Mt. Tam 50K – Slow and Happy

TL;DR, but super happy to finish Mt. Tam 50K after the DNF at Coastal 50K a couple of months ago. It feels like (and definitely felt it on the run), I haven’t run this distance in a while. Looking back, the last one was Skyline 50K, which didn’t nearly have this kinda elevation gain/loss. It was great to push through this distance with low weekly mileage. Lots of familiar faces on the run: John and Makiko, Saurabh, Jose Cruz. Here’s my Strava Activity from the run.

Mt. Tam 50K

Given the 8:30 start, punted on dirt-bagging and drove out in the morning. Felt muggy and the fog made everything so magical. I was just content being out here with no goals other than finishing. And I might add, not tripping and taking a dinger on the last downhill.

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Going up the Dipsea Trail, there were little waterfalls everywhere, the trail moist and soft, but not muddy and lush green ferns. I was just happy, smiling and looking around. Makiko and I ran for the first half mile and then she was gone. 2nd female overall with a 5:30ish finish on a course with 6,700 feet vertical!

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Ben Johnson Trail and then Fern Creek were just so awesome. After the climb up to Cardiac it was nice to let loose on the downhill. Stopped briefly at the Deer Park aid station and then worked my way up slowly Miwok. A little jog and a little run. Saurabh was not too far behind me now. Two years ago when I ran the Mt. Tam 50K, I got to the Muir Beach aid station in about 3 hours. This time around, it was 3:10. Not too shabby. Ran, walked with Saurabh most of the way back up to Cardiac (again).

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We were taking turns pushing each other and I was doing my favorite 20/20. 20 strides of walking followed by 20 strides of jogging. Regardless of the elevation. This climb up Heather Cutoff was probably the longest. Given my rustiness with the 50K distance, one part of me was saying I should’ve gone for the 30K. The other part of me was accusing me of running this distance on low mileage training. Oh well, shut myself up and kept moving. Got to the top of Cardiac in 4:30. Saw Jose Cruz at the top and he looked like he’d already done the last loop.

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Headed down Ben Johnson again and passed Saurabh on the downhill. I guess my second wind was kicking in. Ran a fair bit of the uphill and was feeling pretty elated. I was mostly alone this segment. Didn’t even see many hikers. Was absolutely loving the quietude. Back up to Cardiac at 6:05 and realized that they were out of Coke. Dang it. Didn’t really feel like solid food. Oh well, just 3.1 miles to go.

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Unlike the last time, I was a bit more careful on the steps as they were a little wet and slippery. Had one last surge and grunted downhill and pulled into the finish line in 6:39 and 11th in age group. The real interesting bit was from Strava. Two years ago my moving time was 6:24, but this time it was 6:04 and it definitely felt that way. I was taking my time at the aid stations, but definitely ran a lot more.

Over a beer, John and Makiko were sharing their stories about John’s Rio Del Lago 100 miler run. John kept nudging me to run a hundo. I’m like, I don’t have the calling yet. But on the drive home, couldn’t help thinking, maybe a hundo in the near future? I mean it’s only a little over a marathon past a 100K. Right?


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  • Awesome to be sharing these trails with John Onate, Makiko Yamashita, Saurabh Bhasin & José Cruz

  • See you at Rio next year 😜😅😜

  • Oh my gosh, Kowsik, don’t make John happy so easily!

  • Nice job! That second wind was evident when you left me behind 🙂 I tried to catch up but legs said: F no! That 20/20 was fun. I’ll be using it in the future!