Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The mystery blisters - 26.2 miles of switchbacks at the San Pablo Marathon

The San Pablo Marathon marks the last race in the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series, which is a good thing - I'm running out of toenails! Not to mention I now have the weirdest collection of blisters I have ever seen. My pediphobic wife is going to freak.

The San Pablo Marathon joins the 5k, 10k, and 1/2 marathon options at China Camp State Park in the north bay of San Francisco. Redwood Trails put on this race, and per usual, it was well-stocked and well-marked. This race had some visiting track teams from Susanville mixed in with the usual menagerie of trail runners. Weaving in and out of oaks, madrones and golden grass along the north bay coast, this race has more turns than the average marathon (I lost track around turn #220 around mile 19). But the 1400' vertical feet is mild, and the paths are in great condition, consisting mostly of single track. I joined two others in the marathon distance (Jim Moniz, training for a Boston qualifier, and Liam Kidd who stuck out his first marathon ever for an awesome 4:10:40 finish), and about 150 others raced the shorter lengths.

Despite being beat up from the previous week, I managed to clock a 3:28:14 for a 1st place finish and a sub-8-minute average. The multitude of switchbacks have left the sides of my feet and the tops of my toes awash in dozens of little blisters, like a mild leprosy. Good thing the season is over!

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