Sunday, September 8, 2013

Zooming at Vasona

On Labor Day, Mrs Notthat and I ran the Zoom Vasona Lake Half Marathon. This is a double out-and-back course that spends a lot of time on the paved Los Gatos Creek Trail, but also includes a fun romp over St Joseph's Hill.

"I'll let you play with this if you'll turn in your bib." Baby Coastal cracks me up!
It was delightfully cloudy but also very humid at the start.

The race has two distances: 5M and Half Marathon. The course starts with a quick dash out 2.5 miles to a turnaround.

The trail is actually pretty scenic in places. It's not quite flat, but the rolling hills are easy to deal with. While the trail is paved, there are large stretches of it that have dirt shoulders you can run on.

This is Mrs Notthat heading back from the 2.5 mile turnaround. I have no idea why she is so perky. (She spent the first part of this race trying to keep her heart rate in the aerobic range. That meant I was able to keep her in sight for a large part of the race.)

The first aid station and turnaround. Mile 2.4.
Baby Coastal tries to tackle me.
Once you get back to the general starting area, the 5M runners turn left and are done. The Half runners get their second aid station and head out on the second out-and-back leg of the course. Note that Mrs Notthat is not that far ahead of me.

Mrs Coastal was taking pictures at this point. Let's see how Mrs Notthat and I were looking:

Sheesh. I guess I need to start drinking coffee too.
YIKES! I've only gone about 5 miles! No wonder Baby Coastal tried to tackle me!

At about mile 6.5 we hit our third aid station!

Hi Acceber (not your real name)!
About a mile or so past that aid station you leave the pavement and start on the best bit of this course - a mix of hill-infested single-track and dirt fire roads. It was at about this point that it started lightly raining on us. As if the humidity hadn't made me wet enough…

You spend a lot of time climbing to the top of St Joseph's Hill, then you get to cruise down to Lexington Dam and the turnaround. As soon as Mrs Notthat hit the downhill, she decided to ignore the heart rate monitor and took off. Here she is heading back up that hill while I try not to fall before I get to the turnaround.

The turnaround was the fourth aid station, and was at mile 8.9 (WAY over halfway!) After I turned around, I never saw Mrs Notthat again - there was too much fun downhill to run (at least once you got back up that hill).

I love how this bridge is decorated by local school kids!
At the end of the dirt, you go over this fun bridge to get back on the main trail.

At mile 11.3 I was back at this aid station - the fifth aid station on this course! They were happy to see me since it meant there couldn't be too many more runners to wait for.

I paused on the way back to sweat a bit on Tom's Memorial San Jose Fit bench. I always spend a moment here and reflect on how far I've come.

Then I go behind it and drool over his Western States 100 belt buckle.

The rest of the way back was uneventful, other than getting to watch this train go by.

Baby Coastal giving me a high five. He was as stunned as I was.
Amazingly, not only did I manage to finish, but I actually finished in less than three hours!

The finish line buffet!

The medal and shirt were awesome. A huge thanks to all the volunteers and everyone that worked so hard to put on this race.

This race is always a lot of fun. It's hard enough that you know you did something, but not so hard that you spend the rest of the day limping around.

Well, actually, I did quite a bit of limping. But not as much as normal. Probably.

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.

1 comment:

mary ann said...

Mrs. Notthat looks beautiful and I like how you are able to sit and appreciate your new life on the memorial bench!