A short steep trail run - my favorite. So it was worth the drive to Napa.
I drove up to Calistoga on Friday night. You could smell the ripe grapes and the harvest msot of the way. The next morning, we got to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park at just before 9am. There was a marathon and half marathon on the same course. Dave Horning (who runs envirosports) sent the marathoners out first and the half marathoners afterwards, with about 5 to 10 minutes in between. This is an unfortunate ordering since we quickly ran onto the back of the half marathoner pack. The fast 10Kers were slowed down by the half marathoners for most of the race. I hope they reconsider this ordering next year.
I took off quickly but tried not to pass the leader, Daniel Hass. The trail started with just a gentle incline. As we went further it got steeper and narrower I was feeling good to start and hung with Dan for about the first three miles. I guess all those 5Ks have affected my endurance as I started to flag a bit at the three mile mark.
At three miles some technical downhills started and I wasn't feeling inspired to throw myself down the rocks. I finished in 50:55 for ninth overall (out of something over one hundred) and first in the 40-49 age group: http://www.envirosports.com/results/event/1360/results.php?p=2&ALss=0a97c3478baac94dd06c6d07f19b0da5
What a pretty race! And a great excuse to hit Napa during the height of the grapecrush. I'll probably do it next year even if we have to stumble over the marathoners again.