This Saturday's official Golden Gate Headlands Marathon, Half Marathon and 7-Mile (yes, that is a trademarked title) has been sold out for awhile now, but these days the debts are high and the funds are low, so no one can blame your for putting that $40 that you might have spent on entry fees toward oh, you know, rent and groceries. Still, this doesn't mean you can't run the route on your own time. Sure, you'll miss that infectious runners' camaraderie, the free-drink stations, the souvenir t-shirt, the race number to proudly display on your refrigerator. But, picking your own sunshiney day to run on near-empty trails is priceless, both literally and figuratively. Grab the fully mapped race route—with its promise of panoramic vistas of the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco cityscape—right here for free, fill your Sigg with water (free again) and you're off! No matter what distance you choose, you'll be traversing the Headlands' finest, from the granddaddy of them all, the Coastal Trail, to smaller footpaths like the Miwok. Perhaps the best thing about doing the race recessionist-style? Peace and quiet. Yes, those are also free.
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