Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Diablo Half Marathon - Costal Trail Runs

So what can I say about this run other than it was awesome!!!   This was an over 13 mile, almost 3,800 foot elevation gain, challenge that was worth every moment.  I never thought I would summit Mt. Diablo on foot, but we did it.

Our family is familiar with the first three miles of the trail.  A little over 3 years ago, when the kids were much little and I would push a jogging stroller on fire trails, we tried to climb up to Deer Flat.  Mind you, it was in the 90's that day and I was not as healthy as I am today.  That said, the trail is beautiful, with sweeping views of Mitchell Canyon and of the Clayton and Concord valleys.

Today the run started at a chilly 48-degrees.  By the time we would finish (3 hours and 54 minutes, not bad for this type of run) it was 81-degrees.
This was also the first time we have run with Coastal Trail Runs. The race was well organized, challenging courses, two aid stations; however we have definitely been spoiled by running Brazen.  That said, we would definitely run with Coastal Trail Runs again.

The run begins at the Mitchell Canyon Staging area on the north side of Mt. Diablo State park.  For the first two miles, there is a mild incline.  The majority of the elevation gain happens over the next 5.25 miles.  Most of this is on fire trail up to the Juniper Campground, then gets technical to the summit.  What goes up must go down on this race and my quads were crying for mercy after the first 2 miles down.

As I have stated before, my wife and I got into running about three years ago and we run most of our races together.  This run was definitely an accomplishment that I really am proud to say we can share. When it came to this run, climbing is my specialty (due to my bicycle training) while Beth's specialty is the decent. So I was support for Beth on the way up, and she kept me going down hill.  We also ran into our friend Alan (this is his blog) almost to the Juniper Campground aid station which gave us added support.  You can follow his blog here.

Again, if you want a challenging run, this is the one.   Next up is the Long Beach half-marathon, which should be a cake walk.  Fun times......

Monday, September 12, 2011

The San Francisco Marathon 2011

So we did it again.  The big, bad, SF Marathon.   Let me put it this way, this is one marathon we looked to improve over last year.  I mean, we definitely could do it under five hours, right?  We hadn't over-trained, no one was hurt.  So why wouldn't we at least come in under 5 hours.

The race is broken into two parts.  In fact if you just want to run a half-marathon, you can run the first or second half.  The first half is beautiful.  You start off on the Embarcadero, run through Fisherman's Wharf, and down through Chrissy Field.  Then you run across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, down a lovely hill, through the Richmond, and finally through Golden Gate Park.  The second half is just as touristy, through Haight Ashbury, the Mission, Dog Patch, and past AT&T Park.

Everything went smoothly during the first half.  The weather was perfect, cool in the 50's.  We got there in enough time.  But once we got into Golden Gate Park (a place we love to do our training runs) it seemed like we would never leave.  We ran out of steam.  That, combined with the monotony of the course, meant that we finished a humbling 21 minutes after five hours.  By that time, all of the food at the recovery area was gone.

This will probably be the last time for this marathon.  While it is close to us, it is definitely not our favorite.  We find that of all of the Marathons we have run, it is poorly organized and that the second half is definitely not worth the hefty price tag.  This is not a New York or Boston Marathon, and a runner shouldn't have to pay a similar price.  I mean, when Fresno/Clovis (The Two Cities Marathon) can put together a first class marathon , thinking about the littlest detail why can't San Francisco?

If you are going to run just the half, run the first.  It does sell out quick, but is more worth the price.

I'm back........

Ok, so I know it has been awhile; however, I am back.  I have a lot to post.  I will be providing an update so be patient.
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