2021 Ultra #43 – The Coast Hugger 50K

You know, 42 ultras so far this year and I realized I still hadn’t ran across the Golden Gate Bridge! It seemed fun to chart a route from Lands End in San Francisco and basically hug the Coastal Trail all the way to Rodeo Beach. This way I’ll get to run across the bridge twice once on the out and once again on the back. However this particular morning, I got into a fight with my brain. You should’ve heard the excuses it made to stop me from running this 50K! Here’s my Strava activity:

The Coastal Trail

I’ve explored the south side of the Coastal Trail from Lands End when I did the SF Crosstown Trail 50K, but the north side was all net new! Going back to the fight with my brain, once I started running and broke into a huge grin, seeing the morning sun light up the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, my brain finally shut up and stayed out of the way until I was done. Body 1, brain 0, I suppose.

If you ever run this route, set your pace to 1 vista/mile or slower. Just nuts how beautiful this route was with so many angles of the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory. Also, so many bunkers along the way!

I’d never been on Conzelman Road before, so I had my route go through the all familiar SCA trail. But once I connected to the road, saw a trail running alongside the road. Stuck to that and made the climb up to Hawk Hill, another spectacular view point.

From the summit of Hawk Hill, the Coastal trail descends down towards Point Bonita Lighthouse with a series of steps and then connecting back to a trail next to the road. Unfortunately I tried to stay on Coastal trail which descended and then dead ended into a bunch of overgrown yarrows and likely some variant of Poison Oak. I bushwhacked a quarter mile to get back to the road and two weeks later, as I’m writing this block, still recovering from a nasty case of Poison Oak rash. It’s been a painful two weeks as I let the poison run its course all over my legs. *sigh* Life is full of curveballs.

The rest of the trip to Rodeo Beach and on to the “end” of Coastal Trail was largely uneventful. Hung out at the turnaround point for a little while, reloaded Tailwind on one of the water fountains and retraced my way back. The fog had largely lifted now revealing yet another perspective of the bridge. I wanted to get to the tip of Point Bonita Lighthouse, but they were closed for renovation.

There were plenty of water fountains along the way, so staying hydrated was never an issue. If you ever feel like a chill run with SO MANY vista points, this course is definitely one of those. Glad I got to try out some net new trails. Now that the poison oak rash is subsiding, time to plan for the next set of runs. It’s already mid-November and I have seven more ultras to go. Going to be close, but cross-fingers.

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