For the Thirtyacre family, running is a daily routine 

There may be no better representative for Pamakid Runners, the presenter of next weekend’s Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K, than the Thirtyacre family.

“Pa” Jim and “Ma” Jodi will be participating in the half marathon. “Kids” Spencer and Liam will be running the shorter race option.

For 12-year-old Liam, next Sunday’s 5K is not just another race in what has been a busy season of running. This will be his fourth and final year racing in the event’s youth classification.

“I’d like to finish in first place, go out with a bang,” Liam said, who at next year’s Kaiser event will be running the half marathon with the adults.

The Claire Lilienthal School seventh-grader has already notched a victory recently, winning his age group in the 5-mile Pacifica Rocket Run on July 4. He also had a second-place finish in this fall’s Bridge-to-Bridge Run. Perhaps Liam’s most impressive showing, though, was in the Howlin’ Moon Run the day before Halloween. He was seventh in the 10-14 age category despite running with a cast on his fractured wrist after a mishap with a rope swing.

Liam credits his mom as the motivator of the running Thirtyacres. Husband Jim realized that if he wished to spend time with his busy wife, a department manager at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, he would need to lace on his running shoes and join her on the early morning training runs.

The couple has been running five mornings a week, including Pamakids coach Andy Chan’s long weekend training runs, in preparation for Jim’s first half marathon.

“He’s very nervous,” said Jodi, who has been running since childhood. “Jim’s goal is to finish.”

The starting line is just a short walk from the Thirtyacres’ home in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset district.

“Our prerace ritual includes peanut butter and banana sandwiches on whole grain bread,” Liam said.

The family will meet up with their Pamakids teammates for stretching exercises at the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park before joining the 10,000 other event participants.

After Jodi’s two-hour, 13.1-mile run — her goal is a 9-minute, 15-second mile pace — the second race of Super Bowl Sunday for this super mom will commence. She and Liam will jump in the family Volvo to catch a bus that departs earlier in the day carrying Liam’s classmates to an outdoor education field trip in Yosemite.

“The chase begins,” Liam said. “I look forward to climbing aboard the bus a hero.”


Taking to the streets

What: 28th annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run

When: Feb. 6, 8 a.m.

Starting line: Golden Gate Park/JFK Drive, east of Stow Lake

Presented by: Pamakid Runners Club,


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David Liepman

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