The Crystal Springs 50k takes place on my backyard trails, climbing up Huddart Park to intersect with the Skyline Trail (at my driveway!) and heading along the ridge to Wunderlich Park, where we do a big loop before coming back. I run these trails solo 300+ times a year, so it's always a pleasure to have some company who appreciate this hilly tour through second growth redwoods, creeks and canyons. If you're interested in checking it out, there will be six - count 'em six! - 50k's in Woodside this year between Pacific Coast Trail Runs and Coastal Trail Runs. I would love to see you out here!
The start line was socked with fog, and the other runners were pleased to hear that the temp would rise to a balmy 45 degrees once you broke through the clouds at mile 5. I got a chance to catch up with the trail running regulars, most of whom thought two weeks was plenty of off-time before jumping back in. So much better than me! I had been taking lots of time off, regrouping after a great and busy year. RD Wendell Doman gave us our instructions, and at 8:30am we were off!
|(And we're off! This and many photos courtesy of Coastal Trail Runs)|
|(Into the heavens)|
|(Ray leads us up the Crystal Springs Trail)|
|(Elliot helps me climb up the final pitch)|
Wait a minute, am I racing? This wasn't supposed to be a race day, but it's so hard to hold back when we're in the mix! I didn't see anyone behind me as I plunged into Wunderlich, but Jed Tukman, Ray Sanchez and Kevin Rumon were in sight on the climb back up. Jed and Kevin went by me soon after the aid station (mile 21), and I got on their tail to pace quickly.
|(Self portrait as we get above the fog line again)|
|(Gene Weddle finishes the final climb)|
|(Rebecca Yi takes 3rd Woman in the marathon)|
|(Sophie helps me with the Pop-Tarts and gets a smile back on my face)|
I cruised down the hill until Lina was in sight again, then stepped off the trail to relieve myself, only to have her turn around and ask if we're on the right trail. Oops! A little embarrassing. I felt good enough to pick up the pace, and trucked it into the finish in 4:37:33 for 5th place. Jed Tukman (4:19) had held on for the win, and John Burton (4:22) finished a few seconds ahead of Kevin Rumon (4:22), with Ray Sanchez (4:37) getting 4th. Jill Homer (6:17) would come in behind us to win the Womens division. Jason Reed (3:47) won the marathon, and was kind enough to ease up enough to leave my squishy-soft 3:36 course record standing. Penny Macphall (3:49) had a killer close, setting a Womens course record with her marathon win.
|(Yi Chang has a great finish in the 22 mile)|
|(Jed Tukman wins the 50k)|
|(Marathon winners Jason Reed and Penny Macphall with rubber chicken)|
Hope y'all are having a great weekend.