Commentary By Rick Rodriguez
Saturday (12/10/11), I once again ran the Hark the Herald 12k on Angel Island organized by Envirosports. It's a run to the top of Angel Island and back down. In fact, it takes a bit of an effort to get to the start line and get the run started but in the end it's all worth it. This year's race featured a whole lot more runners that my previous ventures to the Angel Island and this race!
In order to get to Angel Island, the closest ferry is from Tiburon in Marin County. Catching the 1st Ferry by 10am got me there in time for the start and after the last of three ferries of runners arrived we were set to go.
Envirosports events are different in that there is no award for placing or medals for runners rather the event's focus is to appreciate the beauty of nature and the surroundings. This event was no different in that aspect: Angel Island was truly at its finest that day! Another unique aspect of these events is that race is started with a singing of America the Beautiful. That's a very special song and it is kind of neat singing with strangers in nature throughout the San Francisco Bay Area!
Needless to say the hard part is the start all the way to the top of the Island. What is interesting is that on that day, I never seemed to arrive because while I felt I had reached the top several times; I had to keep going just a little more to reach the top of Mt. Livermore. Perhaps, it was my desire to get there but I managed it well. And, before I knew it I was on my way back down. It was a fast pace descent and with only a couple of tweaks of ankles on the way down; I managed to finish strong. The race was concluded quickly. It was an awesome experience and I really enjoyed it this time taking plenty of pictures of the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. The photograph here is not of a ship cruising through the Bay pierced by rays of sunshine but of the adjacent Alcatraz Island . Even a place with the reputation of Alcatraz Island can look devastatingly beautiful on a day in December when caught at the right moment. It was and I was there just at the moment that I would bring it here to appreciate.
The Angel Island Hark the Herald 12k (it also offers a 25k) achieved for me exactly what the organizers wanted. A chance to appreciate nature in a very special place in the San Francisco Bay Area--Angel Island.
As a running experience with hills and lots of single lane trails, I'd rate this a moderate run. It is fairly tough but tricky. On the descent, it is semi-chaotic as the 25kers head back up on a single lane trail and it gets a bit crowded. Though it is tabbed, a non-competitive event, runners by nature are very competitive and this comes out even from yours truly! It's a great event especially for the views and it's one event that I'll continue to come back again and again!