… it was 34 years ago today that I began my adult running career … coincidentally, at age 34 … after having not run at all for more than 10 years.
Spent the next five years in heavy training and road racing … in the process dropping from a high of 183 pounds to 139 … my college wrestling weight! … and often doing major training runs with fellow deputy DA (and later judge) Dave Carter … Superior Court Judge Jim Smith … and my best running friends, DDA Doug Woodsmall & county engineer Al Nestlinger … until I moved to Northern California in 1985…
Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County
… at which point I got into trail running … mostly on Mt. Tamalpais … and did very little racing.
During the 5 years of frequent racing (1980-85), I managed to run my first sub-5:00 mile since college (4:55.39 in 1984) …
March of Dimes 5K … 4-29-84 … 16:28 … 1st Overall
… finished 1st overall in a 5K race … The March of Dimes Run for the Gold 5K in 1984 …
… and ran lifetime PRs of 32:59.14 for 10K (in 1985) … 1:14:37.40 for the half-marathon (1983) … 2:40:33 for the marathon (at the 1982 Fiesta Bowl Marathon) … and — also in 1985 — 54:41.8 for a 10 mile run … what I consider my best race ever, averaging 5:28.18 per mile.
Also ran in some interesting races …
The 1983 Boston Marathon — Finisher’s Medal, Pin & Patch
… including the 1983 Boston Marathon (2:43:05.83 when I died in the last three miles after running sub-6:00 mile pace for the first 23) … a 24 hour track run (covered 75 miles) …the Lake Tahoe 72 Mile Run (dropped out after 43 miles and 6.5 hours, due to a combination of altitude sickness and severe shin splints) … the Bay to Breakers several times (best time 44:54.69 in 1983) …and finally the Dipsea Race across Mt. Tam from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach.
And ran in some other interesting non-race settings …the Humboldt National Forest redwoods in Northern California … Muir Woods National Monument in Marin … Point Reyes National Seashore … the Golden Gate National Recreation Area …
The Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon
… down & up the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon … down & up the Sandia Peak Trail in New Mexico … around the rim trail of Walnut Canyon National Monument in Arizona ..
Meteor Crater, Winslow Arizona
… and around the Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona … to complete this loop, had to run past signs prohibiting visitors from going any further … sh-h!
And hundreds of runs on Mt. Tamalpais here in Marin … with, at one time or another and with some frequency, sons Doug & Matt, Toby George, Eric Nygren & Tom Hurst … and four-legged friends Cairo, Oski & Nano …
Nano on Mt. Tam Trail
… all of whom proved worthy training partners … eventually, I was able to run every trail on the mountain at least once from end-to-end in each direction … all 160 trails covering more than 200 miles …
… all carefully documented in one of my copies of Barry Spitz’ excellent book, “Tamalpais Trails” (of which I own six copies) … and the origin of my personal email address “RunTam”.
Age, a knee injury and the dysfunction of my thyroid gland eventually put an end to my running career … but I credit the tens of thousands of miles that I’ve run with my relative good health … and, in my mind, I often re-run my favorite Mt. Tam trails … Matt Davis Trail … Northside Trail … Southern Marin Line Fire Road … the Dipsea Trail … and my personal favorite …
Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway
… the Old Railroad Grade, once the course up & down the mountain of the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway.
Piggy Bank 10K … 1-27-85 … 10K PR 32;59.14
4th Overall & 1st in 35-39 Age Group
Age Group Piggy Bank Prize
Collection of Race Pins
——– Farewell Gift on Leaving DA’s Office in 1985 ——– Running Art by DA Investigator R. Skelly