Sunday, June 12, 2011

Valley Crest Half-Marathon

DATE: Sunday June 12, 2011
LOCATION: Mulholland Fire Road, Santa Monica Mountains
FINISH TIME: 02:11:57 (Garmin)

I've stayed away from trail races. It's not that I don't like a challenge, but I figure that I can't even master road racing!! I once did a hybrid trail/road half-marathon at the Rose Bowl and liked it because it was "different."

"The Ukrainian" had been hinting that he wanted to do a trail race. I finally pulled the trigger and forced both of us into this. even if Fargo (5K + Marathon) was only a few weeks ago.

Pre-race dinner was semi-homemade sopes (remember?! -- posted the pic again below)!

So above is the lovely elevation profile. All things considered, I didn't do TOO badly. The race started off with a steep uphill and the few miles after that, I was feeling really good. At around Mile 3.5, we turned around, only to do a 3-mile death march up an everlasting hill. I was breathing obnoxiously loudly because of the thinner air, and with no earphones encouraged, I was left to listen to it.

Mile 1: 10:34
Mile 2: 8:40
Mile 3: 8:31
Mile 4: 9:26
Mile 5: 10:07
Mile 6: 9:55
Mile 7: 10:56
Mile 8: 10:06
Mile 9: 12:13
Mile 10: 10:04
Mile 11: 9:33
Mile 12: 8:45
Mile 13: 10:56
Mile .1: 2:12

Overall, I did a lot better than I thought I would do. The weather was completely in our favor -- misty, not too windy, and pretty cool. The terrain wasn't very easy, gravel, loose dirt, and rocky areas necessitated the need to jump and weave, not to mention avoiding the users of the trail since the course was not "closed." The aid stations were decently spaced, but on a hotter day, I could imagine I would have crashed and burned.
When I finished, we went for watermelon and oranges and then waited around for the awards ceremony. With about 400-ish racers, it was small enough to want to see what some of the winning times/age group times were. Had I been just a couple of years younger, I would have won the 20-24 F age group... *sigh*  I was disappointed that they did not reserve a tech tee for me (see the cotton orange shirt above), even though I had signed up for one. They claimed that they "ran out." The tech tee was a bright neon color, anyway, so I guess it was okay... I guess in order to get the shirt I want, I need to run faster next time.
Also, check out the coin-sized medal. I don't mean that sarcastically... I found it cute.
I'm not sure how I feel about trail races now that I've done a real one. I definitely felt less beat up than after running a "normal" half-marathon, even though I know my hips will be sore tomorrow due to keeping my footing. Thank goodness that I have a decently strong core!
Half-marathon #18 is now done... I'm actually going to reach 20 this year, if all goes according to plan.


  1. Yay! Trail runs are great! You're going to have fun :)

  2. Trail racing is a completely different beast. Its more about enjoying the run than getting there the fastest. So much fun!

  3. Trail races are fun. I agree with the other comments - they are different. Much more laid back, which makes for a fun experience. This Valley Crest Half sounds pretty cool.

    I think you will enjoy Fargo, too. I've done both the half and the full marathons there, and the city really does a nice job with the event!

  4. Dang! Come join us the following week too. We're (Madison, myself and a few other friends) running the Billy Goat Half Marathon Hill Climb the following weekend!

  5. Wait, how did I comment on this before you ran it? I'm so confused by blogger...