|Fall trail racing is the best!|
|Berkeley Trail Adventure Elevation Chart|
Next up will be the Skyline to Sea Marathon put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs. This race is just a couple weeks after the Berkeley race on October 12th starting at the Saratoga Gap trail head located at the corner of HWY 9 and Skyline Blvd. This is a point to point course starting up at the ridge of the Sant Cruz mountains and running down to the Pacific ocean. Although it is a net downhill and that presents its own challenges this course does have over 2000' ft of elevation gain. Of the 3 races, this will surely be the easiest. My goal for this one will be a sub 4 hour race. I think that's pushing it but achievable.
The last race of the three will be the grand pubah. The other two were just training runs to get me ready for the Quad Dipsea! I made it into the race by registering within the first few minutes that the race opened up. It sold out quickly and the waiting list already has 69 people on it. This looks like it will be both my shortest ultra and toughest to complete. It is 4 passes on the Dipsea Trail starting in Mill Valley and turning around at Stinson Beach. The total distance will be 28.4 miles and the elevation gain will be a whooping 9276' ft. That's well more than the 7000' you get from a typical 50k in the Bay Area! One pass of the Dipsea trail has 688 stairs broken up into 3 flights. Multiply that x4 and you can see why this race is considered exceptionally difficult. The current course record holder is Leor Pantilat finishing in 3:48:58. He took it from Erik Skaggs, Jenn Sheltons better half for you ultra fans out there. They have swapped the record back & forth a couple of times over the years. Both are super fast runners so if that's the best; I'm guessing I can pull off about 6 hours. Seriously. That would put me in the top 25% and be a very respectable time as far as I am concerned. If you study the results from past races it looks like the average finish time is around 7 hours.
This ramp back up to the longer more strategic races will likely lead me to another 50k in early 2014 and then maybe a 50 miler! That's a lofty goal but who knows I just might make it there someday. Look for my race reviews on these and see if they sound like something you might want to run.
See you on the trails