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<b>Golden Gate Bridge Run</b><br><br><b>Details:</b><br>
Location – Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco<br>
Course Type – Out and Back<br>
Route Link - <a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#0000FF;"></span></a><br>
Weather – 68 F / Sunny / Windy<br>
Distance – 11.5 Miles<br>
Time – 1:32:44 (8:03 min/mile)<br>
Run Type – Tempo<br><br>
Mile 1 – 8:28<br>
Mile 2 – 8:12<br>
Mile 3 – 8:38<br>
Mile 4 – 9:38<br>
Mile 5 – 8:29<br>
Mile 6 – 7:44<br>
Mile 7 – 7:37<br>
Mile 8 – 7:39<br>
Mile 9 – 7:12<br>
Mile 10 – 7:20<br>
Mile 11 – 7:37<br>
Mile 11.5 – 8:08<br><br>
Report Details:<br><br>
Currently, I’m in San Francisco attending a 3-day training course. Prior to my trip, I reached out to my fellow running buddies to find out how pheasable it would be to run from my hotel to the Golden Gate Bridge, run across it, and then run back. I had recalled that Voo had done something similar on a previous trip to San Fran. Both Voo and Moon hooked me up with the details that I was looking for.<br><br>
So, yesterday, I spent the last 30 mins of my training class looking at google maps and google satellite pics of the route that I was going to take. After class was over, we cabbed it back to the hotel, I changed, and then was ready to go.<br><br>
I took off from the Fisherman’s Wharf Marriott and went down to Jefferson street and hung a left. The first mile was a challenge due to urban running environment, things like stop lights and pedestrians were in the way. However, after .5 of a mile, I was out of the street and onto the shoreline with no cars.<br><br>
Immediately, I noticed that there were lots of sites to see along this route. I went passed the San Fran marine museum where there’s a calm water inlet on my right. Went on around and ended up at the base of a hill to get into the Ft. Mason area. Wow, this is a steep climb, but I’m from Birmingham and I’m used to running up hills.<br><br>
Lots of runners on this route. A guy goes by me screaming down the hill that I’m running up. A couple of guys on bikes go by me…a quick look at my garmin shows about a 8:40 pace going up this hill. Next thing I know, that guy, passes me. WTF? He must’ve hit the bottom of the hill, pulled a u-ey and then climbed up the hill without slowing down anyway. Well, I’m supposed to be on a tempo run, so I set up shop about 3 yards off this guys back shoulder.<br><br>
He’s wearing an Ironman Tri shirt from British Columbia. So, I name him – “Tri-dude”. Even though he’s wearing an ipod, he senses that I’m there and gives a quick look over his right shoulder. Sensing that I might be a little too close, I drop back another yard or two. I match his pace as we crest the hill in Ft. Mason. Pace check: 6:45. Yikes…I can’t keep that up for now.<br><br>
I let Tri-dude drag me up to another runner who appears to be more my pace, so I let Tri-dude go and drop in behind green shirt guy. He’s moving at about 8:00 mm pace, and since that’s my goal, we move along ok. We get to the corner of a park and he pulls up for a rest, I keep going. Now, there’s a blonde pony tail right in front of me. Her pace is a little too slow, so I go around.<br><br>
Up in the distance, I can see Tri-dude. He must’ve slowed down because our gap is steady at about 100 yards. Maybe it’s a hundred meters…I spend a few moments contemplating the metric system for measurement. Oh well.<br><br>
At the end of the marina/soccer fields, we make a 90 degree right turn, then a left at 45 degrees to cut over to the path that goes along the water. Once through the trees, a wall of wind hits me. It’s a constant in the face wind at about 30 miles per hour! Also, I now have visual on the bridge. It’s huge and doesn’t seem that far away.<br><br>
Voo had said that it would be an 11 mile round trip, and now, I start to doubt that it will be. Looks too close. I’ll add loops on my way back to get to 11 miles if necessary. I’m also wondering about finding these stairs that Moon mentioned in a PM he sent me. Since KR has been down, I haven’t been able to re-read the PM since he sent it to me. Oh well, I’ll just play it by ear.<br><br>
Pace check – a little over 8:10ish per mile running into the wind. Tri-dude gap holding steady at 100 yards. Lots to see along the shore, people on wind surfers and kite surfers.<br><br>
Holy Carp! Three 5’9” blondes go by running in the other direction. All three looked like they could’ve been on the Swedish Bikini team. I almost say EFF the bridge to pull a u-turn and follow them. In their wake, the wind kicks it up another notch to 40 MPH!! <img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Now, I’m approaching the base of the Bridge. Through this area of the park, there’s some mounds on the left side of the trail. I notice that a couple [man and women couple that is] are laying on a blanket and locked in an embrace. It was very soft porn/soap opera kinda looking. I mean, if things went any further…let’s just say, there would be, ah, mountin, rolling and moaning. I dub that mound the soft porn mound.<br><br>
A short way ahead, I pass a building called the warming hut. Tri-dude continues on around the curve, but I sense that I need to look for these steps that Moon was talking about. There they are! 30 yards ahead on my left. I ran right to them.<br><br>
I tackle the first part of the steps like Rocky. Then, I realize that I could long stride walk up the steps at the same pace. So, I do that up to the top of them. From there, it’s a zig zag trail run up through some dunes to get to the bridge. This part was totally cool, and there were a couple of old low tunnels that the path went through. I catch another runner on his way to the bridge. He goes under the bridge to get to the other side, I go up to run across on the bay side.<br><br>
Wow, the climb up to the bridge was steep!!!! Good thing for all the hill training. I’m sorry that I didn’t have a Bobcam so I could share pictures of the sights along the way.<br><br>
Finally, I’m on the bridge and on my way across. The first thing that I notice are signs for grief counseling. I’m not thinking of jumping so I don’t call.<br><br>
The bridge is arched, so I’m still going uphill and into the wind. Damn, this thing is long! I checked my mileage and was just about @ 5.00 miles as I started across the bridge.<br><br>
Finally, I made it to the center point of the bridge. The view of the city and Alcatraz was amazing. A Coast Guard Helicopter flew by traveling parallel to the bridge and at a lower altitude than I was on the bridge. Really cool to see.<br><br>
Once past the halfway point, the wind subsided and I was able to pick up the pace to something faster than 8:00 m/m. As I looked up at the structure of the bridge I thought about the GG bridge scene at the end of James Bond’s “A View to A kill”. Damn! I should’ve loaded Duran Duran into my MP3 player.<br><br>
Finally, all the way across to the Vista Point Visitors center, mileage reads 5.72 miles. Voo was right about the 11 ish mile round trip prediction. Hit the restroom, eat 3 shot blocks and chase it with three gulps of water. And, I’m off, return trip is under way. I’m looking forward to downhills and tailwind.<br><br>
So, WTF? I’m going the opposite direction and somehow, I’m going uphill and into the wind. OK, so the uphill is only until the mid-point of the bridge, and the wind swirls because of a mtn on the ocean side of the bridge.<br><br>
You’ll laugh at this, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. At the mid point on the bridge, what should come on my MP3 player but….wait for it…yes, Britney. I know I know, but get over it.<br>
When she said, “i think i did it again<br>
i made you believe<br>
we're more then just friends” I got fired up and dropped it down another gear. Pace down below 7:00 m/m. Cool!<br><br>
The climb down and reverse course was totally fun, and I was really moving. See splits above. I ran down the steps with the precision of an NFL receiver running a tire drill. Went past the soft porn mound, but there was no show this time. Hit the flat running path and could feel the strong tail wind pushing me a long.<br><br>
The runners who were going into the wind looked rough, like they were struggling with the wind. I hold pace all the way to the Ft. Mason hill. Pound up the hill and then fly down the other side. Back into the traffic and heading towards the hotel. Look at the watch and see that if I spin around the block I can round off the run to 11.5 miles.<br><br>
In summary, it was a great run. I was really pleased with my pace and all the cool things that I saw along the way. Thanks for both Voo and Moon for the details that allowed me to have such a successful adventure.<br>
Forrest Gump: That’s all I have to say about that.
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