Sunday, August 18, 2013

Getting revenge on the San Lorenzo River

Back in June, I ran the Coastal San Lorenzo trail race, and ended up getting a bit wetter than intended.

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.) 
There was a large turnout for the race, and the conditions were perfect. And the river was calling my name. I signed up for the Half while river-averse Mrs Notthat settled for the river-free 10K.

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.
After we finished the 10K hill, the Half runners headed over another hill and down to the river.

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!"
After crossing the highway, we had a lollipop to do. It was tasty.

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?
Eventually I finished. And naturally we spent time comparing shoes.

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.


Beth said...

Looks like another beautiful run!

mary ann said...

love the pizza and mountain dew photo! And the river runners, of course. Now check in from your vaca!