I had a fantastic time at PCTR’s Stinson Beach Trail Run event last Saturday! I ran the 25k, but there were also 12k and 50k options. With perfect weather (sunny and temps rising to the 70s), great trail conditions, excellent race organization, and lots of friends, all the ingredients were there for a fun time. This arduous course in Mount Tamalpais State Park serves up 3,556 ft of ascent for the 25k and 7,097 ft for the 50k. The scenery along the course is simply spectacular with amazing variety. From the old growth redwoods and waterfalls along the Steep Ravine Trail, to the inspiring views of the Marin Headlands and San Francisco descending the Coastal Trail, this course is awesome!
My run started in a bit of a frenzy. I realized I forgot my race jersey in the car less than 5 minutes before the run was to start. I sprinted the couple hundred meters to the car, got the jersey and then ran back to the start area making it just as the countdown to the start was getting underway. This is not an idyllic way to start a run, but I was able to ease into it as we began our ascent up the Dipsea Trail. I felt good running up Steep Ravine, then down Coastal Trail, and then the flatter Redwood Creek Trail. Running up Deer Park Fireroad and the Dipsea Trail was challenging – it’s a long climb and it was starting to feel warm – but soon enough I was back at Pantoll. The final descent on the Matt Davis Trail is technically challenging requiring full focus, and even more so when the majority of the 12 kilometer runners were still on the trail and very tentative! It’s a long descent back to Stinson Beach, finally exiting Matt Davis Trail and opening it up for the last quarter mile to the finish, coming in 1:52:24.
As usual, PCTR put on a fantastic event with flawless course marking, impeccable aid stations, and a great finish area. It was all smiles from participants at the finish area, who relaxed in the fall sunshine enjoying post-race snacks, soup and chili, and hanging out with friends. Stinson Beach looked more like July with tons of people out enjoying the sunshine! A huge thanks to the organizers and volunteers for making this a great event and congratulations to all the runners.
More photos here!