Golden Gate Dirty Thirty

Yesterday was the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, which I ran the 12 mi distance at (there were 50K, 12M, and 7M distances).  I had at one point considered doing the 50K instead of North Fork, and I am so glad I didn’t.  This course was really hard.  Beautiful, but hard.  Despite what the photo above shows, most of the course was steep, rocky, and narrow, with two major climbs of about 1200 ft each, topping out at above 9000 ft.

The start was quite nice, rolling hills with lots of stream crossings and shade, and even a small waterfall.   It was a hot day so I was really happy for the shade.  But a few miles in, the first climb began, and I found myself struggling even to walk up parts of it, and having to stop and gasp for air (apparently 9000 ft is significantly higher than 6000 ft).

 This is me at the top of the second climb, to Windy Peak.  I was considering stopping for a nap here, because I was pretty beat by this point.  The volunteers working there were nice enough to take a photo of me in front of the mountains.

You can also see the storm clouds moving in in this photo.  I got rained on for the last few miles, but it was not heavy rain and it was still warm out, so it was actually kind of nice.  But I was glad to be off the peak before I needed to worry about lightning.  This did mean that by the time we got back to Golden, there was a full-blown thunderstorm going on.  I had originally planned to do another, shorter run in the afternoon, to get my total mileage for the day higher, but the weather was bad and I was really tired.  Instead, we ran up Green Mountain today, bringing my weekend total to 19 miles in just over 5 hours.  Hopefully this is as good as a 5 hour run…

Despite feeling very slow, this race still obeyed my rule of halves, which is that if I take my race time and divide by two, I get the top finisher’s time.  This seems to be true for any race distance and condition.  My time here was 3:30, and the top finisher was about 1:45.  I am a little worried, though, because I looked up last year’s North Fork times, and the top finisher was 4:40, meaning it should take me 9:20.  I was hoping for under 8 hours, but we’ll see!

Time to get on a plane.

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