The PCTR Night Sweats Marathon starts at 8pm under the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito and runs through the Marin Headlands with about 5000 feet of elevation gain. The Marin Headlands is a beautiful place just north of San Francisco. The redwood forests and the beaches are beautiful and breathtaking. Experiencing this place at night during a trail marathon is indescribably amazing.
My plan was to run the race conservatively as a training run. I ran most of the race with a new friend who is also running Western States this year. We met in February at a Western States training run, and our pace is very similar, so it made sense for us to run together. It helped me keep my pace more on the conservative side.
It was a beautiful clear night. I bombed down a few downhills and found myself running by myself for some short stints. Kim was never far behind and we would reconnect at the aid stations. During some of those solitary moments, I would turn off my headlamp and flashlight to gaze at the stars. And on the trails we saw lots of millipedes and a few newts. These little creatures are very cool!
Millipedes like this one were everywhere!
After about 22.5 miles, I decided to take off on a downhill to charge toward the finish line. It was a lot of fun to run faster on some easier terrain. I finished the race in 21st place out of 44 finishers, at 1:20am. On September 13, Pacific Coast Trail Runs (PCTR) is running this race again. I'm tempted to run it again - and if I do, I'll probably be running a little faster!
Here is the one of the pictures I took during the last few miles. The city lights are very pretty.
This is what we would see during the day (I took these pictures in 2011)!