Thanksgiving in the Bay Area. Our hotel near the Oakland airport was also near Shoreline Park. I don’t get to run as often as I want to when I travel but a trail next to the hotel with complimentary recovery breakfast left no room for excuses.
After the long drive up, I scouted the course to stretch my legs. True to its name, Shoreline Park followed the bay southeast of San Francisco. The path was entirely flat, equal parts dirt and asphalt. Since I was in a step-back week I looked forward to some loose relaxed running.
Five a.m. and dark. It would be dark for some time. I warmed up in the hotel gym and headed out to a 35 degree morning. There was no wind and I was soon warm and comfortable. My biggest problem was the darkness. I ran two miles before sunrise.
As I passed the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal, I could see downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, and Mt. Tamalpais.
My 8:20 pace was 20 seconds faster than my easy runs, but I felt loose and decided to hold on for the rest of my run- 12 miles. Half way out, I crossed a pedestrian bridge and continued along the south shore into Alameda. At first my route was single track and crossed a salt marsh. The trail had been under water the night before because of king tides.
After six miles the path ended at Crab Cove. Time to head back to the hotel and breakfast.
As a rule, I try to avoid out and back runs. But Shoreline was a refreshing change of scenery and kept me coming back for three straight days, my entire Thanksgiving stay.