Saturday, April 19, 2008

Skyline Ridge 10K - Palo Alto, CA

With Boston coming up on Monday, I should really have slept in today before my flight. Instead I drove the ten miles up to Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve for another Envirosports race. It was on the same course as the Stevens Creek 50K and the Pacific Coast Trail Runs Skyline 50K. The course is too nice and too close to me to skip,

While waiting for the customary EnviroSports late start in the brutal sub-40 degree cold and wind, I chatted with Kelly Emo (another compulsively frequent competitor) making a rare venture onto the trail doing her first of two races this weekend. She's back to competing in triathlons seriously, doing masters sprint triathlon nationals soon.

I also saw Ralph Lewis, a fast short distance trail runner who has usually bested me in such runs. So much for an easy day before Boston. The half marathoners were sent out first, with Leor Pantilat leading out and eventually winning by a wide margin.

Then we 10Kers were sent off. We circled a loop in the parking lot twice before heading through a narrow gate onto the trail. In the lead, I took my customary wrong turn at the first fork. Ralph yelled at me to get back onto the trail, where I had to pass another runner to get back up to him. We ran for a while together before I passed him on the upward climb. Then coming to the top onto the first downhill he passed me and tried to put some distance between us. On the next long climb about two miles in I caught up and pulled away. Then there was a rocky downhill before the aid station turnaround. Getting to the bottom it was unclear if I had to go to the aid station or just turn. While I hesitated Ralph caught up again.

On this subsequent climb back up I pulled away again and decided that I'd rather not be passed again. So I put some distance between us, hoping to give myself a buffer before the last mile of almost all descent. I didn't see him from that point on. I finished in 47:20, good for first and the infamous Envirosports rubber chicken and a free pair of Vasque trail shoes. Ralph came in about 30 seconds later.

We talked about upcoming short trail runs while I waited to cheer Kelly in, before I headed off to SFO for the long flight to Boston.


Blogger willgotthardt said...

Good stuff Adam...never easy to finish ahead of Ralph Lewis, he's always fast.

Good to see you down in Malibu, great day/race.

Will G.

12:56 PM  

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