Sunday, October 15, 2006

Seacliff Beach Trail Run

I drove down to Aptos from my perch in the Santa Cruz mountains, arriving at the Aptos mall for a venti latte before the race. I was looking forward to what are my perfect kinds of races: start at the beach, run uphill and run back down to the beach. Luckily Pacific Coast Trail Runs does a lot of this kind of run.

At the start I saw Kelly Emo compulsively doing no doubt something like her fortieth race this year (shocking) and Chuck Wilson preparing to knock out another 50ker.

I felt great this morning and raced out ahead of the pack climbing up the incline of the road through downtown Aptos. It was a little hairy getting through all of the Sunday morning traffic. I was running with a scary fast young guy, James Hughes. We quickly dropped everyone by the time we entered Forest of Nisene Marks. We ran along the fire road up to the turn off for the trail. I was just behind James up until then, but he pulled away on the hills of the trail. I was impressed because hills are usually my thing. Wendell and Sarah (PC Trail Runs) should have someone to direct people onto the trail though and make sure people go onto it.

After coming out of the trail back onto the fire road Oswaldo Lopez and another runner caught me and we ran together for a while, reaching the turnaround and aid station at about the same time (just under 33 minutes). I headed back down the trail feeling great and pumped up by encouragement of the oncoming runners. I picked it up to 6:30 pace on the downhill and turned off onto the trail again. Coming out the trail I felt great and sped up on the downhill through the streets of Aptos. My goal was the course record set last year by Mike Galligan of 58:52. Once it was clear I wouldn't hit that, I slowed down and hoped to still finish under an hour. I had myself hitting the finish line at 0:59:57. But its on the website at 1:00:07, so maybe I mistimed it.

I finished to the cheers of Rebeccah and her niece Cynthia, giving them sweaty hugs in reply. Another free breakfast at the wharf in Santa Cruz for winning.


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