Some of my travels this year revolve around Ben’s running events. Ben has been training for an ultra marathon, and it’s his biggest running event to date. And that’s how I ended up in Mendocino County. Mendocino is located on the North Coast of California, well known for redwood trees, wine country, and the cultivation of marijuana. The three-hour drive from San Francisco was easy up until the last hour because the road was windy (hello car sickness) along the coast, but once we arrived at our destination, the air was fresh and well worth the car ride.
The Standford Inn by the Sea
The Stanford Inn by the Sea
is a compassionate, pet-friendly, eco-resort and the sponsor of The Mendocino Coast Ultra 50K
. The resort specializes in wellness by offering nutrition classes educating the importance of a plant-based lifestyle, hosts many different forms of yoga classes, and offers holistic spa treatments.
Our room was cozy with a clean-burning fireplace, a balcony with a view, a small seating area filled with vegan magazines, freshly baked vegan cookies, and silk almond milk for your morning coffee. My kind of hotel room.
In the main common area, there was a cozy couch facing a fireplace with a cute little cat napping on a chair. The Standford Inn also offers a small wine shop, lots of books on meditation and healing for sale, and cute kitschy things to buy.
Also, throughout the resort, you can find water refill stations which in my opinion is a must at every hotel.
I wasn't able to try a spa treatment during my stay, but we did take advantage of the indoor pool terrarium. After Ben's run, we relaxed our bodies in the indoor hot tub. The pool area had a hot tub, sauna, and of course a large lap pool. Everything was indoors which is excellent since Mendocino is not a warm destination.
The entire resort is 100% plant-based, so of course, the restaurant at The Stanford Inn is entirely vegan. The Raven serves an array of different cuisines, from sushi rolls and enchiladas to ravioli! All ingredients are fresh from regional organic growers or the Stanford Inn California Certified Organic Farm. All food wastes are composted and put back into the garden beds.
Barbecued "Pulled" Mushroom Flatbread
We enjoyed breakfast and dinner at the Raven during our stay. At times you can spot the llamas and horses walking around outside from the dining room views.
Mint chocolate ganache tart
Stanford Inn Florentine
The wine list is comprised of primarily of wines produced from certified organic vineyards, biodynamic vineyards, or those using sustainable, traditional farming practices. Vegan wines are marked on the wine list as well.
Mendocino Coast 50K
Sid Garza-Hillman is the director of the The Mendocino Coast Ultra 50K
as well as a nutrition consultant at The Mendocino center for living well
. Sid became passionate about running in his 40s, and during his ultra run training, he discovered beautiful terrains in his local hometown. He then decided to direct his very own ultra marathon in Mendocino County.
The 50K is Mendocino County’s first ultra marathon, and 2019 is its fourth year. The course is 50 kilometers (31 miles) of trail run deep into the forest, along the river past a beautiful waterfall, and on the beach. The race began at 7:30 am and has a cut off time of 9.5 hours. It’s a single loop course that starts and finishes at Big River State Beach and has nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gain.
Mendocino 50k aid station 4
There are five aid stations throughout the course. I was able to meet Ben at aid stations four and five (The other aid stations were harder to get to since it was in the middle of the forest). Aid station four is the 22-mile mark, I had estimated his speed for a 10-minute mile, so I planned to meet him about 3.5 hours into the race. I got to the aid station around 10 am and waited and waited.
I wasn't able to track him like I usually do on his other runs because there was no cell service. I was beginning to get worried and started thinking maybe he hurt himself in the forest or got lost (which I heard a lot of people did during this course). At 12:39 pm, I see him! I was so relieved and he was looking strong and maybe a little bit sweaty.
Did I mention I got a giant cowbell to cheer Ben and all the runners on? I got so many compliments on it and how I was missed at the aid stations when I moved onto the next one. Ben finished 50 kilometers (31 miles) of running hills in the forest, repelling down a hillside, and running on sand in 7 hours and 14 minutes. I am so proud of him for completing such a challenging event. I know it takes lots of training mentally and physically for this kind of race.
I hope we get to go back to Mendocino next year for the 5th annual The Mendocino Coast Ultra 50K
. See you next year Sid!