Friday, June 22, 2012

Inside Trail Marin 50 Course Preview

Jim Vernon did an awesome course preview of the Marin 50 trail run on June 30

I have run every inch of the trail :) in the last few months. My thoughts:

1) Is the course short? According to the Elevation chart it's 48.9 miles.  However, the section from Pan Toll up and around the tourist club and back to Muir Beach seems longer than 10 miles.  Also, the Dipsea Trail section that's been washed out for years (above Old Inn) has reopened.  Doing that section on Dipsea trail vs on road adds distance.  I think the course is at least 50 miles, if not a little over.  

2) Heather Cutoff is overgrown with Poison Oak (as usual). Redwood Creek was in the worse shape I'd ever seen it with overgrowth, and also full of Poison Oak.  

3) The Aid Stations are at least 7 miles apart, and they are all healthy "Jim" 7 miles with big climbs.  I'm planning on carrying my 2-L pack.

Random bathrooms and water fountains besides the Aid Stations
Conzelman road, outhouse
Port-a-Potty and hose with running water, right before Heather Cutoff
Hose at Zen Center (about 1/5 mile in from gate) at Muir Beach
Pan Toll (water, flush toilets)
Stinson Beach (deli)
Muir Woods before Fern Creek (water fountain)
Muir Woods after Dipsea (water fountain)
Port-a-Potty on fire road into TV

Why I think I'll do well?
I know the course extremely thoroughly, and have run all of it in the last month.
Training has gone well. I'm running hills (Coastal up to SCA) that I used to always walk.

Why am I nervous?
14K in climbing...gulp.
Weather in June could be quite warm in Marin (90s).  
No posted cutoffs--when are the aid stations closing

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 5: Of mud & zip

I wanted to squeeze one more run in, so in the morning I tried to run Petersen Creek Trail.  I ran on Glacier Highway about 3/4 mile to the trailhead.  The trail started up on gravel, then transitioned to planks covered with roofing shingles.  Then just to slick planks.  Then to mud up over my shins.  Then to mud up on my calves.  I realized the mud was just going to get thicker, and transition to snow.  I turned around.

I helped close up the cabin, then the remaining campers (Will, Cameron, Jim) and our counselors (:-) and John went to the airport for Will to get a car, then to return a van.  We had a final lunch.  Cameron is an eager kid, prone to asking questions like "what's it like to have a pacer?"  "What's the best 50 mile race?"  "What race has terrain like this"? 

I rushed downtown to do the Juneau zipline tour.  After being the only girl camper with 7 trail runners, on the zip tour I was…the only girl with 5 guys on a bachelor party weekend!!  Why Juneau?  The bachelor was scared of flying, so they'd taken the ferry from Skagway.  Sigh. 

A delicious crab supper at Tracy's Crab Shack on the water, and now enjoying the sunset, the first I've seen in Juneau.  I wish the weather had been like this for our fish bake yesterday.  I've also checked out my bruises.  No wonder my butt hurts, there's a huge purple area from where I fell on day 3. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 4: Anti-Climbatic

The "A-Team" of the fastest, un-injured guys did a ~14 mile loop up Mount Roberts, put on snow-shoes to cover the high ridges, and then down Perservance.  At the start, Corle spotted a mountain goat, high up the slopes of snow-speckledd Mt Juneau. 


I hiked up Mt Roberts (~2.5 miles) to the tram station from town, where snow had overwhelmed the mud.  Corle had waited for me, and we set up an insane slope straight up snow to a cross.  The slope was very steep, so I traversed over to what I thought was the trail, behind a rope.  When I got close to the trail, I realized it was actually an avalance warning sign for the area I was IN.  I punched my hands in and spider monkey'ed up the slope, with Corle encouraging me.  Once I looked down.  Big mistake.  Big.  When I got to where Corle was, I realized there was a much easier path we could have taken through the snow on the left.  Oops. 

Corle & I had a nice sandwich lunch over Juneau, looking at the bald eagles soaring.  I realized that though I'll tolerate snow hiking, I don't enjoy it.  So we descended back down, then Corle left to buy fish for supper.

I  still felt good (though not fond of snow) so did a ~5 mile out and back on Perservance trail.  Geoff had said to be back at the van by 4 pm, so I booked back, arriving right at 4:01 pm.  Everyone was already there, and Geoff said "See?  I told you she speeds at the end!"

We had a SouthEastern Alaska fish bake.  Corle cut up a 11 pound salmon into steaks, and we BBQ'ed  at the beach in a steady drizzle.  The owners of Rainbow foods and their daughter joined us.  The food was outstanding, and I got to set the fire.