Monday, July 25, 2011

Serious Fun =Table Rock 25k and new experiences in California

Saturday's bib
Saturday was the 2nd to the last race of the 2011 La Sportiva Mountain Cup Series; Table Rock 25k in Stinson Beach, CA.

I did not get any photos of the "enchanted woods", yet this sketch captures the essence!
The course is a loop which uses the Dipsea Trail among other trails to usher runners in and out of some of the most magical forests I’ve ever experienced. Fog from the ocean combined with glowing neon vegetation and very big trees reminded me of something that might be found in Middle Earth. I had a great time following pink ribbons as we were guided across grasslands smothered with fog before diving back into the thick woods.

The course was generally either up or down, very little flat and very, very fun!

The miles of the 25km seemed to go by very, very fast. (I had fast downhills and tedious, yet steady ups...)I wound up running in 2:30:14  and was 6th woman, 22 overall out of 121 finishers.   Full results linked from here: This did give me some points for the series, yet after earning 0 at Vail, it is unlikely I will wind up in the top 5.

So be it!

I am grateful for the Series as without participating I would not be visiting these amazing trails and expanding my racing to include some non-ultra distances.

Cynthia Arnold who lives is CO is fast! (She got 2nd on Saturday.) She and I first met a few years ago when we were running the Black Mountain Marathon/ Mt Mitchell Challenge.
Rewind to days before the race....

Six days before this race I ran the World Master’s Athletic Championships Marathon in Sacramento, CA and therefore had some time to adventure in CA! Wanting to keep costs down and new experiences high I spent some time at Harbin Hot Springs outside of Middletown, CA.

The following few photos are from the Harbin website, as photography (as well as cell phones and alchohol are not permitted on the property.
Harbin's Mainside Pool area. You can't see the varied hot springs or smell the wonderful eucalyptus in this photo!

The temple at Harbin.

This retreat center offered camping, use of a community kitchen, hot springs, yoga and miles and miles of trails all for $25.00 per 24 hours. Except for in the kitchen, eating places and temple, the entire grounds was clothing optional. ‘Nuff said! Now I have added yet another perspective  to the experience of trail running!

Coolest TP holder ever sighted at the Calistoga Bike Shop.
I also rented a road bike for a day and romped around upper Napa Valley for 45 miles or so, just by chance finding Velo Vino in St. Helena, CA. This winery is owned by the same folks that created and own Clif Bar. They make very tasty wine, with my personal favorite from the ones sampled , Gary’s Improv which is Zinfandel.

John DeGregory  is a Clif employee and ultrarunner. John ran Angles Crest 100 this past weekend. Congrats John!

Other touristy activities included a walk early in the morning over Golden Gate Bridge and a run in Muir Woods National Monument.
San Fransisco through 6:30am fog
Same fog...Am I touristy or what?

Signs like this one were next to crisis phones all over the top of the bridge.
Muir Woods. Huge Redwoods, fabulous!
Now I am back home readying to dive into work full-tilt boogie and put long trail runs on the back burner for a couple of months as I work towards WC 100km.

1 comment:

Mollie said...

You are not touristy at all for the bridge photos. I lived in SF for seven years, and used to do my long runs from Pacific Heights west to the ocean, then up to the bridge, across, and into Marin, where I'd get a pick-up or ride the bus home. I never got tired of the fog, or, better yet, how you sometimes stepped out of it, like through a wall, into the sunshine on the northern half of the span!