A marathon awaits …

posted in: Avon Walk 0

Saturday, July 09, 2011 – Day 1

Ok, it’s really only close-to marathon distance today, since the route got changed to where Saturday is a bit shorter, and Sunday makes up for it. All in all, we’ll still be walking a full marathon and a half, 39.3 miles! And when you start counting the detours at the pit stops and for lunch, we’re right back at full distance!

After the alarm comes on at some ungodly hour Saturday morning, we#re getting up and get ready. Lesson learned from last year: the longer you “sleep in”, the less you wait in the cold of Fort Mason for the Opening Ceremony to begin. So far so good, but as many other walkers had the same idea, the line for the shuttle bus wraps around 3 sides of the Westin. Oops. Brrrr.

Once at Fort Mason, it’s time for our first official team photo. Team Hope For Hooters 2011 is made up of Alisa (our team captain), Kristina & Clae, Teri and Andrea (that’s me). After last year’s ups and downs (the route was 85% hills), we’re looking forward to some more flat areas to save those hip flexors in the process.

6:30am – the Opening Ceremony starts on time, and by 7:00am approx. 2,400 walkers are on their way. First stop: Fishermen’s Wharf. Walking all along the water, with no tourists in sight (just yet), following the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building and onto Market Street for a block or two. Then we’re off through the Financial district, towards Chinatown and North Beach, before heading further East and into the Pacific Heights district. These will be our only “real” hills for this weekend – what a change! After enjoying some nice homes (from the outside only), we reach the Presidio and all the green that comes with it. Time to turn North and we’re approaching the Palace of Fine Arts, cross through the Marina district and along Crissy Field. Now, only the Golden Gate Bridge lays between the walkers and lunch … not a challenge at all!

Fort Baker is a nice place to stop and rest, and seeing lunch all set up & waiting for us as we glance down from the bridge adds and extra step to our walk. The rest of the afternoon is spent in Marin County, as we cross through Sausalito, Mill Valley, along the Richardson Bay and Hwy 101 (man, cars are so much faster than walkers!) and into Corte Madera. This is where we reach the final stop of today’s walk – the Wellness Village at the Corte Madera! Team Hope For Hooters went the distance today … and as a team we reach the Village, ready to hop on a bus back to the city!

Back at the hotel … it’s time for a massage, and lights out at 9pm!

Here are the best photos of today – enjoy!

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