We run the Dirty Thirty 50K.

Race Report: Golden Gate Dirty 30

I have mixed feelings about his race. The volunteers were fantastic. The course is really beautiful. It is a tough race with lots of climbing and descents. Much of the course is smooth single or double track but plenty of it is technical and rocky. Based on everything that occurred post-race start, it was a great race. No complaints there.

We even lucked out on the weather. It started at about 35 ℉, quickly rose to 40-45 ℉, and topped out at about 60 ℉. There was an all too common afternoon rain shower. It lasted 20 minutes or so but did include sleet and small hail. During a hotter year, there are plenty of exposed sections that would be downright brutally hot.

However, getting to the start line was a bit of a joke. We were told there were 3 start times (6, 7, and 8) and we got to pick our own start time. We were told the only way to start at 6 was to carpool. No runner drop-offs and shuttles only serve the 7 or 8 start time. Because carpooling with strangers to a 50K is logistically tricky, we were told to park at the shuttle lot and carpool from there.

Well, upon arriving at the shuttle lot, at 5, there was a shuttle waiting to go. Additionally, volunteers were scrambling, telling everyone to “get on the 6:30 start time shuttle”, as it was leaving shortly. The volunteers we dumbfounded that most everyone was there for a carpool, not to catch a shuttle. “Why are you all parking here?” a volunteer asked. “Because we were told to” was the line repeated back, over and over. I don’t blame the volunteers. They clearly had bad information, or we did, or both. It turns out, the shuttle beat us to the start line, and would have easily serviced a 6 start time.

Once we got to the start line, the race went fine. However, countless people asked each other, “what was with the debacle about getting us to the start?”.

Add to this ..

  • The endless and unhelpful emails the race director sent us after we signed up.
  • The race director’s apparent obsession with one racer, who one year had a flight to catch, started at 6 and went through the first aid station before it was ready.
  • The race director’s “commitment” to a 100% finish rate, translating into an inordinate amount talk of quitting – despite the race having a pretty typical DNF rate.
  • Or any of the other odd-ball behavior from the race director that just was bizarre or unhelpful.

It felt like the race director had never done this before and it was in spite of them, not because of them, that the rest of the race went smoothly.

Hats off to the volunteers. They made the race incredible. Every aid station was packed with refueling options and a handful of experienced and enthusiastic volunteers. I just wish getting to the start line had not been so unnecessarily complicated. The lead-up to the race put a bad taste in my mouth. It was just all so unnecessary and silly.

While I would recommend someone run this race, I would advise them of the hoop-jumping you will go through to get to the start line. Oh, and you can ignore the emails from the race director – when not spam, it was misinformation.


Race Website: https://dirty30.org/events/golden-gate-dirty-30/

Approximate gain: 7,290 feet

Approximate descent: 7,290 feet

Annie's Finishing Time: 10:05:03

Scott's Finishing Time: 10:05:01

View all race results by clicking here.