The Santa Cruz Track Club was game to this yar try the half marathon race. (Recall in '08 we had a large contingent competing in the 50 mile race). Again we put ourselves up at the Marin Hostel in Marin Headlands National Recreation Area, and again the weather was off/on rain and cool weather. Diane, Carmen, Nancy, Joyce, and Sonia prepared for their race by doing a mega-shopping spree in Mill Valley. JC, Maria and I instead arrived late Saturday afternoon and relaxed until the (now) exhausted, flat-feeted shoppers returned. Then begins the Big Dinner Adventure.


The finish area. As we arrived, the 50mi and 50km racers were coming in. Our half marathon was tomorrow morning.

JC... looking forward to some major calorie intake

Our team. At this point, we're all smiling.

...and drinking

...the slumber party begins...

Using "the Stick" on recalcitrant calf muscles

Nancy, fooling with her feet. Can't quite remember what this picture was about.

Sonia ponders tomorrow out on the course... "The Horror! The Horror!"

Race morning. Hmmm. Better shake out just a few more of those pain killers

Diane chats with Dean Karnazas, who designed this tough course.

Our Team. Starting line shot. I brought my little Lumix camera to capture the race scenes, here at arm's length

We're off! Joyce (left) has plenty of ammo in her belt. Dawn and we had only a few clouds...

Mile 1, heading up the first big hill, and we get the sun rising over the hills

But by the time we topped out and the climbing got more gentle, the clouds had formed and covered our mountain.

The first aid station, in Tennessee Valley, is behind those stables in the background

Heading up the 2nd and steepest hill - Carmen, Nancy, and Joyce are not far behind me

My left psoas and hip flexor are starting to come apart again. The girls see their chance - "see ya, Rick!"

Before the top of the hill, the rain starts in and it gets really cold and windy. I put away the camera for the rest of the race and settle into survival mode. I did keep Carmen and Joyce in sight for the next ~4 miles.

Mile 12, the rain stops; last aid station.

I did the last 3 miles keeping pace with a college girl doing her first race. A mile from the finish her boyfriend doubled back and we all decided to finish together.

Dean Karnazas, marathon legend, was nice enough to pose with me at the finish

Joyce too! Our dorm is the building behind us

Our team, a bit the worse for wear, but happy. THAT.... was the toughest half marathon ever for me.

After we finished, we got silkscreened shirts, got some warm food into us at the hostel kitchen, and then packed into our cars to head home. I joined Maria, JC, and Luke who caffeinated at Peet's in San Rafael first. Then I took the Richmond bridge home; This way, I get free bridge crossings all the way!