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running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

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Kansas City, MO
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running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

I coach a HS boys cross country team and we are planning to run in the Stanford Invitational this Sept. I chose Pacifica so the kids can see a little of everything. It would be easy to get a cheap hotel off the interstate in Palo Alto, but this could be a once in a lifetime deal, so Pacifica here we come! We will have some time to see San Fran the day before we race and do some touristy things. Thinking of Fishermans Wharf, taking a cable car to Niketown, having dinner at Ciopinno's and just general sight seeing

My questions, #1 does anyone know where we could get in some easy trail runs around the Holiday Inn Express before and after we compete? Some typical "in the pines" type trail runs? (we could drive a few min. if we need too)

#2 Where could 20+ people dine fairly close to Pacifica after the race Saturday night (the race is late in the afternoon and we will want to take it easy)

#3 Any idea what to expect on weather? Last year the race was run in 100+ temps...inland at Stanford. Is that typical? What can we expect back by the beach?

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11. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

Well, my position hasn't changed on Taco Bell so I'll be waiting with my horse whip, but if you insist, it's a 1.1 mile walk down a dedicated walking/biking/running path from your hotel to the Pacifica (Linda Mar) State Beach wherein lies the famous Taco Bell. See http://tinyurl.com/2ab5zq2 . It would, however be a shame not to have your group chow down on real west coast burritos rather than that pathetic thing sold by Taco Bell. At the bare minimum, consider crossing Highway 1 at Linda Mar Boulevard (i.e. where the Taco Bell is) and cut into the Linda Mar Shopping Center, where you'll find an L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, an outlet of a chain which originated in (where else but....) Hawaii and is marching eastward. Get your food to go, march back across the highway, and eat it on the beach. http://hawaiianbarbecue.com/

Edited: 11:23 pm, August 04, 2010
San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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12. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

The path mentioned in Simba's first reply can be extended, and for cross-country practice it would be perfect.

The paved part where people typically do their morning walks is under a mile, from the cove just south of the HIE and the two small motels to the water treatment plant road. However, you can go farther in either direction and do some small hills for mild cardio conditioning. Heading north, you can continue to Sharp Park Beach that Caffiend mentioned. Going south, go up the hill and then down, which takes you to Linda Mar Beach. (That's where Caffiend's favorite Taco Bell is located).

Other dining choices are close by. For Mexican, there's Playa Azul at Rockaway Beach and Guerrero's taqueria that Caffiend mentioned, at the next signal north of Rockaway on Hwy 1. These are not big places, but can probably handle a group this size for short order meals. Also at Reina del Mar is the Gorilla BBQ; you can check and see how it compares with what you have at home.

If they get homesick for chain restaurants, a Denny's is right across the highway from the Taco Bell. The Seabowl, just down the road from the HIE, is a bowling and entertainment center with a restaurant. It isn't "real" dinner fare, but with burgers, sandwiches, salads, and such, there should be something for any adolescent palate. It has astro bowling, billiards, and an arcade, so if anyone is missing at curfew, check out this place.

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13. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

FRR I don't believe there's a Playa Azul in Rockaway Beach -- there is however:

- an Acapulco (technically I believe its Playa de Acapulco which may be where the confusion is popping up) in Rockaway Beach which is getting pretty awful reviews on Yelp! these days yelp.com/biz/… and

- La Playa in Pedro Point, maybe 150 M south from that accursed Taco Bell, in the same strip mall as Nona's Kitchen, High Tide Cafe, XTreme Pizza, and what used to be the Pacifica Athletic Club which is finally supposed to reopen next year as a Smart and Fresh (Tesco) market, according to the Comical last week. La Playa is a bit more comfortable than your generic taqueria and has the major plus of having a liquor license so they can serve margaritas.

Pacifica, California
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14. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

"La Playa is a bit more comfortable than your generic taqueria and has the major plus of having a liquor license so they can serve margaritas."

...to your high school runners. :-)

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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15. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

Caffiend, I think that's the place I meant, the one with the big glass windows next to the BW Lighthouse Hotel. I've eaten there a couple times and it's been so-so, average food.

Another problem with that place is that between 4:30 and 6:00, depending on the season, the lowering sun beats down on it and if you're by the windows, the glare is fierce.

The restaurants at the BW and Nick's at the Seabreeze Motel are more adult places that likely wouldn't appeal to a group of teens--but you never know.

Kansas City, MO
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16. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

Trip report for Lee's Summit North Cross Country - Stanford Invitational Meet

This forum provided great ideas and help...thanks

Thursday 9/23 - we landed in Oakland early afternoon, rented cars and drove to Pacifica. We took a beach run (route provided by the Pacifica XC coach) along a bike then beach path. One comment from a runner that I remember "I can't quit smiling"

We ran down to the Pacifica pier and back, great 6-7 mile route. After the run they took a cold dive in the surf. We ate later at Straw Hat Pizza...OK but not great.

Friday 9/24 - up early to have bkfst on the deck outside HIE...what a view! Another beach run, then a trip to Palo Alto. We hit the team store by the track, walked some on-campus then had lunch at Hobee's. Drove back to Daly City to park and take the BART to Union Sq. There was quite a wait for the cable car so we hoofed it up/down to Fisherman's Wharf, with a little side trip to ChinaTown. At the Wharf we met up with the athlete's parents and took a boat tour on Blue & Gold. After that we walked down and ate at Ciopinnos. By now the cable car line was fairly thin so we took one back to Union Sq. Everybody on this trip was so friendly and wanted to know where we were from and what we were doing (being dressed in travel warm ups makes people notice) the exception was the cable car crew...what a rude bunch, I've heard of island time, but that attitude was a little too much for a city in the US. We reached Niketown in Union Sq. at 8:03 and was greeted by an employee that told us they were closed. We pleaded with them to let 10 midwest runners into their store, and their website indicated they were open until 9:00. I really didn't think we had a chance, but she talked to someone and let us in. All the employees were getting the store ready for the next day but were the most friendly and helpful (it didn't hurt that we probably raised their sales a few bucks either, but when does that always matter?) We took the BART back to HIE to prepare for our Saturday race. We (the coaches) saw a switch flipped when we returned, our athletes turned from tourist to serious competitor...very cool.

Saturday 9/25 - Race Day! We drove in to Stanford and got situated. The temps climbed to the upper 80's but the humidity was way below what we train in, so we were ready to race. We took 4th in the prestigous "seeded race" beating 4 nationally ranked teams! We had a former runner there that now lived down the road and suggested In and Out burgers for lunch... a CA treat! We went back to the hotel and had to get in the water again. It was actually a pretty big beach day with the locals....pretty full. Then we had a relaxing "weight off the shoulders" evening.

Sunday 9/26 - up for a run then back to SFO to travel home.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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17. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

Congratulations on your success! And we're glad everyone had a good time aside from doing well in the race,

You happened to arrive during an unusual heatwave. It's good that your runners are used to practicing in warm, humid weather. I was in your part of the country during the summer, and I could have lost a few pounds if I'd done some serious running! If we locals told you the ocean at Rockaway Beach or Linda Mar is fit only for polar bears, you proved that we're only 95% right.

How nice of the Niketown folks to let you go spend money in their store. Websites aren't always updated in time and they could have been sticklers, but decided to be hospitable to a group of kids from halfway across the country. Hats off to them.

As for the cable car crew, traditionally, that has been considered the elite assignment in the Muni system. Unfortunately, Muni operators (all modes, not just cable car) are in a public relations fight with residents, officials, and some other City employees over their refusal to make contract concessions to help ease the City's budget problems. They are among the highest paid transit operators in the nation, and admittedly, it isn't an easy job in a place like San Francisco. But every other employee organization, including the police and fire unions, made some concessions. Muni has had to make major service cuts in recent months and residents have been irate about the resulting mob scene on buses and unreliable schedules.

A few days ago, the annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest was scheduled at Union Square. It's an annual event that has delighted visitors and residents since the 1960s. The transit union announced the day before that they would boycott it, but not why. (IOW, "I'm gonna fall on the floor, kick, yell, make ugly faces, and hold my breath until I turn purple, and ain't gonna tell you why"). The contest wasn't a huge issue, but just one more little thing to irk people who are now conditioned to be irked at Muni. And speaking of bell ringing, there is a measure about their pay formula on the November ballot that is going to really ring their bell, and it's clear they'll go down pouting, sulking, and sticking out their tongues.

18. Re: running trails, dinner with 20+ ppl, and weather

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