Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Mile by Inside Trail Racing
Saturday 22 June 2013
Race morning I woke up before 3 am, couldn't get back to sleep. I had been sleeping poorly the previous three nights. If this were a 100 miler, I would be screwed, but being "only" 50, I figured I could once again caffeinate my way through it.
The portalets were way far from the start area, this year moved from Rodeo Beach to Fort Baker closer to the Golden Gate Bridge. I actually drove my car closer to the toilets avoid a pre-race partial mile bonus. As often happens, I missed the pre-race talk.
I had printed up the race map beforehand and the turn by turn directions, but since the printer I used lack color, the map and therefore the directions made no sense. The course had to be changed from last year's. Although RD Tim Stahler had procured the race permits long before, the State Park officials revoked them, due to some fundraising event that came up (and didn't actually overlap the race geographically). So the race was limited to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area trails-- no Muir Woods, Mount Tam or Stinson Beach, and there was more winding of the course back onto itself. We would run the Coastal Trail through Pirate's Cove twice. I had initially been a little disappointed in the course change, but I couldn't say the repetition was boring-- the scenery was still awesome, and there were several sections of trail I had never run before.
In fact, the beginning of the race going to Rodeo Beach used a single track trail, Rodeo Valley Trail, that I had never been on before. This was fun, but there was a lot of poison oak and the trail wasn't trimmed. Even if I had thought of applying Tecnu post-race, it probably was too late. Many of us would be quite itchy for the next couple of weeks. I made a mental note to offer to trim this for a future trail work requirement, but Mount Tam would come back in next year's race.
|can't remember where this was but I like it, even my gaiters|
photo by yiles Smythe, Michigan Bluff Photography
|about to descend Coastal Trail to Pirates Cove, I think the first of two times|
Repeating a loop with this trail is far from monotonous torture.
My gaiters match the blue of the water...
Thanks again, Myles Smythe, Michigan Bluff Photography!
photo by Sam Hsu
|courtesy of and featuring Sean Curry|
|by Miles Smythe, Michigan Bluff Photography|
with Tracy Bowling, women's overall winner, finished 6 minutes ahead
|photo courtesy Sean Curry|
actually managed to eke 3rd in my age group
RD Tim Stahler handing me my medal
Scott LaBerge, Clare Abram, me, Chris Eide
|canvas bag, shirt, La Sportiva Helios|
|with my 2013 JMT buddies: Sachin Sawant, Toshi Hosaka, Baldwyn Chieh, Pierre Couteau|
I was the only one to start and finish the whole thing.