Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of joining over 550 trail runners for the Pirates Cove 8K/20K/30K/50K  in the Bay Area headlands near San Francisco, CA. It was an epic adventure of staggering climbs, windy peaks, and a storm that chased us into the hills.  Pirates Cove has also been my first Ultra(Metamorphosis to an Ultramarathon) so this run did have a special significance in my heart. All in all, a great race to sampling for what to expect for Miwok 100K.

Us at the starting line

I started the run with Chakri, Chandrika, Bharti near the Rodio Beach which was alive with runners jumping in place and filling the cold air with sharp exhales of steamy breath. I recognized many faces in the crowd as I shed my layers and got ready to race. Chandrika was running her first trail run and was really exited about the prospect – look I happy she looks 🙂

(All Photo Courtesy of Chakri Gulipalli – thanks for carrying the camera)

Tackling the first hill

Tackling the first hill

At 8:30am, we were off! – Started with a walk up the steep hill – recognized  Yolanda Holder who also had been walking in the 12 hour run I ran last year.

The rest of the course was beautiful with amazing views – met few interesting runners including the lady with the “wrong distance runners” tshirt, Steve Tharp from Vacaville CA – who started running couple of years ago and has lost around 40 lb so far – finished his 30k with an average of 13 min/mile over the hills.

Wrong Distance Runners

Running into the Fog

Running into the Fog

Amazing Views

Amazing Views

The second 20 k loop was much easier than I expected – I actually ran up the first hill and managed to pass several runners during the various uphills – even managed to shake off Jeremiah Hower & Kimio Bazett who were just behind me for a while.

At finish (7hrs 3mins)  Bharti and her husband were waiting for me. Thanks for waiting for the 2+ hours after running 30 km you guys are amazing. I raised my glass to the RD’s and volunteers who have been there all year-long, especially on the challenging days like today. You are my heroes! Until next year…

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