2021 Ultra #35 – The Foggy Bottom 50K

Another coastal route, but net new trails that I haven’t explored before. My wife and I have walked our dog around here, but little did I know, the trails extend both sides of Poplar Beach (Half Moon Bay) for many miles. This one definitely had plenty of site seeing with stretches of high bluffs, marine preserves, harbor seals, pelicans and dramatic cliffs. Here’s my Strava activity:

The Foggy Bottom 50K

Reluctantly woke up to a 5am alarm and got to Poplar Beach a little before sunrise. Felt pretty stiff for the first couple of miles with my right hamstring and glute kinda “stuck”. The fog kept things nice and cool and also blanketed the coast for much of my run, probably all the way till around mile 27. My plan was to head out north for about 10 miles, come back to the car to reload and then head south for about 6 miles.

Coastal Bush Lupine
Pillar Point in the distance

I’d never been to Mavericks before, so was super cool to get to that point and wonder how the winter swells would like here. Must be pretty amazing to see the surfers catch monster sized waves in this little cove.

Past Pillar Point and Mavericks, I caught the trail that would eventually dead end into Fitzgerald Marine Preserve. Saw a few folks checking out the tide pools there. Snacked on a Pro Bar and made my way back, taking my time to soak in the views.

California Aster

Reloaded on my Tailwind when I got back to the car right around mile 20. Lately I’ve been keeping my massage gun in the car for a quick “fix” on the IT band and hamstrings before heading out again and it’s been pretty helpful. Joys of a “gourmet” ultra run, where everything I need is all right there.

I didn’t know this, but the coastal trail to the south of Poplar Beach goes behind the golf course of Ritz-Carlton hotel and then connects up to Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail. This is another 3 or 4 miles of marine preserve with no beach access. Pretty amazing vistas too! I turned around (looking back, I was just a mile away from the end of this trail) at mile 6ish and headed back. The sun was finally coming out, but took my time soaking up the ocean views.

That was a gorgeous day out and for a while, it didn’t feel like another run towards the 50 ultras goal. I need more of this to keep the 5am alarm working!

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