Run Cannonball Run
Based out of Boston where the summers are hot and muggy, our svelte running buddies over at Tracksmith have an adventurous summer ritual to keep themselves from melting. They search high and low for the best running routes around with a body of water along the way, then head out for a Run Cannonball Run — cooling off with a plunge into refreshing waters at the halfway point of a run before racing back home. Whether it’s a backflip off the pier or a quick dunk into icy waves along the coast, a mid-run swim goes a long way when the mercury’s up. The Tracksmith crew recently escaped to Beacon, NY in search of new splashing grounds (see their latest adventure here) — and in the spirit of exploration, tasked us with uncovering the best Run Cannonball Run destination near our own San Francisco HQ.
Here in the Bay Area, we’re lucky to have an excess of options when it comes to running routes with watering holes nearby. So, in their quick-dry Run Cannonball Run Shorts built for the task, we took off across the Golden Gate Bridge to a quintessential Northern California running location — the Coast Trail. Follow our out-and-back with the photo story below — or better yet, try it yourself with the Coast Trail directions at the bottom of the page.
Regular running shorts aren’t cut out for a swim — they’ll sag all the way home — while swim trunks weren’t built for full-length strides.
The Run Cannonball Run Short was perfectly designed for both. With a lightweight and quick-drying nylon blend combined with a water-repellent finish — moisture rolls right off, so you can comfortably carry on with your miles after a mid-run splash.
We woke up early to a heavy layer of fog, typical of Bay Area summer weather. After loading up the cars with cozy towels and post-run layers, we drove an hour and a half north over curvy roads, pulling up to the Palomarin Trailhead to Alamere Falls.
A quick stretch and ready to go, we took off along the three-mile trail towards Bass Lake — our cannonball location and turning back point. The mist proved for muggy running conditions and a halfway dip sounded more than ideal.
Bass Lake Trail is somewhat hidden with overgrown plants, so we carefully navigated through greenery (hopefully not Poison Oak) to find the jumping point. A downed tree made the perfect dive platform — we scrambled barefoot onto the gnarled roots, peeled off sweat-soaked shirts, and cannonballed in with a 3-2-1.
A few satisfying jumps later, we laced up our shoes and took off in the direction we came from with lunch on our minds. Stinson Beach is only a 20 minute drive back south, so we beelined towards the Siren Canteen, an indoor/outdoor taco shop with a beachside view.
After ordering an obscene amount of fish tacos (a symptom of post-run appetite), we posted up on a bench outside with Modelos — cheersing to adventurous summer miles.
Try It Yourself
Coast Trail Run Cannonball Run Directions:
• From San Francisco, drive up the US-101 across the Golden Gate Bridge for about 7 miles
• Take the exit for CA-1 toward Mill Valley/Stinson Beach and after 3.4 miles, turn right onto Panoramic Hwy
• Follow Panoramic Hwy for 9 miles, then turn right at Stinson Beach back onto CA-1 for 4.7 miles
• Turn left at Bolinas on to Olema Bolinas Rd for 2 miles
• Turn right at Mesa Rd and follow for 5 miles to the Palomarin Trailhead and park
• Hop out and run 3 miles on the Coast Trail to Bass Lake
• Run back
• Post-run fish tacos at the Siren Canteen — highly encouraged