Headlands 20 Mile Run


Trail Running

Marin Headlands

19.8 miles

2800 vertical feet +/-

(Rodeo Beach)/Coastal/Wolf Ridge/Old Springs/Tennessee Valley/Coastal/Coastal Fire Road/Middle Green Gulch/HWY 1/Redwood Creek/Miwok/Dias Creek/Miwok Fire Road/Coastal Fire Road/Coastal/(Rodeo Beach)


Sunny and 75 degrees in Marin – where else to run but the Marin Headlands?

I’m sunburned. And beat-down. And Dehydrated. And…

Things I learned:

1) hydrate according to distance (check) and conditions (failure). This was at least 15 degrees F warmer than any long run I’d done to date. I needed 2-3 x the water that I carried on this run – and the shortfall was all due to the fact that I was sweating 5-10x more than I would in cooler weather. Which leads me to…

2) fluids are important, but so are electrolytes. Need I say more? I bought Hammer electrolyte replacement tabs the very next day.

I was a train wreck, absolutely destroyed, at mile 17 and still had the day’s final 3 miles and 800 vertical feet ahead of me. Know what’s not cool? Cramping.

4) My Forerunner 305 is awesome, and not just because I’m getting accurate distance and altitude (… maybe), but because it’s hooking me up with cool services like everytrail.com (to stare at satellite and topo maps of what I’ve done), and programs like TrackRunner (to analyze what I’ve done and improvement over the course of a month, year, etc.).



Redwood Creek Trail (Mt. Tam) was a new part of the North Bay for me, and a very cool one at that. Running around these places in the North Bay there are constant reminders of those that tread these trails before us, and I had a special sense of Native American history as we went from these distinct and diverse ecological areas that no doubt each served different purposes in their society and individual lives: open meadows, redwood forests and creeks, and finally the ridgeline trail that bears the name of those original caretakers (owners?) of that land, the Miwok.

Spring is coming to the Headlands and Mt. Tam, and we should have a great wildflower bloom if we can get a few more days of rain in before things heat up in the north bay.



One thought on “Headlands 20 Mile Run

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog Ryan. Nice to see a blog from another Bay Area trail runner. Nice looking site too. I train primarily in the Headlands and Mt. Tam. Yes over training is real. I’ve had a bad bout of it fall 2005 which is why I’m quite familiar now with the symptoms as they arise. It’s also common for me to get close to it in training/racing since I’m always pushing my limits or falling short on the rest/recovery part. The book I have is the 4th edition of Tim Noakes’ Lore of Running. Great read, a bit technical but has great stuff on everything plus over training.

    A note about your E-Caps. The Hammer E-Caps you bought only has 40mg of sodium per tablet. On really warm or hot days you may find yourself popping 4 to 5 of those an hour. If you find you need tablets with more sodium, Goggle “Succeed Salt Tablets” (341mg of Soduim) or check out these guys, you might already be familiar with them – Zombie Runner

    Good luck on your running.

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