We had quite the adventure this past Saturday morning at the Mt. Tam Wild Boar 10K. Despite the cold light rain all of the MedShareFundraising Run Team members showed up early and ready to go. After the race director Dave gave all the runners an overview of the course one of our team members was pulled out of the crowd to help Dave, the race director, lead the whole field of runners in “America the Beautiful,” a tradition for these special trail runs.
The course itself was simply stunning as we ran along a muddy single-track trail cut into the side of the newly green mountain slope near the Bolinas ridgeline topping out with Mt. Tamalpais. As we came around the first curve we were treated with a view of the ocean crashing on the beach and cliffs, nearly 1,000 feet below us, enhanced by the occasional patch of beautifully formed fog mini clouds. The amazing view caused me to forget the near freezing temperatures and cold light rain that had encouraged us to start at such a brisk pace just to warm up.
We weaved into the pockets of the mountain where wonderfully fragrant evergreen trees grew and, at the inner crease, beautiful waterfalls begged for us to ford them. As we continued along the trail I realized I could not think of a more perfect way to experience movement through nature. With the repeated stunning views of ocean and waterfalls along a graceful ribbon of earth, the first five miles blew by in what seemed like only a minute.
As I arrived at the 5 mile aid station in a near trancelike state of joy, despite the increasing intensity of the cold windblown rain, I sadly realized I only had a little over a mile left. Noticing the tight vertical switchbacks staring at me past the cheerful volunteers snapped me back into the reality that the last mile was not going to be like the first 5 transcendent downhill loops.
Powering up the switchbacks, I gradually slowed to a shuffle and then a walk as the course began to more closely resemble stairs than a trail. Finally, I saw I was nearing the crest of the hill. Summoning my reserves I burst out of the trees into driving hail, yes, small balls of speeding bouncing ice, that chased me the last .2 miles soaked and now thoroughly exfoliated.
As members of our MedShare fundraising Running Team team crossed the finish line, only a few minutes apart, the team exploded in cheers as we all hopped and huddled trying to stay warm under the few little tents protecting the post-race snacks and water. For some, it was their first race ever and I was so happy to see they enjoyed the truly unique climate experience this unusual race provided. After one last team photo we all darted for our cars, still proudly wearing our soaking MedShare team hats and shirts – headed home for a hot bath we would appreciate as likely never before, already warmed inside by knowing our fundraising efforts would help repurpose and send unused and unexpired much needed medical supplies to underserved people globally and locally.