Thursday, April 24, 2014

Price increase is tomorow for the 2014 Lynch Canyon Trail Run

Just got a mass email from the race director of the Lynch Canyon Trail Run stating that the price of the race is going to increase by $10 on the 25th. Why pay the increase when you know you're going to run it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Diablo Trails Challenge Race Review 2014

The drive from Redwood City started at 7am. The destination was the Castle Rock Park just south of Walnut Creek in the east bay. That would be the starting line of the 2014 Save Mount Diablo Trail Challenge. I made a wrong turn in Walnut Creek onto Walnut Blvd, I was looking for Walnut Avenue. That set me back on my arrival time which should have been 8am but now looked like 8:15 at best. That will leave 15 minutes to get my bib and get ready to run at the 8:30 start time. When I finally got within a mile of the park I noticed all of these runners parking at the high school. The traffic was grid locked but I was determined to get through to the park. When we got there we were told the parking lots were full so we had to turn around and drive back to the high school where a shuttle would pick us up and bring us back to the park. I jumped out of the car, told my wife to do the shuttle and I started off in the direction of the crowd flow. Moments later a guy came jogging by and my worried mind told me that under the circumstances I had better start jogging to the bib pick up too. I was certain the race start would be delayed. With all of the people back at the high school and that long line of cars piled up waiting to be told to turn around there was no way Brazen could start this race in the next 10 minutes. My light warm up jogging covered about a half mile from the parking lot to the sign in booth. I got through the line, pinned on my bib and noticed a crowd starting to form near the start. Sure enough the pre-race announcements started and this race was about to get underway. I called my wife to see if she made it to the shuttle yet and she had not! She too figured the race would have to delay the start. I told her not to worry about it, I would see her at the finish because the race was going to start any minute. I'm dying to know how many, if any, runners missed the start of the half due to this parking situation. I certainly would have if I had either went to the shuttle parking lot as instructed or if I had walked to the sign-in booth not realizing it was a half mile down the road. I got lucky with some key decisions. How many others were not so lucky? If you know of any I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trail Racing in the Bay Area for May 2014

With 18 races to choose from this month you are sure to find the right trails and distance for you. For those who want to go long, take a look at the Calero Run on May 17th. That event is offering the 50 mile distance. Don't bother trying to sign up for the Miwok 100k. Registration closed for that race back in December!!! If you have a free weekend and want to go see the best ultra runners of our time, get over to Stinson Beach on the 3rd. The Bay Area's super talented Sarah Lavender- Smith, Gary Gellin and Dean Karnazes will all be in attendance amongst others. If you are just getting into the trail scene you should consider the Zoom event on the 3rd or the Zombie Runner sponsored event in San Francisco on the 24th. Both courses are purposefully designed to be a little easier than most other trail races. I'm planning on doing 2 races this month, The Wildcat for the Brazen Ultra Half Series and the Canyon Meadow so I can get some hill climbing practice for June's Lynch Canyon Run.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Save Mount Diablo: 40 Years Preserving, Defending and Restoring

This weekend is the Diablo Trails Challenge hosted by Brazen Racing. A portion of all entry fees collected will go to Save Mount Diablo to help them continue preserving open space and trails for all of us to enjoy. From the Save Mount Diablo website, "Since Save Mount Diablo's founding in 1971, preserved open space has increased from less than 7,000 acres to over 110,000 acres in more than 40 parks. Mount Diablo is still threatened by development. That could mean the loss of wildlife corridors, ecosystems and recreational opportunities. Your support will preserve these natural lands forever to safeguard our quality of life, including the quality of our air, water and views."  For more information on ways you can help click here.
See you at the race!

Friday, April 11, 2014

This year's Lynch Canyon Trail Run will be the key to my success in 2014
 If you follow this blog then you know I am focusing in on the Ultra Half Series put on by Brazen Racing this year. Last year I did not run very many races in that series but I did run the Lynch Canyon Trail Run for the first time and it is very similar to the Ultra Half Series, in it's own way. (Click the link to read my race review) I challenged myself to run this race in under 2 1/2 hours last year and accomplished that goal in a big way, 2:16:30!!! I will run this race again this year and I will beat the 2 hour mark which is going to be monumental if I can pull it off. The end result will make me that much better in the Ultra Series and give me the reassurance that my training is on the right track.

The Lynch Canyon course has about 3000' of elevation gain and that (IMHO) makes it an "Ultra" half. Lynch Canyon is not technical single track on rock strewn and root covered trails, quite the opposite. This race is almost entirely on wide track trails cutting through pastoral grasslands with rolling hills for as far as the eyes can see. Sounds lovely doesn't it! It is a beautiful park but don't be fooled by its beauty. If it is a hot day you will need to have a strategy in place for that because this course is 99% exposed. If I were to describe it, I would say this course is the love child of the Contra Loma Regional Parks and the Marin Headlands with a sprinkling of Mt Diablo. Think steep, hot and super runnable with fast downhills. Chris Abess, the race director for this event described it perfectly to me last year when we were talking just before the start of the race, he said "This course is death by a thousand nicks" and that proved to be the perfect description!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Trail racing in the Bay Area for April 2014

Spring trails in the Bay Area
 We have some really great races coming up in the month of April. The big name this month is Lake Sonoma! Every year the elite runners of the trail scene gather just outside of Healdsburg, CA to test themselves against the best of the best on a really great course. Lake Sonoma is part of the Montrail Ultra Cup Series. The top three men and women finishers will each earn a spot at the 2014 Western States 100. This year, like many of the previous years, the race filled up fast and the wait list did too. I might go out just to cheer catch a glimpse of how's trying to beat Sage Canaday's record out there.
 The other big race of the month is one I will be participating in, The Diablo Trails Challenge. This is Brazen Racings only 50k of the year and that is a big draw. Brazen also offers up a half marathon that is part of the Ultra Half Series and a 10k & 5k. A portion of all entry fees will go to Save Mount Diablo to help them continue preserving open space and trails for all of us to enjoy.
 Take a look at this months tasty selection of trail treats and get out there and enjoy the sunshine!