The Marin Ultra Challenge 25k was an epic test of my endurance, but mostly 2.5 hours of a quiet mind.

There was also a 50miler and 50k (30mi) that I did not consider. After meeting some of the ladies who completed the 50k, I feel optimistic about attempting it in the near future. These gals were super inspiring, broad-eyed with natural sun lines and super tight abs, smiling despite being caked in dirt and (potentially) dehydrated.

The 25k bounded up a hill from beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, then shifted down towards the sea. We ran up Rodeo and back down to Tennessee Valley behind Marin City and Sausalito. Then we hit the massive hill. It rose endlessly, each slight curve revealing another 100 yards of uphill, the slope never abating, nor cresting to full pain. Even during the hill (and upon reflection), I knew it was the superlative hill that I've been training to handle - and it worked. The 2+ mile climb, taken in running baby steps, was far behind me when I finally saw the Golden Gate over the miles of hills ahead. The red structure reminded me of childhood trips to Six Flags Magic Mountain, where we would play the "yell when you see it first!" game with the tall rollercoasters as they came into view from behind the hills of the desert valley.

The last 3 miles were all fast-twitch speedwork downhill. Lots of practice paid - I placed first in my age group (F20-29). I will definitely be attempting the 50k next year. To future successes!

Here are some crappy iPhone photos + photos from that morning:
Golden Gate on a Morning in March Spires of the city & the sea

Edit: And some more photos from GameFace Media

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