Got out of work early and we headed to San Francisco around 2:30 to pick up our packets at the Northface Store. This would be easier then picking them up before the race, right? WRONG!!! So we pull into town around 5:15 when everyone is getting out of work. So the town is full of traffic and cars. When the light turns green, you still have to wait for the folks to cross the street and hope 2 cars get through the light. Then it started raining...and we were lost. My co-pilot sucked. "What way am I going to turn next? Right". (I move four lanes to the right) Co-Pilot, "Have we turned on third yet, me no that is were what we are looking for. CP oh then you need to turn left on third not right!! (me trying to cross 4 lanes of traffic and would have made it but a car stopped for a walker). Gas light comes on..shit! Forget to fill up before entering city. Have not seen one gas station. Needless to say I was EXTREMELY tense for about an hour driving around, and around, and around downtown SF. (This will play in later). **Some Rapper had a song about "F*ck the Police" I was signing F*ck the City". I am a country bunKin and want to stay that way.
Got our packets, got gas, and got out of SF to Mill Valley, CA. Still pouring and dumping rain. I'm old, I can't see shit in at night especially when you add rain. Find hotel check in: shabby, but not so shabby, clean comfortable beds, good price. We are sent to Italian restaurant across the street for pizza. No more pizza pie he says. It figures. Now it is going on 9. We do find a place and have a great pizza.
Although it poured all night there was no rain in the morning. We took the school bus to the run. It was cold but they had little gas fires so not so bad.
Me and Yvonne per race.
The trail started off level and then came to a climb. No biggy we ran for a while then power hiked. We went up 600 ft we came down 600 ft. We went up 500 ft we came down 300 feet. we were mostly on a wide trail most likely the type created for horseback riding..nothing exciting. Around this time I am feeling stuff in the pit of my bowels....I'm not in the woods I am on a grass knoll...there is no where to escape and die...so at 7.8 we hit the first rest stop and outhouse. I go inside and die...people wait outside, I feel bad but I am dying here!!! This is not normal for me and I think it is the result of my stress levels from that F*cking city! After that I was cool the rest of the time.
Then we hit some coastal trails with nice coastal views and all single tracks. yea..this is what I like. Some say diamonds are a girls best friend...bullshit! Give me single tracks! (In the trees makes it even more valuable).
But wait the single track becomes a wide trail and the climb of all climbs. I went from 24 ft eval to 1344 ft in 5 mils. The beginning was sweet single track switch backs that were nice an gentle I ran at least a mile of them and then decided to walk as I still had over 20 miles to run.
Around mile 16 I climbed a 970 feet in one mile in 21 minutes...this would be my slowest mile. Believe me this course had me saying "ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME!" multiple times as I crested what I thought was the top of a climb, but was not.
So after a huge climb (whether it was the one above or I am skipping) around) I asked this guy who looked like a real runner, "when does this course stop being brutal?" and he replied, "NEVER". He had ran the 50 miler last year but was doing the 50K with his girlfriend this year. it was at this point that the 50 milers joined the 50K (they had started 2 hours earlier then us). So that was a wee bit exciting as these really good runners were joining us and some passing us.
This is where it got really good. We enter the John Muir Woods and cruised into this lush out of this world beautiful forest heading downhill. The beach is cool but the trees are what really turn me on. This trail took us down for a bit to a creek and then a climb back out of there. This is where we encounter a lot of stairs. Stairs are hard to run. (this is just a fact).
I saw so many more beautiful spots but my iphone really takes crappy pictures, these a just two that do not do it justice.
After the climb out of the woods, we actually got to run about 2 miles of level surface. Until once again went up and then we went down...at this point down f*cking hurts and I think I lost my big toenail again!! I will try to nurse it through the summer.
To bring this to an end..I finished 6 hours and 50 mins. Averaging a 13.20 minute mile with a low of 8:52 and a high of 21. During this run the sun was shining and the temperature pleasant. Every time I thought of pulling off a layer the wind would blow and I would leave it on. But after the run, the finish was freezing. They said they would have beer but they didn't, so we left.
When I got home I was surprised to learn I was first in my age group (50 to 54). 42nd woman out of 142 and 175 out of 362 overall.
Sorry for the language but I have a potty mouth and not everyone can write as well as JohnM. I cater to a different crowd.
I need to sign up for a race..
Congrats on a great race and first place in your AG! What beautiful pictures. I agree with you about the trees, especially in those parts.
Nice job, Queen! Way to rock the AG. We don't mind the colorful language at all.
I grew up and learned to drive in the Washington DC traffic. After living in the country for 25 years, when I get near any city traffic I find my hands clenching on the steering wheel and I start saying "F*ck the city".
Nice surprise after all you went thru to get to the race. Muir Woods are beautiful. Wish your other pictures had turned out better.
2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race
Uh oh... now what?
Wow and good pictures (textually and graphically and so on) and good running and ...
other stuff. That is a great time down there in up, down, repeat country. The Muir
Woods need to be seen, running or not, to appreciate their beauty.
Nice job Queen, and 1st place in age group too, congratulations!
running under the BigSky
congrats Queen on a great finish! it proves that you don't need to be in the Rockies to get a lot of elevation gain/loss (found that out firsthand @ Uwharrie on the East coast). I agree- steps are tough!
HURL Fat Ass 50k 1/11- DNS sick :(
Zion Traverse 47 miles 4/5 DNS :( stress fracture in heel
Don't Fence Me In 30k 14k 5/10 ✓
Pengelly Double Dip 13.1 miles & 3000' 6/7 ✓
Devils Backbone 50 mile (I'm running 25 as a two person relay) 7/19 ✓ Wow!
Ellkhorn 23k 8/2- this is a maybe- little close to the Bridger???? signed up :) ✓
Bridge Ridge Run 20 miles 8/9 ✓
Great report, result and pictures! I know what you are feeling with both the traffic and the trails. I actually do those trails pretty rarely because ratio of running to hiking is too low for me.
3/8 Way Too Cool 50k WNS
4/19 Tehama Wildflowers 50k
Follower of Forrest
Fuck yeah Sue! Sounds like a hell of a run. Congrats on the AG award. I think the language was audience appropriate.
6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi
A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man
Great job, Sue, you nailed it!
I felt the same way about driving in SF every time my DW and I drove in to visit
with our son. Californians are laid back EXCEPT while driving in San Francisco.
Awesome! The 50k was re-routed last year so no Muir Woods, much less single track. The Marin Ultra Challenge 50k did a lot of the same trails, so I know what you are talking about.
The climb up Cardiac out of Muir Beach is tough, and that climb out of the Muir Woods is brutal .... great job putting together a great race and a great time!
I actually do those trails pretty rarely because ratio of running to hiking is too low for me.
Thanks for the grats...but as chnuair pointed out it was just a lot of super hiking and running downhill. The AG was a surprise but I guess getting old has some advantages. It was fun and I just signed up for the Way Too Cool lottery, even though I gave up races for next year.
Congratulations! I enjoyed the report...way to go on the AG!
Way to go, Sue. I am glad you had a great day out there. That is a beautiful area.
Great job, and fun report. Sounds like a tough course, but sometimes those are the best kind
My Blog: trailsandcocktails.com
I Run for Oiselle
Hyner 50k: 4/18/15
Laurel Highlands 70M: 6/13/15