

Download the Spring 2010 Newsletter

Download the Winter 2010 Newsletter

Download the Fall 2009 Newsletter

Download the Summer 2009 Newsletter

Download the Spring 2009 Newsletter

Download the Winter 2009 Newsletter