Best Ultramarathon 

Ohlone 50K

Peel away the "we're all runners" congeniality and you'll find that marathon runners secretly view 5K and 10K runners as mere dilettantes. They in turn are looked at as underachievers by the ultramarathoners, who prefer courses between 50K and 100 miles. Our favorite East Bay ultramarathon (one day we'll actually run it) is the Ohlone 50K, an endurance contest from end to end of the Ohlone Wilderness Trail (see Best Wilderness). True, its 31-mile length doesn't sound that much more than a 26.2-mile marathon, but there's an important difference: Marathons don't usually run on dirt paths over the highest publicly accessible peak in Alameda County, going a total of 7,800 feet upward and 7,440 feet down and offering amazing views in all directions — if you're coherent enough to appreciate them, that is. If you're thinking of going for the gold next May, note the course records (male: 4:29:45, female: 5:04:36, both set this year). If your goal is to simply get to the end, note that you have to beat ten hours to get a finisher's medal.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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