This is my second KQED Perspectives piece. It’s based on an original blog post of the same name. It felt timeless so I thought I would try and make it work in audio essay form. It aired on KQED Public Radio on October 3, 2016.
In 2013 a drinking fountain was installed on top of Cardiac Hill, one of the infamous climbs on Mt. Tamalpais. It’s dedicated to local runner Sam Hirabayashi. I like to think of it as the Magical Fountain. It seemed to appear out of nowhere one day to provide cooling sips of water after a tough, often hot, climb. I didn’t know the story behind it until recently. I had read a New York Times article written by Sam’s widow Eve Pell about their touching love story then discovered through my trail running friends that the fountain on Cardiac Hill was Sam’s.
Never Say Never
I swore on a stack of bibles that I’d never do the Quad. I’d flirted with the idea of it from time to time. It seemed like something that should be on one’s trail running résumé if one hailed from Northern California. I’d done the Double once back in 2012 and afterwards felt that was already one Dipsea too many. I’d had enough. To add to my reluctance, I would often find myself on chunks of the course in other races, usually hating my life and indulging in bouts of self-loathing. It affirmed the thought that always hovered at the edge of my consciousness – no, not going to do the Quad, ever. Besides I could always pull the North Face card, which is a race I was usually in, that takes place the following weekend. I’m not strong enough to do both like some of the runners I know so I had a convenient, easy out.