Cows, Fog and Lady Gaga Tats - Page 2
As we ran along the fringe of Muir Woods we weaved in and out of the Dipsea Trail and Deer Park Fire Road. Craggy and steep, technical terrain slowed our pace, before we headed toward the Muir Woods Road crossing and entered the Miwok Trail.
Keli Keleman leads the way. Photo by Mary Bernsen
Here I caught up with the lead runners, Keli, Jerome and Marty. The Miwok Trail slapped us with a steady climb, and, at the top, fog and strong winds cooled us quickly. Mount Tamalpais came into full view and, to the east, we glimpsed Mill and Tamalpais valleys and Richardson Bay. Our next descent brought us into Tennessee Valley, and marked a marathon distance. We welcomed our meeting with the Mothership, knowing our next climb of the Marincello Trail would be punishing.
Chelsea decided to call it a day, as the run thus far would constitute her first “marathon.” The next two miles saw a remarkable spread between runners, as we all churned out our individual run-walk pace up the relentless Marincello Trail. Keli and Dani led the pack. Keli said he had a “love-hate relationship” with the hill, but Dani, slender and fit, never seemed to tire. She began running after college but only started training for a full marathon in February and had raced strong in a couple of shorter races. Asked why she had joined our group adventure, she replied, “I wanted a fun run with no competition. I wanted to be able to just kick back and not worry about pace or what place I was in.”
As the Marincello Trail turned into Bobcat Trail we caught sweeping views of Gerbode Valley and Rodeo Beach. Then picking up Alta and Morning Glory Trail, we once again were faced with another sudden climate change as we cut through a windy and thick patch of eucalyptus trees.
To our left we were able to make out Tiburon, Sausalito and a small part of the San Francisco Bay. Out of the trees and to our right was the entrance to the SCA Trail, a well-worn favorite with the local path pounders, with postcard views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island.
The author, running along the home stretch. Photo by Mary Bernsen
At the bottom of SCA Trail and the crossing at Conzelmen Road we reached the stairwells that led us up to the span of the Golden Gate Bridge and the final 2.7 miles of the run. Crowds were there to urge us on ... well, just kidding, but the Golden Gate is always packed with sightseers and it was to fun to think they were there to cheer for us. We triumphantly crossed one of the wonders of the modern world and reached our final destination!
At the finish, we were greeted with smiles and hugs from wives, girlfriends, husbands, offering welcome food and beer. Slowly people drifted off, until it was just me sitting alone, staring off at the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate, musing about the next time I might be able to host this run.
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