Monday, February 1, 2010

Race Report: Bear Creek Trail Half Marathon

I think I'm in love.  With trail running that is.  I had the opportunity on Saturday to run through some of NorCal's most beautiful scenery and trails on one of the most beautiful January days you could ask for.  I don't think my race report could do it justice, so go on over and check out Aron's post on the trail run.  She did an amazing job describing the race to a "T", and I attribute that to the fact that she spent less time in the mud than I!  And she carried her camera the whole time, taking pictures of the beautiful hills and mountains that we were so lucky to be running through!

On Friday night, around 5:30 it began to pour!  Like cat's and dog's pouring rain!  I freaked out a bit because all week the race director had said get ready for the mud!  The mud sounded like a challenge and a blast all at the same time, but mixing in rain did not sound like the race would be easy.  But by Saturday morning the clouds had cleared and we were left with one of the most awesome January days you could ask for.

I met up with Aron and JoLynn about 8 am and we were off to tackle the race together.  I had forgotten how nice trail runners are!  I had done a trail race back in December 2008 but I was totally unprepared equipment wise that day but had a blast with all the runners.  Everyone is so supportive and just out to have a blast, so much different than road races were you have such a competitive attitude among the runners.  The first out and back of the race had us climbing up a wicked steep hill that was essentially a giant mud slide!  Aron had managed to climb up it almost unscathed, while I on the other had lost my shoe in the thick muddy holes!  I was saved though by an fellow runner who came to hold me up while I put my shoe back on!  How cool is that?  In a road race people leave you there to just die!  It wasn't the only time I lost my shoe that day either!  At few more miles in I had another encounter with a thick muddy hill and again lost my shoe!  This time though, it was just Aron and I!  The mud was crazy...it slowed us down in a big way!  But the whole time we both just laughed and climbed our way out of it. 

I had also forgotten my Garmin that morning, but in a way I was glad.  Aron had hers on, but I was really just forced to enjoy the race and scenery and not focus on time or distance.  Every time we would see a mile marker we would get excited...we were fighting our way through mud and the crazy terrain and just enjoying ourselves.  We kept commenting on the hills how our butts were getting quite the workout!  I think we ran through most of the hills through the first half of the race, but by the second, with all the mud, we were spent!  Most of the race was ran on fire trails.  Nice and wide.  We even had lots of cows out to cheer us on!  In the last mile or so we were graced with a nice single-track trail through beautiful trees and a creek.  This is what trail running is all about.  We raced fast through that last mile and could hear everyone cheering at the finish.  We finished together, arms in the air and a big smile on our faces!

Final stats:
13.1 miles  2:55:52 - 13:25/mi 
61st over all,  FIRST in my AGE GROUP! Whoo hoo!  1/3  30-34 age group.


Me, Aron and Jo Lynn at the end

Trail running is a blast, and I hope to do it again really soon!  It was so much fun to run with Aron, we both just kept each other going with chatting and laughing at the hilarity of all the mud!  I was sooooo glad she came out to do this race with me.  It was not a race you would want to do by yourself.  Most of the race we were out there alone, just the two of us.  At one point we hadn't seen a mile marker or trail ribbon for quite sometime and were wondering if we were still on track.  We eventually heard some other runners ahead that we caught up to and were able to follow them and ensure we were still on track.  That could be really scary if you're out there all by yourself.  Thanks Aron!  I had a blast!

Now, for some pictures of how I faired.  I fell twice, while Aron managed to stay pretty darn clean.  I attribute it to my shoes, I don't think I laced them far enough up so they came off easy in the thick mud.  When I would fall, the only place to wipe your hands off is on your pants!!

After the race.  Did I mention my bib number was #1! LOL!


Muddy, muddy shoes and legs!


Muddy shoes!  Take a look at Aron's pics, I think she faired way better than me!


The cute shirt and medal.

I was a little sore yesterday in my hips from all the climbing but my hips have been sore all week as it is.  Also, my arches were a little sore from all the uneven holes we were stepping in, but are already feeling just fine today. I did a nice 8 mile recovery run yesterday and didn't even bring my Garmin.  I just had Ari on his bike next to me to count my miles off.  I had a pretty decent mileage week too, topping off at 47 miles.  This week should be another high mileage week, and I am excited about that.  I am hungry allllllllll the time!  I love marathon training!

Happy Monday and Happy Running peeps!

23 comments:

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Way to go Katie! Awesome job! That shirt and metal are sweet!

Angela and David Kidd said...

Awesome! Congrats on the AG win. Sounds like a lot of fun. Was it not cold? I am just imagining putting back on a muddy shoe that's frozen and being miserable but it sounds like it wasn't an issue.

Morgan said...

Great job girl! I read Aron's post yesterday and I thought it looked like you ladies had a blast! I love how muddy you got, it makes you look all hardcore! :)

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

What a great race!! Congrats!!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Bib #1, you are like an elite :) Look at that mud, so funny!! Way to go on a high mileage week, you ROCK!

L.B. said...

That looks like so much fun! To have a great experience like that and top it off with a great time is just fantastic.

Jo Lynn said...

Running alone wasn't that bad! Man, you really did get muddy. I didn't realize how bad you looked. LOL
It was so nice to meet you and I'm happy you have fallen in love with trail running. I hope to see you at some more events in the future. ;)

Tricia said...

Great job! It sounds like so much fun!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

The mud looks so much more fun than ice! Even with my bad conditions and bruised body, I am totally in love with trails. I wish I could get all my runs in on them but the jogging stroller is not friends with my trails.

You did awesome sans shoe and all. That was so nice that another runner helped you. Great mud pictures! Will your shoes ever be the same again?!?

Sarah said...

I love it!! Especially the muddy pictures. Looks like such a fun run even if you did lose your shoe a few times! LOL

Heather said...

Nice job on the race, and congrats on the age group award! Looks like a fun time. I love the muddy hand swipe prints on your pants. :)

Heidi said...

That race sounds like a blast! I love running the trails. My husband and I did an 8K race through mud last fall - it was pretty gross, but great at the same time.

aron said...

hahaha you were VERY muddy lol. SUCh a fun day out there, I am soooo glad we ran together! Cant wait to do another one soon!!!

Staci Dombroski said...

How fun!! Great job on the run! I hope that you have a wonderful ewek!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats on a great race despite the mud and shoe loss! EEK! Love the shirt, medal and fact that you rocked your AG! WTG!

onelittletrigirl said...

That sounds like fun- I love getting dirty. I hope to do a trail run soon!

Jess said...

Sounds like lots of fun! and congrats on the AG award!

ajh said...

Nice job! I love the mud pics. I went and looked at your friends' post. A lot of the race was beautiful! Good going on winning your age group and I love the shirt and medal.

Jamoosh said...

Speaking from experience, there is nothing like cows cheering you on.

Cows = motivation!

Tara said...

You got your brand new shoes dirty! I love the pics of you all muddy. You need to come out here and trail run with me. I agree with you, trail running is a blast! I can't wait til my marathon is over so I can get back into the woods and mountains again!

Nice job girlie! Glad you had so much fun in your race!

N.D. said...

wow I love the medal and shirt and great job! that looks like so much fun!

X-Country2 said...

Awesome! AG win and a great medal and shirt. Can't beat that.

Ewa said...

Katie, I am new to your blog. I love trails though don't have a lot of opportunities to run them.
Your race sounds like tons of fun, mud and everything.
Good luck in Boston and Big Sur.
Happy trails,
Ewa