On Tuesday after Revel Big Bear (link to that recap here.) Sean got an email from S.U.R.F,. San Diego Ultra Running Friends, about a trail half marathon out near Secret Canyon near Julian.
He was like, hey, look at this, want to run a half marathon on Saturday?
I did want to get back out on the trails so we signed up. I was a little concerned about time because it didn’t give any cut-offs or anything on the website but I figured worse case, Sean would wait for me at the finish if I was too slow.
I haven’t run on trail for a while, was tired from 36 miles in the previous 2 weekends and hadn’t really done a lot of hill training in quite a while so I figured it might be a bit slower than a road half for sure.
The race started at 7:30am and it was about 45 minutes from our house, so we got up around 5:30am and then left by 6:05a. I had to get gas for the car but we still managed to get there before 7am.
We grabbed our bibs, got little goodie bags with our race shirts and some Gatorade energy products (Gatorade was the main sponsor of the race). We just hung out, chatting with friends and going to the bathroom.
At 7:20a they had a quick pre-race meeting, where they explained that this race was super simple, go out 6.5ish miles and then come back the same way. They didn’t have any markers, because it was impossible to get lost, although people joked that someone would LOL.
I hit the porto’s up one more time, got a photo with some of our friends and then we were off.
I ran with Gloria & Colleen for a few miles before I couldn’t keep up on the uphill. Then I chatted with the Gatorade rep Brenna for a bit before I couldn’t keep up. I eventually caught back up to Brenna & passed her. I had Gloria & Coleen in my sights but they were at least half mile or so ahead of me and I wasn’t able to catch them.
At around 4.69 miles, I looked, the first place person came flying by. I found out later he ran a 1:26 half. I kept looking for the next person but it was at least 15-20 minutes until they came by.
One thing I love about out and backs on trail is that every cheers you on. I love cheering the others on too so it’s lots of fun for me.
I got to the turn-around, refilled my bottle, got some Gatorade and then started running back.
While not entirely uphill on the out and downhill on the way back, it was quite a bit more downhill on the way back, until you get to about 1.5 miles to go when you have to go back up to the finish again.
It was so pretty though, I haven’t been out this way in months and I really enjoyed being out on our local trails.
I felt decent, I wasn’t going hard at all, hiking the uphills, running the flats & downhills, just enjoying being outside on a very nice day.
I was super thirsty though. I filled my bottle up twice and I almost ran out by the time I finished the race.
I finished in about 2:45 I think, and while I was thinking I might have my first DFL, I was not the last runner in.
This race was so low key that they didn’t hand out medals, but instead we got chocolate chip cookies and stickers as our finisher prize. I don’t think the cookies were vegan so I didn’t eat it (we did go to Maya’s when we got back to SD though).
Sean got me a sparkling water and I drank that, but my calves were on fire and I wasn’t feeling so well post race. Lack of calories I’m sure.
We paid $65 for the race, got a shirt, cookie finisher award and a sticker. But best of all was a fun day out on the trails!