The Endurables are proud to support the Marin Challenge Trail Race on June 30th, 2012. The course represents arguably the best trails throughout the area based on both difficulty and sheer beauty within the diverse micro-climates that blanket the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais State Park.
To register for the event, see Inside Trail Racing’s Marin Challenge.
Sausalito Sunrise on June 30th, 2012: 5:51am
Start Time 6:00am
Starting from Rodeo Beach runners will have a flat warm up along Bunker Road along the Lagoon and continuing on Rodeo Valley Fire Road to the intersection of Coastal Fire Road. Here the climbing begins up a steady grade, crossing McCullough Road where the trail spikes up briefly prior to seeing the Sunrise over the San Francisco Bay (Mile 4).
The trail then links up with the SCA and offers some of the most spectacular views of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, East Bay, and the Marin Headlands. The SCA follows a single track along a contour just below the ridge until reaching mile 5 and a long descent down Rodeo Valley Fire Road, back to Rodeo Beach Aid Station (Mile 7).
The climb out of Rodeo Beach features Pacific Ocean views from rocky outcroppings and follows a paved bike trail for approximately ¾ of a mile prior to the trail transitioning to single track and rocky climb including a stout stair section along the way towards Hill 88. Just prior to Hill 88, the route veers left to the rolling Wolfback Ridge Trail and links up the Miwok Fire Road. After ½ a Mile, take a left on Old Springs Trail and descend 1.3 miles down a fast single track to Tennessee Valley Aid Station ( Mile 12).
Climb up the Miwok Trail and take the Miwok Cut-Off then prepare for a fast descent down the Miwok Fire Road to Hwy 1. Cross Hwy 1 and continue on the Miwok Trail until the junction of the Dias Ridge Trail. The Dias Ridge Trail is another perfect downhill single-track of 1.5 miles to Muir Beach that offers outstanding views along many of the hairpin turns until meeting Hwy 1 again (Mile 19).
Head north on Hwy 1 for 200 meters then veer right on Muir Woods Road then link up with the Redwood Creek single track for a mile, before crossing Muir Woods Rd. and up numerous zigzagging switchbacks on Heather Cut-off and continuing up Coastal View and into Mount Tamalpais State Park. These two sections are gradual sustained climbs of approximately 4 miles until peaking out at Cardiac Hill, the intersection of Deer Park Fire Road and the Dipsea. Veer left on the Dipsea and start a gradual descent for a mile along a ridge pointing towards the Pacific. The trail dives into a redwood grove then continues down 300 steps to the junction of Steep Ravine Trail. Go left and continue along the rolling trail, crossing Panoramic Hwy, towards Stinson Beach (Mile 26).
Here, at the 27 mile point, the course adds one of the most arduous climbs in Marin. From the Stinson Beach Deli, begin climbing the surface streets towards Avenida Farallon and a gate marking the start of the Willow Camp Trail. After the gate you begin along a fire road section, then you will make a left off the fire road then look for an obscure Willow Camp sign and trail on the right (Note: if you miss the turn you will meet a water tower and will need to scramble up to meet the Willow Camp Trail above). It is recommended to go slow up this climb of 1,800 feet in less than 2 miles. Spend some extra time re-fueling and hydrating on this section to prepare for the rewarding 6 plus mile downhill to follow once you have topped out of Willow Camp and begin heading south on the Coastal Trail.
The Coastal Trail descends 300 feet over 4 miles to Pantol Station (Mile 33) along a winding single track trail on the western slope of Mt Tamalpais above Stinson Beach. Enter the Mt Tamalpais State Park parking area after crossing Panoramic Hwy and head south east along the Deer Park Fire Road for a fast descent towards the Ben Johnson Trail.
The Ben Johnson Trail offers technical downhill running through the redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument. After descending another two miles, participants will reach the heart of Muir Woods’ old growth redwoods and run next to bubbling streams on the Bootjack and Fern Creek Trails. At the end of Fern Creek is the beginning of the Lost Trail, a stout climb, including Steps, for a mile then take a left and continue climbing on Ocean View Trail then top out upon reaching Panoramic Trail. Turn Right and begin a gradual descent along the rocky single tracks of Panoramic and Redwood Trails until going through the revelers and beer drinkers at the Tourist Club. Just Past the Tourist Club is the start of the Sun Trail on the right. Follow the Sun Trail, a continuation of gradual downhill on exposed single track above Muir Woods, until it crosses Muir Woods Road and continue down the Dipsea into the Muir Woods Parking lot.(Mile 40)
Pass through the parking area , cross a stream on a bridge made from a board, and climb up the Dipsea for a brief and steep ascent to the Deer Park Fire Road. Take a left down Deer Park and descend a mile, cross Muir Woods Road, then continue on the flat single Track of the Redwood Creek Trail for two miles to Muir Beach. (Mile 43.2)
From Muir Beach participants will climb up Coastal Fire Road then hit the Coastal/Pirate’s Cove’s section above exposed cliffs between Muir and Tennessee Beach. The trail descends for approximately 1.5 miles and is then followed by a steep climb up steps to meet the Coastal Fire Road and blistering descent to Tennessee Valley Road. Once at the bottom veer left and gently climb 1.3 miles to the Tennessee Valley Aid Station ( Mile 47).
The final 2 miles of climbs return up Old Spring, Miwok, and Wolfback Ridge Trails to Hill 88. Here you will see the finish line, less than 2 miles below, while offering another glimpse of the Headlands, San Francisco, and Beaches towards Pacifica.
Estimated Combined Ascent/Descent: 13,766 Feet
Note: Mileage Markers are approximates.