#1 – Mount Tam Hill Climb
Location: Downtown Mill Valley (clocktower) to the East Peak Fire Lookout
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 2533 ft of Gain
Overall Runs: 2040 Attempts By 330 People
CR: Galen Burrell in 30:58 (!) and YiOu Wang 40:53
My place: 9th, 36:08
Why: This is the route that really brought me into the trail running community of Marin and no other route can match that in importance for me. From my first time up the summit meeting Brett for the first time on a Tuesday morning to the my last Wednesday morning jaunt with Brett plus an amazing community of runners I have covered this segment as much as any other segment in Marin (77 times, with countless numbers of friends). When run at the same time throughout the year you are treated to a different sunset at a different point on the trail with different weather to boot. Its amazing, as are Galen’s and YiOu’s CRs. They are the king and queen of the Marin climbling trails for a reason. Watching them hold court is every bit as inspiring as the downhills of Jorge and Vitor(s).
Insider Tip: The scramble at the top of the route can be tricky to find, loose footing, and lead you astray easily. There is a race every labor day where you can get a little competition on the normally casual, friendly, and gentlemanly paced route. Don’t expect to nail it on your own and touch the fire lookout door, overwise it doesn’t even count as a summit run.