Tamalpa Headlands / USATF 50K Trail Championships Race Preview

Press release written by Tamalpa Headlands 50K race director Tim Fitzpatrick.

Tamalpa Runners, Marin’s largest running club, will present the Tamalpa Headlands 50k trail race on Saturday August 27th, 2016. Designated for the second year in a row as the USATF 50K Trail National Championship, the race has attracted an outstanding elite field. The race also serves as a Team USA qualifier for the IAU/IAAF 2017 Trail Running World Championship.

The Tamalpa Headlands 50K starts and finishes at Santos Meadow, located between Muir Woods National Monument Park and Muir Beach. The course takes the 250 entrants over some of Marin’s most rugged and scenic trails, including Pirates Cove, the Miwok trail, the Dipsea, Coastal, and Steep Ravine. With 7,300 feet of challenging and technical elevation change, the race is as challenging as it is beautiful. Founded in 1998 by Tamalpa Runners and awarded the National Championship race in five prior years, the Headlands 50k is coordinated by race directors Tim and Diana Fitzpatrick of Larkspur, California. A total of $5,000 of prize money will be at stake, along with course record incentives.


The men’s field brings a great combination of local and national talent. Notables from Marin County include Alex Varner (Quad Dipsea record holder; 2015 Sonoma 50M winner; 2:21 marathon PR; 2nd fastest Headlands 50K), Jorge Maravilla (2:21 Gold Coast Marathon 2016; two time Trail National Champion), and Dylan Bowman (3rd, 7th, 10th at Western States 100M, 15:36 in 2014; winner of The North Face 100K AUS and Tarawera 100K NZL). They should be among the leaders and are all potential threats to podium. David Roche from Sunnyvale, CA who finished 3rd place at Headlands last year will be back this year and is a threat to win. He won Cool 50K 2016 (3:19) and is a two-time National Champion. Team Flagstaffers Cody Reed (winner Miwok 100K 2016 in 9:04; 14:10 5K; Steeplechase 8:56) and Tim Freriks (2nd place Lake Sonoma 50M in 6:19; 14:02 5K; 29:31 10K) should be in the mix with Yew Ferarra (Upper Lake, CA), Matt Morales (Visialia, CA), Sam Robinson (Oakland, CA), Dillon Breen (Spring Valley, CA), Scott Trummer (Livermore, CA), Ben Stern (Acata, CA), David Kilgore (Palm Bay, FL), Patrick Parsel (South Lake Tahoe, CA) and Eric Senseman (Denver, CO). The top men will be going after Andy Wacker’s course record of 3:37:20 set last year.

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On the women’s side Caitlin Smith (Oakland, CA) will look to defend her title from the 2015 Tamalpa Headlands 50K/USATF 50K Trail Championship (4:30:44). Caitlin is a two time Marathon Olympic Trials Qualifier (2:41 Marathon PR). Also competing is Megan Roche, the two-time winner of Way Too Cool (2016 and 2015) and current course record holder there (3:41:56), with two National Championships to her name. Pushing the pace with Caitlin and Megan is a star studded field including 2015 World 50K and 100K Champion and 2015 50 Mile and 100K US Champion, Camille Herron. Camille just added a win at White River 50M (2nd fastest time ever, 7:36) to her already impressive resume. Vermont’s Kasie Enman (2:37 marathon PR, CR holder at Giir Di Mont) could vie for a podium spot along with Lindsay Tollefson (Mammoth Lakes, CA, 3rd place Headlands 50K 2015 in 4:48), Tracie Akerhielm (Denton, TX), Emily Peterson (Mill Valley, CA), Kehr Davis (Great Barrington, MA), Ann Zielaski (Oakland, CA) and Bree Lambert (San Jose, former winner Tamalpa Headlands 50K-2013). The elite women will be aiming to improve on the course record of 4:25:15 set by Kami Semick in 2006.

Tamalpa Runners and Clif Bar are the presenting sponsors. Other sponsors include Ultimate Direction, San Francisco Running Company, Thirty Birds, Headlands Brewing Co, and UltraRunning Magazine.

Photos from the 2015 Tamalpa Headlands 50K can be found here on Google Photos.

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