Sunday, September 25, 2011

Getting piggy with the Trail Hog

On Saturday, over 300 runners braved the wild pig infested hills of Joseph D Grant Park outside of San Jose for Brazen's Trail Hog race.

Here is the finisher medal and the vision each of us carried out there of what to be on the lookout for.

(By the way, this may be their best finisher medal ever.) About a year and a half ago, a group of us lead by Coach Luap (not his real name) did an infamous hike in this park, and I actually managed to get a picture of real trail hogs. Not quite as fierce looking, but close enough. So I knew they existed.

This time I saw no trail hogs out there - only miles and miles of fun trails with moderate hills sprinkled in just to change things up. Sections of the course were pretty exposed, and it would get a bit warm, but with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees, it wasn't all that bad.

Most of the trails were fire roads that dodged in between nice shade trees and open fields. Mrs Notthat and Ultra Woof are enjoying the shade above. (They would get cranky if I pointed the camera at them while going up a hill - running for the camera is a rule, and doing that while going uphill is not fair. There were a LOT of wonderful Brazen photographers out there, but a lot of them were on uphill sections. However, I think they shaved a couple of minutes off my time by forcing me to run more than I would have if they hadn't been there.)

Lots of the trail looked like this. There were nice views of the surrounding hills, including Mt Hamilton, as you wandered around the course.

There was a great stretch of single-track in the second loop on the Half course.

There was a bit of climbing in that single-track stretch though.

I look like I am toast and ready for the finish line. Except this was taken before we had even reached mile 2. The course started with a hill that warmed you up quickly.

Mrs Notthat was perky all the way through this race and ended up getting 2nd place in her age group.

The Boy, as usual, took off and was way ahead of us. We heard from Weird Haired Mom though that he had started dragging at about mile 7. Then a random runner named Eicats (not her real name) caught up to him and told him to get his butt in gear. And he did. Both he and Eicats ended up winning their age groups (he beat me by nearly 20 minutes).

WHM and Ultra Woof both did the Hiker Half start. Well sort of. WHM was actually there for the 7:30 start, while the GPS-challenged Ultra Woof was touring the wilds of southern San Jose looking for this park. UW ended up catching up to WHM near the end and they finished together, with more piggy pink than anyone had bargained for.

Look, if the Brazen Rabbit writes "BACK" on the trail, who are they to ignore it (with a bit of attitude to boot).

The front of the neutral-colored shirt (HA!). I love the small race logo over the heart.

And the large one on the back.

This was a great race - a bit harder than I had expected (only a bit over 1700 feet of elevation, but for some reason it felt like a lot more); it would have been a lot worse if it had been just a day earlier though, when temperatures were 20 degrees higher.

And here's a cool thing - WHM and Ultra Woof met up with Htenaj (not her real name) at the Half Moon Bay Marathon Expo, with WHM and UW still sporting their Trail Hog bibs and medals.

Where they met runner extraordinaire Scott Jurek, who is now the proud owner of Ultra Woof's Trail Hog medal! Scott surely got a bit nervous will all this pink - he was impressed that they had done a Half in the morning and then driven to the expo. (UW is doing the HMB Marathon today.)

And that's about it. Next on the Brazen schedule is one of my arch-enemies - Rocky Ridge. Oh my. Next on my race schedule though is the flat Urban Cow Half Marathon in Sacramento - cowbell medals are really tough to pass up.

That's it - move along...

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.


Brazen Rabbit said...

Ha! Love the loud-and-proud "back" photo! That should be a traditional thing.

mary ann said...

Great shirts!