32 miles and 7,070 feet of climbing, although in my opinion the technical descents are the toughest aspect of Steep Ravine. Due to my clumsy accidents earlier this week, I showed up for the race in heavy armor: Gauze wrapped around my raw right knee, basketball player elbow pads as insurance against a likely slip, and poles strapped to my pack in case my knee or shins bothered me enough to require support. Beat wore a large overnight pack stuffed with food and all the gear he'll need in the 200-mile Petite Trotte a Leon in France later this month. We must have looked fairly neurotic to the other runners lining up for a heavily supported 25K/50K race on well-used trails.
Beat and his huge backpack finished in 6:28. I took 7:05, which despite injuries is about ten minutes faster than I ran a slightly different Steep Ravine course in better weather back in January. (This is one of the anomalies of San Francisco and the Marin Headlands; the weather is often sunnier and warmer in winter than it is during the summer.) Honestly, I wanted to do a little better than seven hours, but for a relatively pain-free 50K — one in which I did not fall on my face — I'll take it.