Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 2013

I've enjoyed just about every trail race I've ever run, but I definitely have a few favorites. For astoundingly beautiful scenery, fun technical trails, and the thrill of a good challenge, it would be hard to beat the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, organized annually by ultrarunning massage therapist Megan Finnesy at Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

The first time I ran the race, with my friend Sarah, I'd been training consistently for more than a year. This time around I am still rebuilding my fitness, and so I was thrilled just to finish, despite running the course about an hour slower than I did in 2010. My fueling strategy worked well, and though my time was slower than in 2010, I felt strong the whole way through. The race has a fantastic, friendly atmosphere and is superbly organized. The most awesome thing about this course, though, is the scenery: a great mix of sun-drenched meadows, dense conifer forests, technical rock-scrambling ascents, and screaming downhills. The views are amazing from just about every inch of the trail.

There is no question I'll be back again next year - hopefully for a course PR, after having trained steadily for more than a year - and in addition to the Dirty Thirty, I'm eagerly anticipating the Silverton Double Dirty Thirty, the latest Megan Finnesy-created adventure, which will debut next July. If it has even half the scenic beauty and stellar organization the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty serves up every year, it will be an event no one will want to miss.

With thanks and kudos to Megan and the whole Dirty Thirty team, I'll see you on the trail!

My Garmin's batteries died as I started the climb up Windy Peak, so these totals are incomplete.

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