The North Face 50 Mile Endurance Challenge

The Santa Cruz Track Club hardcore trained well for this race, and it was an amazing time had by all. Our group stayed at the Marin Headlands hostel, a short walk away from the start and finish of the race. I came up mid day on Saturday, long after our runners heard the starting gun at 5am. I met up with the support crew at PanToll road near the summit of Mt. Tamalpais.

A quick picture while our team was topping off at PanToll Road on Mt. Tamalpais

"Wait a minute - is that the course profile, or your heart monitor output, Maria?" "Both"

"You want me to pace you...for the ENTIRE rest of the race?!"

Heading off from PanToll

This is a serious race, people

There was some time before Sonia and Diane were to come in. So I biked up towards the summit, photo'ing the vistas

San Francisco, past the Marin hills

There she is!

Sonia's still feeling good

The three amigos

The camelback hand-off

The first of MANY encounters with Accelerade

"OK Hon, load me up. Time to go"

Good transition, Diane. Let's get a watch on it.

And they're off! Next meet-up, Tennessee road trailhead

Oops, except for the bathroom break

Hours later, we're at Tennessee road aid station. Dave and I did a run from the pass down to the ocean and back, then waited for the gang to come in.

Modeling for Accelerade


It's almost sunset now

Smiles this late in the race are a good sign.

Maria manages a half smile... quarter smile?

Running low on body fuel

...starting to topple...

Dave and I to the rescue, with plenty 'o carbs

"you look like you need... Accelerade!"

I don't care what it tastes like, how could you refuse from these two?

Maria, re-loaded, is off towards the last leg

Diane's a blurr, not from her speed so much as the twilight shutter setting

Let's see, I guess I'll have some... Accelerade.

Sonia's smile was fading a tad by this time, too

Driving to the finish line at Marin hostel at Fort Barry, I had to stop for this image of Venus and Jupiter over the Golden Gate

...and the city by the bay

Dave and Neil at the finish line. My camera's flash is not working, so I apologize for these "available light" blurry finish photos...

Snug in their blankie's after a hard day

Maria, with some soup in her and JC by her side, is looking perky again. Congratulations on a tough race.

Diane and Sonia cross together, with love! To finish 11 hours of running with a smile is a huge victory.

Diane "V" Delucchi shows off her rock hard abs

You guys were amazing!

But the price of victory was high. e.g. Joyce's feet.

Impressive. In fact, let's get another angle on that

We retreat to the hostel a few steps from the finish line and pitch in to prepare a feast, beginning with the wine and cheese of course

Protein is important for tissue repair. Skirt steak, or whey powder? Easy choice.

Comradry around the dinner table was incredible. What a great finish!

who, moi?

Our accomodations

Next morning, the race people left us mass quantities of Accelerade. We knew a deal when we saw one and took it all. Enough to fill Neil's SUV...

...and the rental van...

...and my RAV4!

Then off to breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe, and home. I took this one-handed grab shot as one last memory of a memorable weekend.