Thursday, September 2, 2010

Marathon at the Bay: a photo story

Have you wanted to run a 1/2 marathon but were unable to do so due to health/weather/rabid coyote concerns? Or, if you are not a runner, have you ever wondered what walking next to a bay at sunset looked like? Then this post is for you!

One day I walked outside and said "I am going to run until I cannot run any longer". After 13.1 miles, 2 hours and 24 minutes, and numerous stops for photos passed I walked into my house and collapsed asking myself why I ever decided to do such a thing. Now you can enjoy the experience without all the annoying knee pains, gasping and wheezing lungs, and sore legs which refused to go up or down stairs for a week afterwords!

Below you will find my final course through Emeryville. While I didn't originally plan on running a marathon when I started, I ran these various trails enough to know their distances and by mile 9 decided to take a detour to reach that 13 mile marker (final total was 13.4 miles). The numbers shown below are actually locations of pictures for reference (not miles). Click on any photo for a larger, more detailed photo. Sometimes the tiniest/furthest parts of the photo are actually my next destination in the run!

For full effect, press the play button to hear the music I listened to for most of the run, a piece which is perfect for watching sunsets.

1. Looking West towards Marina -
At about the 2nd mile I was stunned by the beauty of the oncoming sunset and took the first photo. The little tree in the center of the road is about 1 mile away at marker 2.

2. Looking West towards San Francisco - the first of many shots showing the sun slowly lowering towards the horizon, which for this vantage point is the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco is the land in the center.

3. North towards Berkeley Marina - The brown land mass in the center of the photo is the Berkeley Marina (marker 9); one hour later I would be standing there taking a photo of my present location.

3.2 East towards Berkeley - in about 20 minutes I would be running along that path bordering the water on the other side of the bay

2.2 East towards Emeryville - this is back at marker 2 looking towards marker 1 as I head back to Emeryville from the marina. That is Oakland on the right.

4. North towards Berkeley Marina - The trees on the small land mass on the left are at marker 9 in the Berkeley Marina; the path on the right borders the water for about 2.5 miles. Marker 5 is on the other side of the (closer) trees in the center of the photo.

5. North towards Berkeley Marina - Just finished the Ashby hump and am officially in Berkeley, will run for another 1.5 miles until reaching marker 6. I spent this stretch of the run on the phone talking to my children and hearing about there exciting day. It was amazing!

6. West towards Berkeley Marina - One of the hardest section runs as I was looking into the sun and running on an uneven road without sidewalks. My feet hurt at this point since I was essentially barefoot. Roughly halfway finished.

7. North almost in Berkeley Marina - Nature is trying to reclaim this section of the trail

8. North inside of Berkeley Marina - At this point I realized I wasn't going to make it home before sunset. But at least it would be a beautiful sunset!

8.2 North end of Berkeley Marina - looking northwest towards Richmond. Won't be running there any time soon.

9 South towards Emeryville Marina- The companion piece to marker 3. The little trees just left of center are in the Emeryville Marina where I was standing 1 hour earlier. The Bay Bridge and part of San Francisco are to the right (as shown in the second photo along with the Golden Gate Bridge covered in sunlight)

At this point the sun has set behind the hills and the night portion of the run begins (as shown by the blue line and numbers)

9.2 East towards Berkeley - The sun just dipped below the horizon as I ran back towards the mainland.

10. South towards Berkeley/Emeryville - the pedestrian bridge (roughly behind marker 6) in the center is my point of no return. If I cross it then my final total is 10 miles, if I run under it then it will be another 4 miles before getting home...

11. South towards Emeryville - ... the pedestrian bridge is behind me, I am in this for the long haul! The white building on the left is near my ending point and will be marker 13, but I will have to run 1 mile past it and loop back before seeing it up close. The Emeryville Marina is on the right.

12. Southwest towards Emeryville Marina and San Fran - looking at marker 3 for the final time and San Francisco right behind it. Now it is getting noticeably darker by the minute and I still have another 25 minutes left. Also, the lights on the far left (marker 4 are from Chevy's Mexican restaurant, a delicious food source I have run past 3 times on this trip. By mile 11 its aroma has nearly taken over my starved body (again, I didn't actually plan to run this far so I didn't eat as well as I should) and it took a lot of will power not to stop and eat the largest burrito I could find...

13. North towards Berkeley - the small white building from marker 11 is much larger. The sky is dark (the lights are from the city) and I am just .5 miles away from my destination!

End! (no photo) I collapsed into my bed (in retrospect, it was a bad idea to stop moving completely after running a half marathon). When I could move again I slowly proceeded to my car and went to Chevy's to have that burrito that had called my name 3 times in my trip.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful run!!! Thanks for sharing Jay! Ugh this makes me want to move to SF even more!!!