Sunday, November 7, 2010

Memo to self: next time bring a scraper

Today was the Brazen Racing Mt Diablo Trail Adventure. Today was also the first time in a while that it has rained here. This made for a challenging and fun day (which I can say now that I am home, warm and dry).

This was one dirty race.

It never really rained particularly hard, but it was steady and a bit cool, especially when the wind kicked up. Mrs Notthat drained two cups of steaming hot coffee before the race started.

Mr Brazen is explaining to a caller that, yes, the race is still going to happen. Considering the conditions, there were an amazing number of people that came out to play in the mud.

It was great to see a number of kids out to splash around in the muck.

Originally, Mrs Notthat and Ann were signed up for the Half Marathon, but both wisely chose to switch to the 10K race. I'm not nearly as wise so I stuck with the Half. (I was deeply envious and getting a bit wiser by the 10K turnaround though. But by then it was too late.)

The volunteers were stunning - they spent a LOT of time in the rain keeping us hydrated and fed, not to mention the ones that somehow managed to get everyone ready to go so the races started on time. A great job in way less than ideal circumstances.

Also, races in Mt Diablo State Park end up involving lots of search and rescue people keeping track of the runners - my guess is that there were at least 7 times along the course our bib numbers were noted - they were very determined to not let anyone get lost. Or drown.

The course was mostly fire roads (most of which did not hold up to the rain very well) with a lot of stunning single-track mixed in. These trails were a blast.

I tried to get a picture that captured how hard it was to move in this mud. I even tried taking movies, but nothing really worked. It would clump on your shoes in a heavy, sticky glob. You could try to shake it off, but it wouldn't work and you might end up falling over.

People would try anything to get the mud off their shoes. Sturdy sticks were treated like gold, with runners carrying them for large chunks of the race. An enterprising kid with an ice scraper would have made a killing.

And to make things interesting, there was a tree across the trail.

The course is famous for its creek crossings. Normally at this time of year, most are dry or barely running, and this was the case yesterday. Today, some were flowing a bit, but they were pretty easy to cross without getting wet. However, many figured out that going through creek water was a way to get some of the mud off your shoes.

A great sight - the finish line! The race was amazingly challenging. It was a bit humbling to get to the 4 mile marker and feel like you should have been at mile 8 or 9 - carrying all that mud on your shoes takes its toll. But it really was fun. You could practically skate down the hills. It was impressive to see people running through this muck.

Mrs Notthat and I with our medals.

The back of Mrs Notthat's legs.

The back of mine. Nobody came through this cleanly, but I saw nobody fall (but did hear of a few). I was amazed that I stayed upright the whole time - the last time I did a muddy race like this, Bear Creek in January (you can read about that here), I fell several times. Falling in mud doesn't hurt, but it is a bit messy and difficult to look graceful while doing it.

We brought a change of clothes that were kept dry in a large garbage bag. It felt great to change into them before getting in the car and heading home (I swear I heard our car whisper "Thank you").

And just to prove us racers weren't the only looney ones out in this weather, we saw these two.

The next race is on Turkey Day and will involve a lot of kids racing a giant turkey. The grandkids will be going (and have been talking strategy) as well as most of the rest of the family.

And I'll be bringing a scraper or two.

That's it - move along...

PS: Hey Andrew - aren't you impressed I didn't mention how you wussed out from doing this race? Mrs Notthat yelled "In your face!"


Mrs. Notthat said...

Great post hunny! You really covered it all. Sorry I wimped out and only did the 10k. Just couldn't make myself struggle through this for that long.

notthatlucas said...

Pictures from the day can be found here:

My pictures are in the second Diablo Trails album.

DAK said...

OK, it's official. You two are insane. And you've infected your family. Are you saying there's a race on Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Couch Sitting Day?

mary ann said...

Excellent, you two are amazing!