Steep Ravine 50K
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.