Saturday, August 13, 2005

Big Basin Redwoods

This is a Pacific Coast Trail Runs event held in Big Basin State Park, the first California State park. I love these lowkey PCTR events. They are always held in beautiful places, and today's event was certainly no exception. I prefer the shorter runs, especially when racing the next day (Folsom International Triathlon is tomorrow). So I entered the 9K.

I got to the race just seconds before they actually started. It was quite a lot of footwork getting up to the front in the first half mile on the narrow trails. I'll try to start in the front next time. The first several miles were uphill which I love. I was able to steadily move through pack picking off people. I finally got up to one young guy in red shorts and black shirt around mile 3.5 (there were no markers though). I passed another really young guy in red shorts and I couldn't see anyone ahead at all. I heard some guy pushing fast behind me on a short downhill around mile 4. There was one more uphill to drop him. I pushed hard thinking that he would drop back. He was still there but maybe a little further back. I could tell I wasn't going to beat him on the downhill (not my strength). He went past me on the steepest downhill. I tried to hang with him on the downhill but ended up finishing around 15 seconds off of him.

I thought we had finished 1-2 since last year's race was won in around 43 minutes and we both came in under 40 minutes. Supposedly though there were two runners who finished in 35 minutes which is just an astonishing time for basically climbing a mountain for three miles and then coming back down. These guys had beat an immediate exit, prizes in hand before we even got there. Had to settle for fourth. But I really enjoyed this race. Will definitely be there next year.


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