The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Dipsea Race

I don’t run the Dipsea. I do the Dipsea. I am not a fast runner, but I cross the finish line. I run parts, hike parts and wish I could lie down in parts. I hope for lots of fog. Like childbirth, the Dipsea trail is beautiful and tough and worth the effort. The labor starts with six hundred and seventy-six stairs and then its uphill to Panoramic. Not so easy to break into a trot at the top of those stairs. The word Clydesdale comes to mind. Some minutes later I pass the one-mile tree and slog up the street to Panoramic thinking there’s only a little over six miles to go. It's like being in labor for hours and learning you’ve only dilated 1 centimeter.

After crossing Panoramic, it’s downhill on jelly legs, navigating stairs to the street that winds down to the suicide plunge into Muir Woods and across the creek. This is considered a rest.

Dynamite is a gorgeous grueling uphill climb out of Muir Woods, lush and fairytale like with ferns, redwoods, moss, and birdsong. This I hike with measured breathing. When people running this section jostle me, I wonder what species they might be.

Then it's up and over the lip of Muir Woods and onto a fire road and trail that intertwine on Hogsback. An oak tree dripping with moss growing out of a split boulder marks the halfway point and the transition to the rainforest. It’s beautiful, but never fails to annoy me.

We go over roots and rocks in the redwood rainforest until the fire road again leads to the base of Cardiac, the last major uphill climb. I push the very last bit when I can see the sky. The trail emerges on a grassy face of Mount Tam with views of the Pacific.

Descending through dry grass and wildflowers, over a fence, down a rut in high weeds and steep mismatched steps, across a bridge and up gravelly Insult. I rarely make it to the top of Insult in time to take the shortcut on the road. I run the moors. Both lead to a very brief bit of tree cover before reaching Highway 1 and the quarter mile on blacktop to the finish line on very wobbly legs.

The finish. The beach. Done.

By Mary Allison Tierney

Note: Mary Allison will run, or rather do, the Dipsea Race this Sunday.


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This is a fabulous description! I've been wondering what that race entails since I moved here 2 years ago. I wish you strength and persistence on Sunday, DO-er!
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