Golden Gate Canyon in Autumn

Anyone who read my race report on the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty knows I loved the scenery I experienced at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. It is, quite simply, stunning.

So when an opportunity arose to volunteer at a race there (the Golden Gate Canyon Trail Half Marathon, produced by Adam at RunUphill Racing, I jumped at the chance to return to Golden Gate Canyon. And I wasn't disappointed.

I left the house at 5:30 this morning to make it to the race by 7:30. After checking the preregistered runners in, we had a bit of down time before it was time to slice melon and get the post-race snacks arranged for the hungry racers who would soon be headed our way. Before long, the runners were back. After helping organize the awards and making sure the post-race food was all in order, it was time for me to head out on a run of my own. (Incidentally, for those of you who enjoy the half-marathon distance, the word from the racers was that this was a beautiful, well-marked course not to be missed -- so be sure to race this one next year, folks!)

I didn't have a lot of time for my run, since I needed to return home fairly soon, so I opted to get the most elevation per mile and climb Windy Peak. Today's early-autumn conditions made the trail seem completely different from last time I experienced it, back in June, when clumps of snow still lingered along the edges of some of the trails. The aspens are starting to turn, and the air has a cool crispness to it now. I took several photos on the way up. Enjoy! And see you on the trail.