When we were in San Francisco, I remembered several great runs from previous business trips there. Below is a relevant post I did for the UltraList sometime in the late 1990s, plus or minus a couple years.
Since my job requires fairly frequent trips to various locations all over the U.S., I am always looking for that exotic run in a new place. It’s so great just to explore on foot the roads and trails in a new location and thereby get that unique pedestrian view of things. I’ve been at running nearly two decades now, and as in all things, one’s taste and interests evolve over time. The last couple of years I have gravitated more towards long-distance trail running as opposed to shorter road races. I have had some very memorable runs in the Rockies, the mountains of northern Alabama, thru Civil War battlefields.....
But it’s not always sunshine and roses. Last August I was in the San Francisco Bay area on business and had hoped to run the Skyline 50K, a trail run in the Castro Valley area. Well, my travel plans changed and I didn't arrive in the Bay area until several days after the race. Not to be thwarted from running among the redwoods, I used the maps that had been provided with the race application and ran in Redwood Regional Park on my own. Unfortunately, when I returned to my rental car I discovered it had been broken into and several hundred dollars worth of my stuff taken. I dropped a post card to Will Uher, last year's Skyline 50K race director, just to let him know of my experience so he could spread the word among his running group that parking at that particular spot could be risky.
Fast forward to this March. I was again out to the Bay area on business and called up Will, the first time we had actually spoken. All I was looking for was advice on a safer parking spot, but Will said, "I'll be free that evening, let's run together." So I got a guided tour over some of the nicer trails, a delightful running partner, a new friend, and another memorable run to treasure.
Moral of the story: The setting for this anecdote happened to be San Francisco, but that's irrelevant. The key issue is that there are good and bad people everywhere, and my experience here showed that the forces of good (Will) overcame the forces of evil (the thief). The sport of running is populated with kind, helpful people, so don't be afraid to invoke a running contact, no matter how tenuous. Somehow, sometime you'll be a situation where you can return the favor.