So naturally, I thought it would be fun to run it with a major breathing impairment involving a novelty hog nose.
|Photo by Brazen volunteer. That thing was not as comfortable as it looks.|
|Photo by Brazen volunteer. Grandkid Second Born and an incognito Endorphin Dude want more heat.|
The simplified map for this course is not really all that simplified. Fortunately, there were volunteers at all the scary points to make sure everyone stayed on course. (The Brazen Rabbit must have used a record amount of flour to mark this course.)
Finally the race started, and we were off in a cloud of dust.
A short ways out I found Weird Haired Mom and the grandkids, taking pictures and making sure we were staying on the right trail.
The race starts by climbing the biggest hill on the course, which you reach to top of at the first aid station, mile 2.25. To be clear, this is a mild hill compared to most Brazen races, but it was still more than enough to get your attention.
|You can just make out the second aid station in the distance.|
The second aid station is at mile 4.13. The next one is about 4.5 miles and a second fairly serious hill away, so it was wise to get well hydrated here.
|Photo by Brazen volunteer.|
Mrs Notthat loves the sun and will never complain about the heat. She's so weird.
|Photo by Brazen volunteer.|
I keep telling myself that if I didn't stop and take pictures, I'd probably win the race. (In reality, I likely lose about a minute total because of the picture taking. Since I usually take about twice as long to finish as the winner, leaving the camera at home would only minimally help my time while making me have to come up with some other excuse to stop and rest during the race.)
This picture doesn't really show it well (there's actually a runner, Alram - not her real name, hidden in there), but part of that trail between the second and third aid stations is the best on the course. Granted, a lot of it is going uphill, but being in the trees for once was a nice change.
|The volunteer is happy to see me since it means the search party can be called off.|
There are two small hills between here and the next aid station - the last two real hills on the course. And no shade.
The fourth aid station is actually the second aid station a second time. It's at mile 11.13, which means there is only a bit over 2 miles left (the Half was actually about 13.4 miles long). And a chunk of that is downhill. Sadly, I was not able to take advantage of that, and ended up shuffling my way towards the finish line.
The one surprise was that Haiyr (not her real name) was actually behind me coming out of that aid station. She quickly caught up and walked with me for a bit before bolting off for the finish line.
I did manage to finish, eventually. Mrs Notthat had finished 25 minutes earlier, and won third place in her age group. The Endorphin Dude survived the grilling and had a sub-3 hour finish time - an impressive accomplishment on this course.
I was REALLY tired and wanted to lay down. (It looks like I'm grimacing in pain, but I'm actually laughing since nobody could figure out how to get my camera to work.)
Last weekend's race was shorter (10 miles) but had a lot more climbing and about the same amount of heat. But the San Jose heat is different than the Mt Diablo heat, and it seemed to have a larger impact on me. I didn't feel like I was sweating as much, but the sweat lines on my shirt would beg to differ. I did pretty well with taking my salt caps, but I think I should have taken them more frequently as it warmed up. (I took one SaltStick cap every 30 minutes, but still started to get some cramping the last couple of miles if I tried to run. And I should have kept taking them once I finished since I started getting that tingly "I need electrolytes NOW" feeling after a bit of sitting around.)
The good news was that my stomach wasn't upset (not that I felt like eating), which was a nice change for a hot run.
Rocky Ridge is in four weeks. (Gulp.)
We won't be running any races next weekend and the following two weekends are flat road Half Marathons (San Jose Rock 'n Roll and the Redwood City Oktoberun). Rocky Ridge is a bit frightening given my current conditioning, although if the heat holds off and I use the early start, I should be able to finish it before dark.
That's it - move along…
PS: You can see more of my pictures here.