Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pacific Coast Trail Runs - Rodeo Beach

For some reason starting Friday I started to doubt racing this morning.  I guess I was just lacking motivation.  It also did not help that my negative mind was more present this week.  I found out that I did not get into a nurse midwife program for 2009, which disappoints me.  I know that there is always next year, but mentally it started me in the cycle of I'm not good enough.  But, I pulled myself out of it. When my alarm went off at six this morning it was difficult to slip out from my warm sheets.  Before heading to Rodeo Beach I treated myself to a couple sips of Peet's coffee and my favorite chocolate-chip hockey puck (otherwise known as a Suncake).  I don't know why, but I love those things.

When I arrived at Rodeo Beach I was sad that I wouldn't be seeing some of the folks I've met throughout the year.  Will Gotthardt and Ryan Commons were recouping from an inspiring year and Scott Dunlap was going to be witnessing the beauty of the Nutcracker.  I got my number and took a look at the memorable start. This was going to be my 3rd time this year racing up those wooden stairs.  I can't deny the fact that I love running hills.  I think my sister is to blame.  As a kid she used to have me walk down our driveway and turn around and run up it (our driveway was a 1/4 mile hill).  As I walked toward the bathroom, I bumped into Amy Moore. Amy and I swim together in Marcia Benjamin's kick-ass class (the actual name of the class is distance swimming) at Laney College. Occasionally between laps Amy and I would talk about running.  She is a great athlete and I was excited to see a familiar face that would be joining me in the 20k.  

When I lined up at the start, Amy came up to wish  me good luck and then we were off. I have to admit those stairs didn't seem so bad, especially after experiencing the final hill at Muir Beach last weekend. As the trend has gone this season, I spent a good majority of the race running alone.  Jeff Emery was in eyesight most the way, but once we got to the top of Marincello he picked up the pace.  As I came down the SCA trail, I could hear someone right behind me.  On the Coastal trail, as we were approaching the road, I found out it was Matthew McDermott.  We both ran Pirates Cove in March where we finished two seconds apart.  Once again we finished close.  This time he crossed the finish first with an impressive 1:29:49.  Ironically my goal was to finish under 1:30, but I was 2 seconds slow in meeting that goal.  Oh well, there is always next year.  Amy finished in 1:58:08 even after taking a wrong turn.  

Before heading to the car, I got to talk with Adam Blum and Alistair Adams who finished close behind me (1:33:00 and 1:35:28).   I guess there were a few races this year where they were nearby, but this was the first time I introduced myself. Yay to more familiar faces!  Hope to see you in the Miwok Adam!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I am really glad I ran today.  The headlands are gorgeous and one of my favorite places to run. It is the first year I decided to run more races and it was great getting to know some familiar faces.  The PCTR events have been wonderful and I am still forever indebted to Wendell and Sarah for saving me at Big Basin.  I still can't believe I forgot socks... thank goodness I had my shoes!  Looking forward to 2009, without the pressure of nursing school, I am hoping to get out there for some ultras.  I am in the raffle for the Miwok 100k and the waitlist for Way Too Cool and of course you'll see me at PCTR events.  Hope everyone has a great New Year and I look forward to seeing you all on the trails! 


willgotthardt said...
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adidas San Francisco Urban Run said...


this is in response to women running across the USA. Well, unfortunately, Annabel Marsh, who ran for DSE in San Francisco passed away earlier this month, but she's a pioneer for women's running:

Longtime Pamakid, DSE, and LMJS member Annabel Marsh passed on November 26, 2008, in her San Francisco home. Annabel took up running at age 47, and ran more than 100 marathons, including the Pikes Peak Marathon 20 times! She also ran from Boston to San Francisco when she was 61. Amazing. She is an inspiration, and will be deeply missed. See below… — Soonar

From her obit on

“Annabel Marsh 1923 - 2008 Annabel Marsh, the well-known long distance runner and the oldest woman to run across the United States from Boston to San Francisco, died suddenly at her home in San Francisco on November 26, 2008. She was 85.

Annabel was born in Hampshire, IL, and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1945. After graduating from college, she worked as a Braniff Airline hostess out of Dallas, TX, for a number of years, and was selected to be a stewardess on General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s plane during his campaign for president in 1952. When her good friend Pamela Archer married the famous actor and war hero, Audie Murphy, in 1951, she was in the wedding party. After nine years at Braniff, she moved to San Francisco in 1954, where she had a long career at U.S. Steel’s Western Division as a planning analyst, retiring in 1981.

While working at her Financial District desk job, she took up running at the age of 47, and ran her first marathon in 1970, at the age of 48. She went on to run 100 marathons, the last one, the 1996 San Francisco Marathon, at the age of 73. She ran the Pike’s Peak Marathon 20 times, from 1975 - 1995. She returned every August since her first ascent to host the Peak Busters, a group she founded, to encourage women of all ages to take on the challenge of the Pike’s Peak Marathon. She remained a member of the Dolphin South End (DSE) Running Club, and the Pamakids Running Club. Annabel’s most notable athletic achievement was her cross-country run from Boston to San Francisco in 1984 at the age of 61, with her good friend and running partner, Caroline Merrill. She still holds the record for the oldest woman to run across the United States. They ran 3,261 miles through 12 states in 113 running days, and wore out 12 pairs of running shoes.

After giving up running marathons in 1996, she took up acting at the age of 73. Annabel studied at Jean Shelton’s Acting Lab, where she met her dear friend and companion, Martin Durante. She went on to perform in many local theater productions, and was a member of the Street School Artist Collective.

Annabel was preceded in death by her three brothers: Donald, Edwin and Robert Schiesher. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Lorraine Schiesher, six nieces and nephews: Joann Pelletier (Richard), Patricia Fisher (David), Bob Schiesher; Barbara Hultgren (Randall), David Schiesher (Gloria), Peggy Schiesher; eight grandnieces and nephews; her dear friends Peggy and George Wessler, and many other friends.

Annabel’s wish was that there be no memorial service, but she would not object to any of her friends getting together to remember her in just the way they feel is appropriate. Think back to one of the times you were together with Annabel and her buoyant, bubbly personality. Whether it was enjoying a glass of wine, hiking the Barr Trail at Pikes Peak, running or walking along with her at a Sunday DSE run or laughing at her theatrical efforts in her later years - pick any one, grab a bunch of kindred spirits, and take a hike, join the DSEers for a run, take in a local theater event, or just sip a nice Chardonnay while gazing at the sunset, in the Sunset. We love you Annabel.

Luis Velasquez said...

Hey Caitlin... holy smokes you run fast.. Yes next time if you can take a few seconds off your blazing time stop and say HI..

Great report...

Scott Dunlap said...

Great way to cap off the year! Looking forward to seeing you in the ultras next year. I'm headed to WTC and (hopefully) Miwok as well. Rodeo is good practice!

Happy holidays, SD