In August, Inside Trail Racing puts on their Santa Cruz trail race, which is sort of a backwards version of the Coastal version. The important bit is that I got a second chance at the San Lorenzo river.
|Mr. ITR glaring at me. It's not like I was mocking his pre-race spiel. (As far as he knew.)|
But before the river, we had to do the 10K loop, which involved a long climb on some of the sandiest trails you will ever see (that aren't actually on a beach).
|Trust me - the sandy trail was a lot more annoying than it looks in this picture.|
Eventually you get to the top of the hill and get to start heading down. A lot of the downhill is actually on a paved road, which normally I would despise, but after all that sand, the pavement was actually welcome.
|The 10K runners started flying past me on that paved bit of trail.|
I had thought that, since it had been two months since my last time here, the river would be down a bit. I'm pretty sure it was just as deep this time as last. And as wet. The good part was that I was able to make it across while staying upright.
After the river, we head towards Highway 9 and our first aid station.
|"Show me how you would protect me from a big rig!"|
Heading back after the lollipop, you come up on the Bermuda Triangle of this race. If you are doing the 30K or 50K, you have to make a left here and do a second lollipop. Half runners got to giggle as they ran past this and headed back to the highway.
|Back at the aid station - the orange runner is the eventual winner of the 50K, out for his second lap.|
After the aid station, it was time to cross the river one more time. I took my time again, and took the alternative route across - the same route that I slipped and fell in on last time.
And I won!
I got across without falling in.
|Any guesses which way you head after getting out of the river?|
Once the thrill of the river crossing is over, you face the anti-thrill of a steep climb. But if you stick with it, you eventually get to the top and get to cruise in to the finish line.
|These trails really are spectacular.|
|Can you guess which one of these belongs to a river-averse trail runner?|
And eating pizza while drinking Mountain Dew.
This was a blast of an event! Even the absurdly sandy trail was memorable. And since I safely crossed the river twice, I called off my plans to build a dam across it.
At least until next year.
That's it - move along…
PS: You can see more of my pictures here.