Ok so the title makes it sound a little more exciting than it actually was, but I did get to meet Scott and take part in a group fun run with him.
But first, after a great few days in Squaw Valley, we headed east towards the coast. We spent a few hours in Sonoma ‘wine country’ and debated whether to have a go running around the vineyards before deciding to head towards San Fran. I’d heard of Mount Tamalpais and the state park surrounding it after looking up a few local trail running groups in the area. We ended up parking the RV in Mill Valley, an upmarket little town at the bottom of Mt Tam. I decided to head up first; Kris babysat and went up after me. The summit (well East Peak where I ended up) itself is only 784 metres and I guess about a 9 miles there and back but this ended up being a really tough run. You start up some super steep steps called the Dipsea Steps, then run on small roads and some track (past some incredible houses with views over the San Fran Bay area) before picking up the mountain trail to the top. The mountain trail was steep in places and really dry, and combined with the heat it felt like quite a slog. Unfortunately there is a car park half a mile from the top so I had to run the last bit of trail alongside a load of people who had driven up (and looked at the sweaty mess that was me with some confusion!) Still the views from the summit were great, I could see San Fran, the Golden Gate Bridge and across the Sierra Nevada.
The following day we headed into the city and Kris surprised me by booking a lovely hotel right in the centre (thank you!!!). The day before, I had been browsing facebook and saw that Scott Jurek was going to be doing a fun run and booksigning in San Fran, hosted by Fleet Feet, a running store in San Fran. For those of you who have not heard of Scott, he is an incredible runner (he won Western States 7 times in a row and holds the US record for the 24 hour run – 165.7 miles!) and a vegan. I can at least call myself one of these things and I was super excited to meet him. I walked to Marina Green where the fun run started from and ended up talking to two really nice girls, Jeni and Kimmy, who were as hyper as me. We hung out for the evening and they kindly gave me a lift back into town.
Fleet Feet had set up a two marquee’s and had loads of Brooks minimalist trainers to test out. I was tempted as I normally use Brooks roadrunners but due to my injury I thought I had better stick to what I know. At 7pm, 50+ of us set off on a 4 mile flat run towards the Golden Gate Bridge and back. It was an easy pace and Scott looked like he was struggling to go so slowly (he’s quite tall as well). He started at the front and every few minutes slowed down so he could chat to the next few people. Kimmy had a chat to him about the book tour and he made sure to engage everyone around him in the conversation. After the run he talked a little about his book Eat and Run. Ive just started it and I’m hooked already. After a few Q&A’s we lined up to get our books signed. Unfortunately it started to get dark and cold pretty quick so everything was a bit rushed, although i got my obligatory geeky photo (see below). I have to say that as well as being a great runner, Scott came across as a really lovely and humble guy and I’d recommend picking up a copy of the book if you can (it entered the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list at number 7!).