Saturday, March 21, 2009


Last night I made the last minute decision to run a 50k race today. I wasn't going to blast it as I have the Barkley coming up in 2 weeks, but wanted to put a bit more stress on the legs. I looked at last year's times and figured I'd shoot for somewhere between a 5:30 and 6 hour finish.

Pirate's Cove is put on by Sarah and Wendell (who is also doing Barkley) of Pacific Coast Trail Runs (AWESOME events - my first ultra was a PCTR event). Here are co-race directors at the start.

Runners gathered and waited for the start of the race.

Almost immediately I had to stop and pee. As I did, I saw this little guy watching the runners trudge on by:

The start is basically up and up and up.

The run in the Marin headlands was beautiful - with views of hills, the coast line and the Pacific Ocean.

The run also goes through groves of Redwoods and Eucalyptus trees:

Along the eastern side of the headlands there were wonderful views of the SF Bay and the city itself:

After finishing the 30k loop, we went back out on a shorter version, past some coves dotting the coastline.

I crossed the finishing line with a time right at 5 hours 29 minutes, so can't complain I didn't stick to my plan. It is a great race and offers beautiful views.


The Beist said...

Hi Alen,

Looks like you have been quite busy. I saw on the ultra list that you are not going to make it to Hardrock this year. I was looking forward to chatting with you again. Good luck at Barkley!

Take Care
Bill Geist(the ultrarunner you bumped into at the airport a couple years ago)

Alan said...

Hi Bill:

Yeah, I certainly want to give HR a go - but no way I can do that and get to BW (and a mandatory pre-race meeting) within less than a day....nor do the races back-to-back.

I am not hoping for much at Barkley - just want to be part of the experience. My main races will be Keys 100 (where I am to return and defend my title - with the lowest conditioning and after a 2 week honeymoon in Italy feasting on gelato and drinking proseco and chianti) and then Badwater.

Clara said...

Great run! I can't believe how high that first climb is!!

Unknown said...

Congrats on your strong run and fine finish last weekend! And thanks for your nice comments.

I'm glad that you were able to make it out to run - that's a good 'last long run' before heading to TN.

See you on Fools' Weekend!


Alan said...

Thanks Clara - it seemed higher the second loop :)

Sarah - thanks again for putting on such a great race!

kate said...

Hi- I will have to say hi at some race. Barkley????!!!! Oh you are nuts! Fun! Good job- the 50k was great, but tough!

Christian Griffith, said...


great stuff - cool photos - nice trail.


i would love to run a PCT race - but I guess I'll gets plenty at CCC100.

Good luck at Barkley - We'll all be watching the loop counts.


David Ray said...

Ditto what Christian said. Beautiful race. Thanks for writing it up.

Jean Pommier said...

Great long run and all the best at Barkley. We'll think of you when enjoying our smooth AR trail. I know, if Barkley is called a trail race, then AR should be called a road one...

Farther Faster

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

looks like you had fun. have fun running while you can....

Alan said...

Thanks everyone - the run was fun although I really wasn't racing it. Need to save something for my 1/3 loop at Barkley.

Christian - thanks for the comments, didn't know you read my blog!

Jean - well, AR50 is flat for 40 miles :)

Mark...uh...not sure I understand. I would try to figure it out but my fiance is shoving me out the door for another run.