Tuesday, December 9, 2014

North Face race weekend

Jason invited us to join him for some race volunteering at the North Face trail champs last weekend.  Sounded like fun - and it was!

Team V, getting into Trouble:


Love the big bridge:


All smiles as we prep to hang glow sticks on the course:


It's a beautiful course, lots of spectacular views:


We hung glow sticks on Friday, then got up at 0-dark-hundred on Saturday to crack the ones hanging along the first section of the 50-mile course (the race started at 5 am).  It was relaxing being out in the darkness and walking along the trails.

Watching the huge lead pack run down stairs around mile 18 or so:


Challenging lighting for early-race photography, but anyway, there are a bunch of runners on the trail across the way:


Back at the Tennessee Valley aid station where we helped with traffic control (cars and runners) and got to watch the leaders of all the races run through before the final section of the course.  Here is Sage Canaday on his way to an impressive 50-mile win:


And Dakota Jones nipping at his heels, finishing in 2nd place:


Timothy Olson covered in tattoos and mud:


Hey, it's Ryan!  He and Kelly ran the 50K and it was great to see them.


He accepted an offer of a beer, which we thought was pretty funny:


Kelly opted for more "normal" race liquid:


Fun times at the race - and only just a bit of cleanup from the mud.

On Sunday we took a little tour of downtown San Francisco.  It's about time John and I made it into the city.


The Christmas tree at Union Square:


This is also where we caught our very first live flash mob!  We just happened to be there at the right time.  Either that or Ryan is incredibly adept at planning city tours.  Very cool.

A bit of the flash mob experience:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdDTtJhsRfw

A neat Irish bar that Ryan and Kelly knew about:


Another giant Christmas tree, this one with a wonderful set of lights strung to it, and a nighttime selfie attempt (bonus points if you spot John):


On Monday Jason suggested the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.  Beautiful, peaceful, quite lovely place.

Hopefully not too spoiled with the addition of selfie-takers:


From one side this looks like a tree growing out of the water.  From the back you can see that the tree grows out from the bank, turns upward, and is supported by a post that looks like a tree trunk.  OK, that's hard to explain, so you should go there and check it out.  Pretty amazing.


Lovely waterfall:


What a fun weekend!  Thank you Jason and Ryan and Kelly!

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