Elusive “Bikini Jogger” Enlivens, Perplexes Bernal Heights

Bernalwood's mysterious bikini jogger

Bernal's mysterious Bikini Jogger, after conquering Elsie Street one chilly September morning.

In the Pacific Northwest, they have Sasquatch. The Yeti is said to stalk the Himalayas. In Scotland, searchers seek the Loch Ness Monster. And of course, Ahab had his white whale. Here in Bernal Heights, we also have an elusive creature that is the object of much fascination and conjecture: The Bikini Jogger.

Necks are sore on the west and north slopes of Bernal Hill as residents do double-takes upon capturing a glimpse of the fit and fierce morning jogger as she works through her intense fitness regime.

The fact that she seems to eat the steep grades of Elsie and Stoneman for breakfast is impressive enough, but the truly remarkable (and much remarked upon) thing is that she does so in the better part of her birthday suit. Even on cold, cloudy days, this Wonder Woman look-alike is clad in nothing but a bikini and sneakers.

Jogging appears to be just part of her regimen. When this reporter tried to interview her on the corner of Stoneman and Folsom streets last month, she was doing a set of burpees, with earphones cranked up high. (Which might explain the failure of said interview. Also, I was in my car.)

In a recent Bernalwood post, commenter Julie Lagarde offered that she has seen the athlete jumping rope. And that the Bikini Jogger used to wear flip-flops!

Who is this beach-ready iron woman? Perspiring and perplexed minds want to know!

UPDATE: Reader Brandon sends along this photo from another recent Bikini Jogger sighting:

Brandon writes:

I took this on October 16th on Eugenia, just west of Bocana. I was walking home from Cortland up Bocana, and found her approaching me from the other side of Eugenia. She turned in front of me, and I recognized that this was probably my best opportunity after several failed attempts to catch a pic from the car when I came across her. What’s interesting to me is that by the time I got to Coso, she was still only about a block ahead of me, despite her running and my walking. On the way down Elsie, I saw a couple come out of their house to watch her run by. We had a brief chat about the phenomenon of the Bikini Jogger, and they were equally bemused!

UPDATE 2: Stop the presses!! Bernalwood has conducted an exclusive micro-interview with the Bikini Jogger!

PHOTOS: Top, Aaron Ximm. Below, Reader Brandon

68 thoughts on “Elusive “Bikini Jogger” Enlivens, Perplexes Bernal Heights

  1. She ran by me in Holly Park last weekend as I was walking the dog. Too bad the camera on my old iPhone 3GS is so slow or I would’ve tried to get a pic. She used to run down Bocana pretty regularly, but I hadn’t seen her in awhile. And I can confirm that she did, indeed, used to wear flip-flops.

    • BTW, it was hearing the slap of the flip-flops against the pavement that would prompt me and my wife to run to the front windows with exclamations of “the bikini jogger’s here!” like kids running for the ice cream truck.

  2. I also saw her jogging at Ocean Beach one sunny day, though she looked a little more in her element there.

  3. Saw the bikini jogger on Folsom last week . . . fierce and fit describes her perfectly. We love the mystery. And we knew she’d reach Bernalwood one of these days.

  4. My theory is that she is training for something that requires not just fitness but hardiness vs. the elements. Perhaps she’s going to cross-country-ski to the North Pole? Swim from Tierra del Fuego to Antarctica? But she’s stuck in temperate SF and doesn’t have any big-dollar sponsors, so the best training she can muster is to run up steep hills in a bikini.

    That said, I would agree that perhaps it would be wise to switch to a more supportive, jog-bra-style top.

    • Yes, that is what I wanted to ask her one time I saw her in street clothes: “Are you training for a triathlon?”, but I was too timid.


  5. The idea of running in flip flops is just as confusing as running in a non-supportive bikini. The only thing that seems reasonable is that she simply does not wish to spend the money on proper clothes/shoes for the activity, and she’s leveraging what she has to do the task — only high-intensity and lengthy runs *require* so little in the way of clothes for sub-60 degree weather.

    Friends of mine spotted her a while back and posted a description on Facebook. She was doing hill repeats in non-supportive shoes and clothes, and the conversation following made the mystery seem just as confusing until one of them caught and posted a picture that verified this unbelievable get-up for hardcore training.

    You have to admire this woman for doing consistent, challenging workout in our hills, no matter what you think about the lack of support and near public indecency of it all.

  6. TL, you should have come to me. I posted photographic evidence of Bikini Jogger on Facebook on October 16. I’ll PM you the photo…

    • Brandon, Hilarious that you’ve made the bikini jogger a celebrity! This is Chris you and I and my friend Fana had that conversation you refer to out on Elsie St when she ran by us all. I think we should plan a flash mob bikini jog down cortland street and down to Precita Park! Make it an annual thing with a bikini party at the park! 🙂 Great posts!

  7. oh I miss the slap slap of the flip flops or sandals…I could only think “her poor arches”… well the exhibitionist has finally made the bernalwood blog, we were all waiting!

  8. I kind of hope we never find out who she is or why she does it. Reality is almost sure to be disappointing. In the meantime, let’s continue to speculate. Maybe she’s a ghost?

    • I kind of feel the same. Likewise, I love the fleeting, down-the-street photos of her; they capture her fleeting, elusive, more-questions-than-answers nature.

  9. As a semi–barefoot runner on the hill myself [I sport those Vibram 5 toe shoes], I can say that our feet are really all the support that our legs need. How you keep flip flops from flopping right off while running is a whole other story. And I agree that I hope we never find out who she is. This is way more fun.

      • I said it’s all the support my LEGS need ;-). I didn’t say anything about other areas in need of more support which as a woman I know all too well.

  10. Has anyone seen the ‘exotic dancer’ jogger? she wears workout clothes (tight leggings and a sports bra), but jog-dances, stops and circles her hips, etc. An extension of the pole-dancing gym classes? Working on her career? Seen 2 or 3 times on Gates / Powhattan area.

  11. She likes to run up Bocana Street around 9am, but I’ve seen her elsewhere in the ‘hood as well. Must say, I’m impressed that she never looks winded. I was also relieved when she decided to lose the gladiator sandals (I think I even saw some rhinestones shimmering on them?) and strap on some decent running shoes. Among the many, many remaining mysteries: why always the SAME bikini? Why not branch out from the turquoise? Given she’s an exhibitionist, why not a g-string in emergency orange?

    • I’m going with the theory that she’s running in what she has (which would explain why it is the same in both pictures and in many sightings). If she doesn’t want to (or have the money to) spend on a supportive sports-bra and any old wicking running shorts, I’m glad she went for proper shoes, first.

      As a long distance runner myself, I know that one can get away with little clothing once one has warmed up. I have often been running on the Embarcadero and seen scads of people in running tights and jackets while I’m wearing shorts and short sleeves, and I ran the Boston Marathon in 40-degree weather wearing a singlet.

      Still, this gets so much talk because it isn’t workout-specific attire, it is in public, and she’s showing more skin than you’d expect.

      • Definitely doubting over here that financial hardship has anything to do with Bikini Jogger’s failure to invest in running gear or an alternative bathing suit. But I’m kind of jazzed that the rationale she revealed in her micro-interview — minimal tanlines — is more mysterious than clarifying. This just gets better!

    • No g-string, but I’m pretty sure she was in an orange bikini the time I saw her doing burpees on Stoneman. Haven’t seen it since, though. Clearly she prefers turquoise…

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  13. I bet she runs in blue bikini because she can double a tan and a workout. As for the shoes? I have no good answer for that. As for her being too poor to buy a sports bra? I seriously doubt it. Bikini’s are a LOT more expensive than work out gear usually. You can go to Ross and pick up one for less than $20. She clearly is proud of her body and was probably raised in a beach town. Whatever the reasons… I dig our elusive yeti!

    • The ‘tan line’ story just doesn’t hold up.

      It’s San Francisco, it’s winter, and it’s relatively early in the morning. Just how much sun is that?


      • Her tan does look very nice and even tho. So, maybe there is more sun breaking through those early morning hours through the fog…. Or she wears the bikini all day. Maybe it is some sort of uniform? Maybe she is in one of those bikini baristas and she is just dressed for work? I dont know. But boy the mind gets creative wondering. She is probably just a mild exhibitionist and likes the attention. I wonder if she knows she sure has it here?!

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    • As a runner myself, I have often thought it would be fun to put on a Bernal Hill race or funrun- would sure separate the wheat from the chaff and make all those people who complain that SF Marathon is “too hard” put on some big kid undies and see what San Francisco running is really all about!

      I’m game to make it an underwear run– Heck, I’ll be participating in the Santa Skivvies Underwear Run for SF AIDS Foundation on December 11, and that’s smack down Market Street. What’s a little muffintop among neighbors?

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  19. Great idea. Hmm, we could call it the “Muffintops & Muffins Flip Flop Fun Run.” Maybe businesses such as Liberty Cafe, Martha Bros., Moonlight Cafe, Progressive Grounds or others will donate muffins and coffee for after the run gathering, or it could end with a muffin bake sale for charity.

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  24. I’m a marathon runner. I run in Bernal, the hills in Bernal are really not that difficult for an athlete though they seem intense to a weekend walker.
    Running with the wrong shoes and without a jog bra is just plan crazy so I have to wonder if she may have something wrong with her? Does anyone know where she lives or if she has a caregiver that should be informed that she is behaving oddly?

    • If this individual wishes to run the hill in her bikini and flip flops, she is completely free to do so. “America the land of the free” applies to all who live here. The fact that you dianthe and friends are so fast to pass poor judgement on an individual simply because she is not like you makes my stomach cringe. As long as I have known this hill (chances are probably a whole lot longer than you) there has never been a dress code to walk on it or its surrounding streets. The very fact that this person feels perfectly safe and comfortable to run in a bikini only makes me feel more proud of this neighborhood for she obviously does not feel threatened by anyone.

      In fact, people like you are more of a threat than a woman jogging in a bikini because you feel that those of us who are not like you need caregivers to reprimand our free will.
      Perhaps you should consult your caregiver on the customs of other cultures around the world so that next time you see something alien to you, you will not feel threatened.

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