Sunday, May 3, 2015

Lynch Canyon round 3: The quest for sub 2 hours continues!

 For the past 2 years I have been trying to break the 2 hour mark on the Lynch Canyon Trail Run. There is nothing inherently odd about that goal. In fact, its probably the most common goal when it comes to road half marathons and that goes double for trail half's. When I first heard about "Solano County's toughest trail run" I just had to run it under 2 hours to prove it really wasn't all that tough. At that time I had just crushed my marathon  PR and my 50k PR and I was running half marathons routinely under 2 hours in my everyday training. When I came up short that first year I was stunned. I had about 4 or 5 good excuses as to why it didn't work out for me that year. When it didn't work out for me the second year around a quest was born. The Quest for Sub 2  Hours!!!!

 The Lynch Canyon Trail Run is in it's 8th year under the direction of Chris Abess. Chris puts on a really great, family friendly event that attracts all types of runners from all ability levels and a huge group of hikers participate in all of the events especially in the free 2.5 mile hike. If you are running the half marathon you'll see a lot of hikers coming in on your way out for loop #2.

From the 2014 event. Cows came to cheer us on!
 At this race you can expect all of the usual fuel choices at the aid stations. In super hot years they have put out little cooling stations with sponges in buckets of water to squeeze over your head. The Lynch Canyon Open Space Preserve has grazing cattle so Chris usually gets a few horse wranglers to keep the course clear. It's actually kind of cool to see that sort of thing since it's not an everyday occurrence for me. When my kids are old enough to participate in one of the many events out here I can't wait to get their reaction to the cowboys and the cows being so up close, potentially.

Walk it, run it, hike it, whatever it takes!
 My son absolutely loved hanging out at the finish line area and cheering his daddy on. You'll notice big groups hanging out and having a good time at this event more so than if you were at a regular running event.  My wife and son will be back out again this year but with baby #2 on the way she won't be pushing the BOB stroller up the hills this year. It's just a bit to strenuous for a pregnant woman but by all means give it a shot if you think you can handle it. My wife is as tough as nails and she said it was really tough pushing the stroller up some of the hills when she did it last year. If you don't have a stroller with large wheels (like a BOB) their is no way you can navigate the uneven terrain. Like I said in the beginning; I'm chasing that 2 hour dream..... but I've been needed around the house more and more lately so my training has been sparse so if I crack that 2 hour barrier it will be a trail running miracle. 

This race is known around the Bay Area as "the race with the really cool medals!" Which is totally deserved. In 2013 they had a ceramic saucer style medal that was hand made and hand painted. 

In 2014 the medal was a glass piece that was hand lettered with a copper wire runner hanging off the bottom. Both of these medals are stand-outs in my collection and people ask about them more than any of my other medals. The medals this year are hand crafted from reclaimed wood from the Land Trust Property and a branding iron was hand crafted from their blacksmith shop to brand the wood for the medallion. Prototypes are being made right now. Sounds super cool to add to the collection.

If you are running in this years event but haven't signed up yet, you may want to get to it. Chris told me that pre-registration is pretty far ahead of all prior years. Registrants are coming from all of the Bay Area counties, 5 different states and 3 countries. This is still a race that is purposely capped in the 300-400 range so it's a nice size but that means space is going fast. I can attest to this race's popularity for sure. If you do a search on this site for Lynch Canyon you will see that I have wrote quite a few articles about this race and those articles continue to gather hits all winter long. My race reviews on this course are in my top 10 articles of all time in terms of views.

I'll  be there for sure running the half. If that is too much for you, consider one of the shorter options.
See you out there!

Check out the course maps: