Stinson Beach Park
Once they leave the starting line in Stinson Beach Park just off Marine Way and Highway 1, runners will follow an out-and-back course that starts by making their way along roads for the first stretch, and then onto the trails that lead into Muir Woods National Monument, along the Dipsea Trail and the Ravine Canyon Trail, as they make their way into the place where scenes from 1983’s Return of the Jedi were filmed.
Be ready to run big hills. Organizers say that “from the word ‘Go,’ you’ll be heading up” — and they’re right. The course rises more than 1,100 feet in the first three miles, as runners climb through the old-growth redwood forests of Muir Woods, march up both rock and wooden staircases and even climb a wooden ladder from one trail to the next.
Waterfalls, creeks and streams abound inside the park along the trails, and runners will have plenty of scenery to take their minds off the difficulty of the race as they’re heading up and down the trails.
And down the trails go between miles 3 and 5, giving back those 1,100 feet of elevation by the time runners reach the mid-way point of the race. That stretch turns into a much longer and more gradual uphill in the second half, as runners are heading along the Ben Johnson, Camp Eastwood and finally the Dipsea Trail on the way back into the starting line for the race finish.
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