We'll be launching from the Beach Chalet parking lot @ 1000 Great Highway and running through Golden Gate Park. Here are a few things to keep in mind before I dive into the details:
1)You will be running gradually uphill for the first half two miles your run! This course isn't terribly steep, but there is a GRADUAL uphill for much of the first half of the run. Keep this in mind as you may need to dial back your pacing a bit when you head out.
2)Watch your footing! There's a reasonable amount of this run that will take place on a dirt path/fire road. This means small rocks, tree roots (sometimes), and uneven ground at times. I don't want to see anyone take a tumble. Stay tuned in! This is particularly important for those of you who wear MP3 PLAYERS! Stay particularly alert on the RETURN when you will likely be a bit fatigued and traveling gradually DOWNHILL!
3)Water Stops. Roughly a mile into the run (not too far after you pass the Bison Paddocks on the left) there is water fountain on the LEFT adjacent to Lake Spreckles. Also there is a water fountain at the intersection of JFK/Transverse on the LEFT side of JFK. These descriptions will make more sense once you read my course description below.
Ok, enough of the preamble. Let's get down to it! Here's a link to the course map (6-10 miles)-
Saturday’s Golden Gate Park Run!
Head NORTH from the Beach Chalet and promptly take a right turn to get onto JFK. You will run along the dirt path for about a quarter of a mile until you come to a stop sign. Turn LEFT at this stop sign at the pedestrian crosswalk onto the dirt path running along JFK.
You will continue running along this path for some time. As you close in on the first mile you will see the 'Bison Paddock' on your left. Shortly after you pass the paddock, you will see Lake Spreckles on the left. If you need water, cross the pedestrian crosswalk over to Lake Spreckles and you will see the water fountain on your left. This is roughly a mile into your run.
Continue running for roughly a mile and you will eventually you will come to a 4 way stop at the intersection of JFK/Transverse. This is 2 MILES. Once again, there is a water fountain on the LEFT side of this intersection. Make sure you run on the RIGHT side of JFK as this is where the first few chalk markings will be.
Continue running on the RIGHT side of JFK for roughly half a mile. You will see a large funky looking building approaching on the right. This is DeYoung Museum. Additionally, you should see a crosswalk cutting across JFK. This is 2.5 miles. Keep running!
Continue running along the right side of JFK for another half mile. You will see a stop sign and traffic joining JFK from 'Conservatory Way'. (this is just prior to the Flower Observatory) There is a pedestrian crosswalk here. THIS IS 3 MILES! LOOK FOR A 'MM 6' IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PATH. Beginner level runners will turn around here and head back to the Beach Chalet for 6 MILES!!
Everyone else will cross over to the LEFT side of JFK. Continue running until you reach the intersection of JFK/Stanyan. This is 3.5 miles. Look for a 'MM 7' in chalk at this intersection. Intermediate level runners will turn around here and head back to the Beach Chalet for 7 MILES!
Advanced/Race level runners will run through the intersection of JFK/Stanyan and onto the panhandle (the strip of land that runs between Oak/Fell). Run on the RIGHT side of the Panhandle! You will run along the panhandle for roughly half a mile along OAK.
One block PAST Oak & Masonic (again, this is a controlled intersection with stoplights), keep your eyes peeled for OAK and CENTRAL. There will be a 'MM 8' in chalk in the middle of the road. Advanced and Race level runners will turn around and head back to the Beach Chalet for 8 MILES! Advanced level runners are done upon reaching the Beach Chalet!
level runners will pick up their additional 2 miles by running along the
Great Highway until you reach the intersection of Great Highway and
Lawton. There will be a 'MM10' in chalk at this intersection. Turn
around here and head back to the Beach Chalet for 10 MILES!