Monday, November 19, 2012

A decidedly non-fragile China Camp

The forecast was dismal. And, indeed, it was raining when we headed up to the north bay for the ITR China Camp Half Marathon. We had done this race earlier in the year, and looking at the pictures from then, it looked like this could be a bit of a mess if it rained as much as was being talked about.

Mrs Notthat and Enibas (not her real name) give each other a hug when we arrived.  Sheesh. Yes, it was raining,  but there was little chance of drowning while crossing the field.
As we were driving up, there was a break in the weather and a great rainbow. Our spirits picked up, at least until we made it to San Francisco when the rain started up again, and continued the rest of the way to China Camp State Park.

Mrs Notthat and I ready for the worst.
It wasn't a hard rain, and it wasn't cold or windy, so the conditions were actually pretty good. And then, about ten minutes before the start, the rain stopped. There were even tiny patches of blue sky visible. So I bravely ditched my raincoat at the last minute.

The course was mostly like this - lots of great single-track trails.
This picture is about three miles into the race and you can see that Mrs Notthat has taken her raincoat off too. The astonishing thing though, is that I'm keeping up with her! I knew it wouldn't last - the course starts with some rolling trail and then an uphill climb - once she hit the downhill she would take off and I wouldn't see her again until I finished.

For as much rain as we had just had, the trails were in great shape - lots of solid footing with only a few slippery spots and overly ambitious puddles.

No, I had not brought the sunscreen.
There were a lot of great views.

Enibas spotted this doe on the trail. After tormenting us a bit, she wandered up the hill and let us pass.

The race has one aid station - at the end of the 10K loop. From here, we headed out on a lollipop course. (Note that I was using my waterproof camera, which weirdly, was determined to make things look damper than they were.)

Annod (not her real name) being very perky about being nearly done. She was literally floating.
The cool/humbling thing about this lollipop bit was that the stick was an out-and-back where we got to see some of the fast runners heading to the finish line.

A flock (herd?) of turkeys saw me and wisely decided to wander away. I guess I was looking hungry.

Superstar Yval (not her real name) was bravely directing runner traffic at the business end of the lollipop stick - time to climb the second real hill.

Flamingos! We know what that means - in this case, the end is near!

This race was great. The weather was actually perfect (which cannot be said about a number of other races in the area on this same day) and the trails were fine. There was only about 1200 feet of climbing for the Half Marathon (which was the longest distance offered), so this was a fairly easy course compared to last weekend's Mt Tam race.

Which is a good thing since Mrs Notthat ended up running the Big Sur Half Marathon the next day.

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.


DAK said...

Diane's two half marathons in two days is just, well, nuts. Not that you've got your feet firmly on the ground either. This one looks pretty, though.

Beth said...

We were thinking about how soggy China Camp was going to be. We were staying the weekend in Marin and at times it was pouring. We all know you love the mud though!
Diane is just a beast! Back to back 13.1's...very beastly.