Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting scruffy on Diablo

Sunday was one of the first times I've done an event at Mt Diablo where the weather and trails were pretty much perfect. So naturally I downgraded from the Half Marathon to the 10K.

Starting Thursday, a cold moved into my body and knocked me for a bit of a loop. By Sunday I was feeling OK, but knew I wouldn't be able to handle the hills of the Half so I did something I had never done before - I downgraded to the 10K at the Brazen Diablo Trails Adventure.

Not that the 10K isn't without hills.

See those two pimples on the left? The 10K goes over them out to about mile four then makes a mad dash (or slow shuffle in my case) back to the finish. The two pimples add up to over 1200 feet of climbing though, and are much more challenging that this makes them look.

This race is known for its many creek crossings, although this time of year, you have to work a bit to get your feet wet. (I managed to do that.)

There was a large turnout for all of the distances which helped make this a lot of fun.

This is the what the 10K runners were dreaming of - a dash down this last hill, a left out to the turnaround, and then an easy run to the finish. No more pimples to climb!

Funny story number one about this race; this is Hteb (not her real name) who does a great blog thing (here is a link to her report on this race). I had passed her going up the last pimple, but as I had predicted, she blew past me on the downhill and finished well ahead of me. The funny thing was that, as she was heading in, she convinced a young guy to push a bit and finish hard. The guy asked her if "that scruffy guy" was her husband.

I asked her if she thought he was talking about me, and she thinks so, since I had talked to her several times on the course and made a point of getting her picture each time. This is WAY too funny and cool. (And how knicknames get started.)

Photo of a scruffy guy taken by a Brazen volunteer.
"YIKES! Get back and give the scruffy guy a LOT of room"
A cool thing as I headed to the finish was seeing all the family hikers on the trail. Part of this event was a non-competitive family hike, many led by Save Mt Diablo volunteers who explained the various things that makes this park so amazing.

Once I finished, I headed back out a bit so that I could pace Mrs Notthat into the finish since I figured she would be on her own and tired and in need of some perkiness. And then she showed up as part of this group and flew past me. "Pace her in." Right. (She has run this Half twice before, albeit under extreme weather conditions each time, and this time she beat her course PR by nearly a hour. She was more than up for this race!)

Funny story number two; my daughter, Weird Haired Mom (who more accurately should be Mom of Weird Haired Kids) asked me if I had been in any of the porta-potties yet. So naturally I spent some quality time going through them.

After a few hits and misses, I went into this one.

And saw this. For reasons that are not totally clear, if you Google "porta-pottie" you will get my picture. (Not really, but how cool would that be!) Someone at last year's race here left me a message. Even cooler, the Porta-Pottie Maintenance Professionals left the note there. Nobody has owned up to doing this, and the FBI was not interested in doing a handwriting analysis to try and pin it down.

This. Was. AWESOME! (And would have been missed without WHM's keen eye.)

And that's about it. The shirt and medal featured a famous Mt Diablo tarantula (which several runners saw on the course - this is the end of their mating season and the warm weather gets them active). The whole event was amazing - the course, the many enthusiastic volunteers (including about a dozen photographers - there are a ton of pictures up here), the great barbecue, the Save Mt Diablo people, and of course all of the fun runners and hikers.

And today I just saw a picture of a snow covered Mt Diablo - the weather has changed a lot in just a few days.

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see a lot more of my pictures here.


Lia said...

People actually saw tarantulas?!? I was looking pretty hard :) Great report as usual, I LOVE the secret porta-pottie message.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Love the pictures and the name in the potty.
I was shocked people saw tarantulas!! I have never seen one out of Castle Rock, but now I'll be looking!