Sunday, June 23, 2013

The trail was quaking (at least a small portion of it)

Brazen's Trailquake  race is one of my favorites, although it's really tough. So I was a bit torn when it fell on the same weekend as the San Francisco Marathon this year.

Last year, I ran the Brazen Bad Bass Half the day before the SF Marathon (I ran the first Half that year) and really felt it - I don't do well on road races under perfect conditions, and even worse when already a bit tired.

So Mrs Notthat and I were adults and chose to run the 5K at Trailquake.

I thought it would be fun to head up the trail a bit to get pictures of the Half Marathon runners trudging up that first hill, just like I always do. It turns out many runners do not trudge up the hills. Who knew?

Once the 5K headed out though, I took up my spot near the back and there was much trudging going on. This course is tough, even for the short distances; lots of climbing on narrow single-track trails.

This girl was the overall winner of the 5K - so cool!
Since the 5K course is largely an out-and-back, we got to see the lead runners heading at us, down the hill, going REALLY fast.

Add Mrs Notthat to the list of lead runners - she was flying down this hill (which often required quick footwork dodging the other runners while watching for roots and rocks).

Eventually I made it up to the 5K turnaround, which meant I too could begin "flying" back down the hill.

On the way back down, there was a short bit of trail that was different than the trail on the way up. The fun thing was that the trail was blocked by a very impressive downed tree. Rather than making us retrace our steps, an emergency detour trail was created that went around the tree's base.

Photo by Brazen volunteer Nodnarb (not his real name, but wouldn't that be awesome!).
Mrs Notthat, just beyond that tree, naturally looks like a real trail runner.

Photo also by Brazen volunteer Nodnarb.
Nodnarb, who took this picture, must be at least part magician since he also managed to make me look like a proper trail runner.

And before I knew it, I was at the finish line. I forget how fast 5K races are over, but this one was tough enough that I was seriously tired.

I accidentally wandered by Ymmat (not her real name) and Chewbaca (her real name, who looks like she is daring me to try to claim a medal) who were the Age Group Awards Administration Department. She is smiling because she thinks I'm going to ask if I won, which is always good for a laugh. Then two things happened:

  1. Mrs Notthat won first place in her age group. (And not nearly by default.)
  2. I won first place in my age group. (And, wildly, not by default, but barely!)

So I took Mrs Notthat's medal over to her where she was being worked over by her ART doctor, who has been working with Mrs to recover from her latest round of injuries.

That's a LOT of hardware.

And that's about it. We managed to survive this race unscathed and should be able to complete the SF Marathon's second Half race on Sunday. (Spoiler alert - no age group medals were won by us at that race.)

Trailquake is a blast, but I really think the Half distance is the best. All the climbing and trails plus you manage to not get caught up in the madness of the shorter distances all trying to navigate the narrow trails.

But it's really nice to be sitting at the finish line eating It's-It bars after less than 45 minutes of effort.

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Nice job, you two!
Great pictures of the both of you looking very legit out there!