S F Golden Gate Park XC – Sep 11, 2022

As the saying goes, “What a difference a day makes.” Instead of burning through the searing heat of the Vacaville dust and dirt, the Spartans were blessed with the cool, misty, eucalyptus-seasoned air at the 36th annual Golden Gate Park Cross Country Open. Five Spartans toed-the-line––nearly doubling their Vacaville showing––for the 4-mile two-looper on this historic course where the Pacific Association XC Championships will be run in November.
The course traverses wet grass, rolling hills, soft dirt, sticky sand, and just enough splish-splash puddles to freckle the back of your singlet with mud. The iconic course begins with a wet run through Lindley Meadow, up a small embankment to John F. Kennedy Drive, and then a long, gradual downhill past Spreckles Lake; then a left on Chain of Lakes Drive until the cheery course monitors direct you to another wobbly meadow of grass leading to a stretch of sand and up a short, single-track trail that then opens up to wide path paralleling the Polo Fields. Follow that to a long, gradual uphill that eventually spills you out to John F. Kennedy Drive again and back to a downhill finish in Lindley Meadow. Now do that again, and you’re done.
It was a great race, a great day, and another great deposit in the old bank of fond and lasting memories. It was good to see and connect with many of the old timers like Jeff Hongo, Bill Brusher, Julios Ratti, and former Spartan Norm Cornwell. After the paparazzi finished with the Spartans, they headed back to the car, stopping for a time to watch the more relaxing activities of the Golden Gate Model Yacht Club guiding their ships languidly across Spreckles Lake. Now there’s an exercise that requires no warm up––just an all day cool down . .
–  Reported by Kurt Gravenhorst
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