Elevation Gain: 986ft
Location: Los Olivos, CA
First of all I must say that it was an awesome place to have a trail race. I have done a few trail races now - one in the mountains, one in amongst the red wood trees and now one on a ranch - all very different but all just as amazing as the others. People always ask me why on earth I would voluntarily run such difficult races ... even pay other people to let me run them ... but until they run (or walk) one themselves, there is no way I could ever get them to believe that it is 100% worth the experience.
The 'Born to Run Ultra Marathons' was awesome. It started at 6am and so I was up at 4am (yes, that time actually exists!). After some oatmeal and coffee my friend Sandee and I made our way to the ranch. I had forgotten how cold it would be. Having lived in Irvine for almost a year now, I had forgotten that inland takes a little longer to warm up than the ocean side cities. I guess I have been a little spoiled. I could actually see my breath! But less than 5 minutes into the race and I wasn't feeling cold anymore.
The first mile was awesome. It was a nice flat dirt road and I was surprised with my ability to keep up with the group. Everyone was chatting and just enjoying the first mile. This is the thing I love the most about trail runners --- They are more easy going, friendly and just all around great people. After that the group started to break up a little bit and the front runners were gone.
Coming into mile 3 I really had to pee. Yes, I went before the race, but I really had to go again. I considered going in the grass, but after seeing a rattle snake I decided against it. Figured it would make me run faster.
The trails were wonderfully clean and very runnable. That is, until some of the hills! There was one hill in mile 7 that I thought was never going to end. Because it was mile 7 my legs were already pretty tired, but by the time I reached the top of the hill they were jello! Though I cannot express how accomplished I felt, especially when I saw nothing but down hill trails ahead of me!
Some of my most memorable moments: 1) When the guy in front of me started passing gas and turned to the two of us saying,"Oh I'm sorry, I'm kind of squeaking." I ended up behind him later again I couldn't wait to pass him! 2) When I jumped a mile because I thought I saw a snake in the grass which ended up being a stick ... what was more embarrassing was that I stopped to warn the person behind me. He looked at me and said "are you talking about the stick?" I just laughed but he thank me anyway saying 'better safe than sorry!'
Something else that I truly love about trail racing is that people always talk to you as they pass you or as you pass them. Even if it's just "How are doing/feeling?" ... it is more than have ever gotten from road racers. I had a full on conversation with most people in passing. It was nice to break up the run a little bit and not to feel so alone when the run got tough.
Anywayz, I am starting to blabber a little. All in all it was a fantastic race and I am glad to have taken part. I can definitely say that I would take part in it again next year should it become an annual event. And I highly recommend it to other runners!
|Sandee and I before the race.|
|Me before the race ... brrrrr!|