Monday, July 7, 2014

Race Recap: Renegade Trail Race Series #1

Renegade Summer Trail Series #1
June 19 | Tustin, CA

I am so far behind on things (and to think, I'd actually mapped out these next few weeks!), it ain't even funny. But I'm finally catching up and will get back ahead of schedule and where I'm supposed to be. More on that soon. At any rate... trail race #2 finally came and went. If you remember, the race in San Dimas was my first ever trail race - and it was tough. I wasn't totally sold on this trail racing thing.

Spoiler: I'm still not sold.

This race (and the two following in July and August) are all at a regional park down in Orange County. The park has trails, fitness stations and all kinds of things and I could easily tell why its parking lots were insanely crowded - not just for the race! After a little parking chaos, I finally found a spot and made my way to haul butt to check in.

They didn't print our bibs for those of us that had signed up for the entire 4-part series, so we were required to do another paper form and get a non-assigned bib. Better though, for the "inconvience," we were given both a BBQ ticket and a shirt (registration fees came with one or the other). Win!

In the parking frenzy, I left my watch in the trunk of my car. Ah well, no better way than to do a new race (and only my second trail race) than without any idea of what kinda time you're running, right? right.

I really wasn't sure what to expect then, so I just went with it. This June loop and August loop are the same; July's course (this week) is the same loop, just in reverse. It's nice at least get a feel of what you're running!

The first two miles are pretty much staright up - rocky trails though unlike San Dimas, it's not single-track, so I appreciated that fact. I did manage to pass some folks, so it was a nice little confidence boost that I was still moving forward and making progress.

Being that this is a city park and full of trails, trees and is huge, there were tons of people outt riding bikes, walking dogs, and apparently there are some popular horse trails in and around here too. Fun park!

These hills suck. Seriously though. I knew, though, that the last of the hills came at the turnaround, and the last 2.5 home were all flat, if not rolling downwards a little bit. Once I hit the volunteer at the top, and knew that my hills were done, I booked home as much as I was able without pushing too hard.

At the end, you're greeted with a BBQ and a great park environment. Tons of families came to cheer on their runners, and they were camped out with blankets, towels, and were clearly here just to hang! Hopefully for the next one I can convince someone to come hang out in the park while I run and be my cheerleader too. :)

Not too bad of a finish - something like 7th or 8th in my age group out of 13. I'll take it! Bring on the second race of this series - it's this Thursday! Hopefully this hill hiking I've been doing with mom and Molly so much lately will pay off and I can hill the hills this time around!

Are you a trail fan? Why or why not?

1 comment:

  1. Trails are fantastic. They're beautiful, you can't get "hypnotized" by long slogging straightaways, and they force you to slow down. I find that last point to be the one that really polarizes people: some can't deal with the fact that their "easy pace" on roads becomes a "really freaking hard pace" on trails. Sometimes I'm like that, too. But it also teaches me how to run by feel, which I think is incredibly important.

    In sum I think trails are awesome because they remind me of what's most important in running: enjoying it :)