Tomorrow I will be running Dick Collins Firetrails 50M, thats going to be my 50th marathon and beyond race. Also I will get to meet Legendary Ultrarunners Carl Anderson and Ann Trason.(RDs)
Ann Trason: In her career she has held every trail and road record at some point in and around US. One of the illustrious record is of her winning Western States 100M 14 times and once she was almost Overall winner, Until Tim T finally won it. (She came in overall 2nd)
Its been a fantastic running journey so far. Since the time I started trail running, my love for running has been purely driven by desire to see places. As a reflection into past few years of running I thought would list some of my favorite races in various distances, most of my criteria of choosing these races has been beauty of the course than anything else.
1. 5k run:
Forest of Nisene Marks, Aptos, CA
Beautiful run through Nisene Marks park, easy 5k and a PR course. emotional favorite as it was my 1st 5k. It is very well organized with other longer races by friend and ultra-runner Carol Cuminale.
2. 10k run:
Palo Alto night run
One of the few night runs on a full moon day, nice easy course by palo alto baylands.
San Francisco marathon
Organized as part of SF marathon, there are 2 half marathon options, the 1st half is the most prettiest (little tougher) run through fisherman's wharf, marina, up-the hill to Golden Gate bridge and run on the bridge. Some days when it is cloudy and misty; views of beaches and the bay is sublime beauty.
Big Sur marathon
You need to see to believe this magnificent course, Highway 1 is one of the country's best routes and running 26 miles through this highway is a rare opportunity to experience the beauty of the course, It has different genre of musical bands almost every mile and the views of the coast; highway 1 from hurricane point is well worth the entry fee. Post race feast is exceptional. Its a excellent family race destination as after race one can have liesurely time in and around small cute town of Caramel, enjoy 17 mile drive(ya right after a marathon) and Monterrey aquarium is a excellent attraction.
Most of the races organized by pctrailruns.com are my favorite. but this is the best run through marin county. Lot of hills, but views are worth the effort.
6. 50 mile:
Pretty course, constantly changing elevation profile. Excellent friendly volunteers and a Sumptuous post race Grill and Massages. Also it was my 1st trail 50m, barely made the 45 mile cutoff by 90 seconds. Usually it tends to get hot.
Of-course, any race in Marin county has to be by default the best course in bay area. Apart from that Tia bodington and lot of volunteers do a fabulous job of organizing this event. Great views, excellent post race food and fun swag bag.
Tahoe rim trail 100m
In short as the RD says "Glimpse of heaven and taste of hell", a tough beautiful course. With generous cutoffs. Folks without altitude issues can do the 100M at a slow pace.
Based on feedback from other running buddies I have to yet run through Bishop 50m, Cascades 100, Big horn 100 and ofcourse Hardrock 100(someday). I havnt yet decided on 1 or 2 100's I may run next yr. (leaning towards Big horn 100m)