Race Summary: The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile San Francisco
The North Face nationwide have five-race series, the SF Endurance Challenge Championship finale has become the most prestigious 50-miler in the U.S. Its attracting the best ultrarunners in the world to face off on 9,000 feet of vertical and a relentlessly hill course in the Marin Headlands.
I let from San Jose at 2:00am and arrived at the start of The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championship at 3 a.m Dec 7th Saturday morning in Golden Gate Recreation Area, outside of San Francisco, my plan was to use the run as practice for BR135 and finish in one piece.
I had completed 50 miles at the Rio Del Lago 100 November 9th and was bit nervous about the elevation but optimistic as usual.
It was freezing cold at start and really early, was signed to second wave but end up starting with third wave, started with caution because of the cold and dark. We’re going up hill and the stars were out and we’re just climbing mountains up and downhill.
I was on track with my planned schedule, I came through Stinson Beach 27.7 miles expecting the pacers to be ready, but found out they couldn’t get shuttle and were waiting at the Tennessee aid station (44 miles) for the shuttle. We decided pacers will run backward to meet me in the middle. However the Cardiac hill from 27.7 to 30.4 miles was killer with climbing up the steep, stair-steppy two-milessteps and hardest for me (I wasn’t used to the stair steps).
I credit my finish at The North Face Endurance Challenge to my pacers Saurabh Bhasinand Anil Gorti. They managed to push me through last 14 miles and had strong finish. The race has scenic ocean cliffs and redwood views and very well organized race.
SF North Face Race Plan
Elevation Gain: 10,180 ft
Special 50 miles printed shirt and medal