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In late December, shortly after joining the POST team, I heard about this crazy 48-mile trail run by POST board member Sean Dempsey.
This is one of those stories that you hear from someone, who heard it from someone else, sort of a thing. I wasn’t sure how much to believe. It just seemed too cool to be true, so we caught up with Sean to get the details firsthand.
And it’s all true (see map below).
On July 18, 2015, Sean left his home in Los Altos at 6:30 a.m. and headed west toward the Pacific Ocean (yeah, I’m imagining that scene from Forrest Gump too). He had run the first 15 miles of the route before so he knew where he was headed and that some of the toughest terrain was right at the beginning near Monte Bello Road.
After completing about half the total distance, he met up with his dad at Waterman Gap in Big Basin State Park to refuel and top off his hydration pack. From there, it was a long descent to the beach.
Sean has been running for a long time. In fact, it was running that connected him with POST. While out for a run one day at Arastradero Preserve, he thought to himself, “I wonder if there’s an organization I could support that helps protect open spaces like this one?”
The rest, they say, is history.
After a little over 10 hours of running, Sean reached Waddell Beach at 4:45 in the afternoon, running straight into the ocean to cool off.
What’s remarkable about this run, aside from it’s superhuman distance, is that Sean was able to complete all but two of the 48-miles on connected trails, without trespassing (2 miles were on roads). It’s a great testament to how special the Peninsula is and how fortunate we are to have such an extensive trail systems right in our backyard.
I’m comforted to hear Sean’s story. It gives me great peace of mind to know that this trail system exists, allowing us to escape, and go the distance.
Find your next great adventure on our hikes page!
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 79,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more