Placerita Canyon Holiday 5K | December 28, 2013
The Master's College | Santa Clarita, CA
My sister's New Year's resolution was to run a race every month of the year for 2013 -- and starting in January (with me!), she did just that all the way through November. She was bound and determined to run the last one in weather warmer than 9 degrees, so we found one here in California so she could run while she was home for the week of Christmas. Mind you, this is about 50 miles from where we live. So yes, we drove 100 miles round trip (ish) to run 3.1. Fun times!
The race is held as a fundraiser for The Master's College track and cross country teams. TMC is a small seminary school way out in the foothills, in a gorgeous little area known as Placerita Canyon. The course was described as "turf, pavement, dirt and sand trail." Little did we know what we were in for...
We got to campus about 8:15 with a race time of 9 am (hooray late starts!) and got our bibs, tshirts, back to the car, and back to the race start with still 20 minutes to spare. While parking wasn't super close to the start, the campus is itty bitty, so it doesn't make it difficult. The race itself started and finished on the soccer field/track.
I wasn't sure how hard I'd run. I forgot my watch, wasn't feeling super excited, and told my sister that maybe I'd just run with her (let's be honest, I never do that when I say I will. Sorry sister). And then adrenaline took a hold and I was off. The first 3/4 of a mile is on the neighborhood roads that lead you back into the canyon and on to the trails.
By trails, I mean the first 40 yards were packed dirt roads, and just before the 1-mile marker, it turned into horse trails. And by horse trails, I mean sand. SAND. And dodging piles of horse crap. HA!
I walked a little after the 1.25 mark by guesstimation, for about 30 seconds, and then charged forward again. I found an older gentleman that I used as my rabbit, and we exchanged leads for the better part of the race. Into mile 2, we finish out the trails and head back on to the road for one last loop around the block, and back again onto the track. The race is gun-timed, but you're given a chip for the finish to mark your official finish, which was kind of odd that they didn't have a mat at the start, too.
Considering I walked at least 90 seconds of this whole thing, I must've booked it early on. The age group was just silly (19-29) and the winner ran the thing in 17 minutes (pretty sure she's the UCLA cross-country girl I saw prior to the race). However, if you take standard age group (25-29), I finished first. So there. :)
That wraps up the races for 2013, and this long string of 5Ks I've found myself on! At least I can say I've got my first (mostly) trail race down as I wrap up the year!
What was your last race for 2013? How'd you do?