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The Quad Dipsea, a gruelling ultra marathon

The Quad Dipsea runs on the historic Dipsea running trail in Marin County, California. Runners soon climb 700 steps in Mill Valley and run up and down hills before a steep descent at Stinson Beach. Runners then repeat this three times where they finish back in Mill Valley after a hard 28 miles.

 

Brett Rivers reaches Cardiac Hill during the 28 mile 2013 Quad Dipsea. Rivers won the 2012 Quad Dipsea.

Brett Rivers reaches Cardiac Hill during the 28 mile 2013 Quad Dipsea. Rivers won the 2012 Quad Dipsea.

 

Mark Richtman leaves Cardiac Hill and heads down back to Old Mill Park in Mill Valley during the 2013 Quad Dipsea.

Mark Richtman leaves Cardiac Hill and heads down back to Old Mill Park in Mill Valley during the 2013 Quad Dipsea.

 

Volunteers wait for runners at Cardiac Hill, the highest point of the 28 mile Quad Dipsea ultra marathon.

Volunteers wait for runners at Cardiac Hill, the highest point of the 28 mile Quad Dipsea ultra marathon.

 

Teresa Walsh runs down the 700 steps leading down to Old Mill Park in Mill Valley during the Quad Dipsea on Saturday.

Teresa Walsh runs down the 700 steps leading down to Old Mill Park in Mill Valley during the Quad Dipsea on Saturday.

 

Dave Mackey of Boulder, Colorado finishes first in the 2013 Quad Dipsea. This was Mackey's first Quad Dipsea and he broke the previous record time by one minute.

Dave Mackey of Boulder, Colorado finishes first in the 2013 Quad Dipsea. This was Mackey’s first Quad Dipsea and he broke the previous record time by one minute.

 

Ariane Buser of Sausalio finishes first place in the women's category of the Quad Dipsea. This was the first Quad Dipsea for the winner, she usually participates in Ironman Triathlons.

Ariane Buser of Sausalio finishes first place in the women’s category of the Quad Dipsea. This was the first Quad Dipsea for the winner, she usually participates in Ironman Triathlons.

 

Brett Rivers shares a kiss with his wife after coming in second in the 2013 Quad Dipsea in Mill Valley, California.

Brett Rivers shares a kiss with his wife after coming in second in the 2013 Quad Dipsea in Mill Valley, California.

 

 

 

 

Making bubbles

Bubbles in San Rafael

In San Rafael’s Albert Park was Ray J. Doubleday of San Rafael having childlike fun. Doubleday has been making bubbles for two years and now makes complex bubbles. Some bubbles had three bubbles inside them. Here are some of the bubbles he created on Thursday.

Ray J. Doubleday of San Rafael has two years experience of making complex bubbles.

Ray J. Doubleday of San Rafael was making bubbles Thursday morning in Albert Park.

Ray J. Doubleday makes large bubbles in San Rafael's Albert Park.

Ray J. Doubleday makes large bubbles in San Rafael’s Albert Park.

The Rim Fire, two months on

A sign outside a business speaks for the whole town

A sign outside a business speaks for the whole town

Locals haven’t forgotten the heroes

By Rem O’Donnelley

Two months ago on August 17, the Rim Fire started. This devastating fire in the California section of the Sierra Nevada mountain range was so enormous that it could be seen from the International Space Station. Now, two months on it is 95 percent contained because of the tireless work of those battling it.

The fire has burned 402 square miles of land in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. It is the largest wildfire to date in the country. It has cost $127 million dollars to fight and has taken over 5,000 firefighters from 44 states to fight it. In addition to the assault from land the fire was also being attacked from the air. Over 1,540 aviation hours were flown working to contain the fire and a whopping two million gallons of water dropped on it. Looking at both burnt groves of trees and in other areas treeless landscapes, there is the news that almost 40 percent of the burnt areas are “nothing but charred land.”

Officials say almost 40 percent of the burnt area is "nothing but charred land."

Officials say almost 40 percent of the burnt area is “nothing but charred land.”

Burnt trees remind drivers about the enormous fire

Burnt trees beside a road remind drivers of the enormous fire

Firefighters did an excellent job protecting lives and no one was killed. These professionals took on an a gigantic fire and worked long hours to reduce it, area by area. These firefighters were thanked in the small towns near the affected areas. They were offered free showers, free food and the gratitude of everyone. Driving around small towns outside of Yosemite, there were many thank you signs for these heroes. Here is a collection of them.

Thank you 01

Thank you 02 church

Thank you 03 Budweiser

Thank you 013

Thank you 05 - Masons

Thank you 06 crayons

Thank you 07 facts

Thank you 08

Thank you 09

Thank you 010

Thank you 011

Thank you 012

The 2013 Rockridge Out and About street festival

The 2013 Rockridge Out and About street festival

The 2013 Rockridge Out and About street festival

By Rem O’Donnelley

The San Francisco East Bay neighborhood of Rockridge is in North Oakland had their Rockridge Out and About street festival on Sunday.

There are lots of street festivals in the Bay Area each year but this is one of those that takes place over a long stretch with several intersections closed off.

There were booths barbecuing, food trucks, artists selling jewelery and more things on offer for the large crowds attending. There are some outrageous clothes styles in the Bay Area and this event didn’t disappoint plus plenty of interesting tattoos could be seen.

Here is a taste of what I saw at the street festival.

Paella cooking outdoors

Paella cooking outdoors

A hipster with unique dress sense and tattoos

A hipster with unique dress sense and tattoos

The best painting on a food truck at the festival

The best painting on a food truck at the festival

The Tina Tamale truck

The Tina Tamale truck

OK, it's an Angry Birds tattoo but why?

OK, it’s an Angry Birds tattoo but why?

This dog wanted to get in the photo

This dog wanted to get in the photo

The only one at the festival

The only one at the festival

Pink, black and green, what does it mean?

Pink, black and green, what does it mean?

The guy on the right couldn't be more thrilled seeing two human butterflies!

The guy on the right couldn’t be more thrilled seeing two human butterflies!

The man in the Frozen Kuhsterd truck

The man in the Frozen Kuhsterd truck

A good dragon tattoo

A good dragon tattoo

A Far Eastern influenced tattoo

A Far Eastern influenced tattoo

"What to move and where do I move it?"

“What to move and where do I move it?”

The owner told me the barrel was empty. Brandy was never in it.

The owner told me the barrel was empty. Brandy was never in it.

The friendly barman, margaritas, beers and more tasty drinks

The friendly barman, margaritas, beers and more tasty drinks

Emirates Team New Zealand wins the Louis Vuitton Cup

The Louis Vuitton Cup trophy

The Louis Vuitton Cup trophy

New Zealand beats Luna Rossa

and advances to the America’s Cup

by Rem O’Donnelley

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the Louis Vuitton Cup trophy in race eight of the series against Luna Rossa.

The Italian team of Luna Rossa sailed hard with their first generation boat but the Kiwi’s second generation boat was faster and the crew a little quicker getting out from the finish line and getting to the first mark. Once New Zealand passes that buoy marker the distance from Luna Rossa grows and grows.

In the end Emirates Team New Zealand finished over three minutes ahead of Luna Rossa. The Kiwis were passed champagne by their shore crew and sprayed each other with champagne while still on the bay.

Once back on shore both teams made a stage appearance to recognize team Luna Rossa and to then celebrate the victors, Emirates Team New Zealand. They will take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup in a best of 17 races. The series starts September 7.

The teams faced thick fog early in the race

The teams faced thick fog early in the race

Luna Rossa sails past the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco

Luna Rossa sails past the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco

The Emirates Team New Zealand boat sails past the spectators

The Emirates Team New Zealand boat sails past the spectators

A San Francisco Fire Department boat celebrates the final race of the Louis Vuitton Cup

A San Francisco Fire Department boat celebrates the final race of the Louis Vuitton Cup

ETNZ Managing Director Grant Dawson (L) and Skipper Dean Barker (R) raise the cup

ETNZ Managing Director Grant Dawson (L) and Skipper Dean Barker (R) raise the cup

The Emirates Team New Zealand crew celebrates with champagne

The Emirates Team New Zealand crew celebrates with champagne

Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals race 4

by Rem O’Donnelley

San Francisco –

Friday, August 10, 2013

Saturday saw the fourth race of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals pitting Artemis Racing against Italy’s Luna Rossa. At the starting line the two boats banged hulls but no damage occurred. A penalty was given to Artemis Racing followed by two more for going out of bounds during the race.

Spectators enjoy the great weather and watch the racing on the big screen

Spectators enjoy the great weather and watch the racing on the big screen

Supporters of Sweden's Artemis Racing in the pre race show

Supporters of Sweden’s Artemis Racing in the pre race show

Luna Rossa led the entire race

Luna Rossa led the entire race

Artemis Racing finishes race four

Artemis Racing finishes race four

Luna Rossa took this fourth race, ending the best of seven series and bringing an end to Artemis Racing’s 2013 America’s Cup challenge.

Artemis Racing leaves the course for the last time

Artemis Racing leaves the course for the last time

Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals race 3

by Rem O’Donnelley

San Francisco

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Swedish team Artemis Racing competed against Italy’s Luna Rossa team on Friday. The semi-finals are a best of seven races in order for one team to proceed to the Louis Vuitton Cup finals against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Luna Rossa passes by Alcatraz during race three of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals

Luna Rossa passes by Alcatraz during race three of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals

The Artemis Racing boat starts lifting up to foil

The Artemis Racing crew are grinding and getting their boat to foil

Artemis Racing speeds off and is foiling

Artemis Racing speeds off and is foiling

The Luna Rossa team working to get their boat to foil

The Luna Rossa team working to get their boat to foil

They are successful, Luna Rossa fully foiling and flying off

The Luna Rossa boat in the air and foiling

Artemis Racing racing during race three with Mt Tamalpais in the background

Artemis Racing racing during race three with Mt Tamalpais in the background

While Artemis Racing had their shortest time behind Luna Rossa, under two minutes, it meant Luna Rossa won a third straight race.

San Rafael Twilight Criterium in photos

Here are some of my favorite pictures taken during the San Rafael Twilight Criterium in July.

The full set of photos can be seen on my Flickr page. The link is on the right of this page

Rider head down A Street with Mission San Rafael Arcangel as a back drop

Riders head down A Street with Mission San Rafael Arcangel behind them

A rider speeds past two female spectators

A rider speeds past two female spectators at the San Rafael Twilight Criterium

San Rafael Twilight Criterium 2013

Pro Women criterium riders celebrate their podium victory with champagne

Pro Men race past sunset

Riders in the Pro Men category race down Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael

Riders pass by the Rafael Theater heading for D Street

Riders pass by the Rafael Theater heading for D Street

San Rafael Twilight Criterium 2013

San Rafael Twilight Criterium riders are a blur as they race down Fifth Street

Slipping under the Golden Gate Bridge

An oil tanker slips under the Golden Gate Bridge and heads back into the Pacific Ocean

Wrong side of the tracks

Wrong side of the tracks. Homelessness in downtown San Frnacisco

Homelessness downtown San Francisco by the F Market line and the busy Embarcadero road

A homeless man sleeps in after 10 a.m.

A homeless man sleeps in after 10 a.m.