Saturday, October 13, 2007

Golden Hills Trail Marathon - Berkeley, CA

Ann Trason organizes this race to take place on the same day as the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Miler. It runs in the same general area as the Skyline 50K (see earlier posts) and, like Skyline, finishes at Lake Chabot Regional Park. My friend Brian volunteered to help Ann at the race, so he also volunteered to drop me off at the start at Tilden Park north of Berkeley.

It was a beautiful cold morning but the rains from the previous day had left the trail visibly muddy. There were several miles of muddy trails to be navigated at the beginning. It really isn't something I'm used and I churned slowly along throught he mud. Wendell Doman (organizer of the Pacific Coast Trail Runs) yelled at me to go faster as he started catching up to me. I sped up as the trails started drying out. I felt great today and ran all of the hills. The only part I didn't like was the hardpack fireroad going down to mile 20. As at Skyline 50K, I slowed quite a bit there to save pounding on my knees. Around mile 23 you get to the Bass Cove Aid Station and run around the south side of the lake.

I finished strong near the end passing several runners in the process. I finished 9th and second master in 4:14:15. Leor Pantilat, who I had raced with at Cle Elum a couple weeks back, won overall and set the course record at 3:19:19. Sarah Lavender Smith was second overall and set the woman's course record.

With Brian entering scores, I hung around in the Indian summer sunshine for the excellent post-race feed and Hefeweizen. A perfect way to spend a crisp sunny October day in the beautiful East bay hills.


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