When we first moved back to Northern California, a friend recommended that I check out Angel Island in the SF Bay, in my quest for new adventures. But logistics, and finding someone to go with me would prove to be a challenge. I could never find a date that someone else was free and wanted to go explore. In this process of adventuring, I've learned how my current network of friends is just not as interested in exploring as I am, or they are way too busy for taking a day trip. (Time to expand my network!)
So, when I saw that there was a trail race on Angel Island coming up that next weekend, I decided "what the hell!" and I went online and signed right up. It was one of my last free Saturdays before my own half marathon training program began, which would tie me up on Saturdays for the next 12 weeks.
I figured, joining a race would be the best way for me to go explore the island by myself (and with hundreds of others). The race instructions would tell me where to park, where to take the ferry, where the trails are (i.e: just follow the person in front of you), and all of the other logistics that I wouldn't have to figure out myself.
I signed up for the half marathon, but on race day, it was so rainy and stormy, that they actually cancelled the half marathon, and everyone was to do the 10k so that the ferries could return safely before noon.
I never knew how huge and awesome Angel Island was until I got there. Sure I'd driven past it many times on my way into San Francisco, but it's actually a pretty cool park with some amazing views of San Francisco and the entire Bay. I can't wait to go back there and explore some more!
So, early morning, on race day, I drove to Tiburon, found the parking lot downtown and the ferry terminal, and waited with the rest of the runners for our ferry over to Angel Island. It was a quick ride across the Bay. We then headed over to the start area, where we were given plastic bags to keep all of our belongings dry while we ran the race.
When the race started, knowing it was just a 10k, and not a half marathon, I decided to push myself a little harder than I would have for 13.1. But I also made sure to stop along the way and take pictures! We got a bit of a break from the rain during the actual race, but we were covered in mud from the previous 2 weeks of rain we had. I had never run a "mud run" before, but that's what this trail was like during points! It sure was an experience!
After the race, I luckily finished with enough time to get on the first ferry back (I had to hurry up at the finish line to get back to the ferry). If I had missed it, I'd have had to wait another hour for the next one. And for those of you who know me, know I get cold very fast, and my fingers and toes go numb. So getting on that first ferry was a huge win for me! After the race, muddy and all, I went to a great little organic restaurant in Mill Valley, (read that blog post here), and had a delicious meal that was "made with love."
It was a great experience doing this trail race as my way of exploring Angel Island. In fact, it opened my eyes to doing trail races more often with the goal of being able to explore more places without needing company with me.
Abby Malmstrom M.S. is an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, wellness coach, and "real food" nutritionist. Her life as an active duty military spouse takes her all over the world, allowing her to influence, teach, and connect with folks in communities she never even dreamed of reaching. Life's an adventure, so stay tuned for the ride! It's time to "Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well, Be Well."