Monday, January 28, 2013

Marin Headlands run

Yesterday I broke in my new trail runners.

It was a sunny Sunday in the Marin Headlands, a bit cool, but so crisp and clear I could see the Farallon Islands.

I started out at the Visitors Center, off Bunker Road, and went counter clockwise on Miwok Trail. For the first 2 miles you run a low grade climb on fire trails. Wolf trail is closed for the season, to help restore the environment.

Around the 2 mile mark, I turned left onto Old Springs Trail. This was a beautiful mid-ridge level trail, with broad views of the Pacific Ocean. The trail then heads down into the Tennessee Valley, the big tourist area. The trail takes you to a horse staging area, keep heading left until you hit the Tennessee Valley parking area, then head toward the beach, west. Take this for about another mile, and watch the left closely for a single track trail - the Coastal Trail. There should be a warning that this trail is steep. And a sign saying Hill 88.

The Coastal Trail toward Rodeo Beach is the highlight of the run. Yes, it is very, very steep. I had to hike this whole trail - no running. I was drenched in sweat. It is not scary steep - no cliff faces - very safe. The views from the top are worth every droplet of sweat.

At this point I hit the 6 mile mark. The last 2 miles are all downhill and very easy. You do have to dodge the tourists. You run by the old Nike missile sites, and the Farallons are still in full view.

This is an 8 mile loop. I finished in 1 hour and 49 minutes.

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