I had a little trouble getting to the starting line thanks to a house of sick kids (and my funemployment-adjusted internal clock), but was able to chase after the 50k runners about 15 minutes after they had left the start. Isn't it always the case that the closer you live to a race, the more you struggle to make it in time? It reminds me of being at the start of the 2005 Helen Klein 50m and hearing "3....2...1....go!" while sitting on a port-o-pottie.
No worries. This was the last race of the season, and the goal was to enjoy the simple pleasures of good friends, great trails, and the blissful quiet of the forest. Plus this way I get to meet everyone!
|(Not a lot of traffic at the start when you're 15 minutes late)|
|(Emily Lopez, Magdalena Hurtado, and Mary Smith from Brentwood, CA, tackling the first big climb)|
|(Pat McKenna shares a smile on the way up)|
|(Fast movin' on the single track)|
|(Keeping a brisk pace in the winter cold)|
|(PG+E cut a few new sections of Huddart, but the views were nice)|
|(Michael Weston is rockin' and rollin' through the redwoods)|
|(Aid station in my driveway! Christmas came early!)|
|(Jennifer Telles smiles up the climb)|
|(The Aldrich's find a common rhythm)|
|(Ah, gorgeous single track)|
|(Old growth, young souls says Lori Clerkin)|
|(Awesome blogger Jill Homer and I try a simul-shoot)|
|(Beat Jegerlehner gives me a few tips on keeping your camera going...at the Iditarod 350)|
The Wunderlich aid station (mile 12) was quite cool, and the volunteers urged us to get down the hill to cut the cold factor. I tagged along with Clare Abram, who was charging the hills and having a great race, and she told me all about the craziness of volunteering at The North Face 50 last weekend. This race will be a piece of cake compared to that!
|(Soft and leafy trails)|
|(In the land of giants)|
|(Flamingos indicate an aid station is coming up!)|
The front runners were heading back up as I started the lollipop loop that marks the halfway point, with Oakland's Phil Shaw and Sean Handel from Moss Beach leading the way. That means they were a solid 40 minutes ahead on top of my 15 minute faux-pas! Phil seemed to be moving the fastest, but the others kept him in sight. I met some nice horses and their people on the return back up, and they were delighted to see so many people out and about on this winter day.
|(Winter berries add a side of red)|
|(Michael Towle leads the climb back)|
|(Sean sneaks through the redwoods and ferns)|
|(Making new friends in Wunderlich Park)|
|(Climbing along the single track)|
|(Gravity is our friend!)|
|(Heading down the Chinquapin Trail as a light rain falls)|
|(Clare cruises in)|
I got one last handful of Cheez-It's, and hiked back home to plug in my Jawbone UP and laugh about "Scott clocked a workout of 48,954 steps and burned 5,383 calories". Hmmm...think one of us can crack 100,000 steps at the Miwok 100k? ;-).
|(Screenshot of the Jawbone UP's interpretation of the Woodside 50k...can you see the three aid station stops?|
Best to you and yours...