Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Goonies Never Say Die....Lagoon Valley 5K, 10K, Half Marathon Recap

It was family race day on Saturday for Brazen Racing’s Lagoon Valley 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon.  With family members in each distance there was fun for all.  This would be my daughter Sophie’s first 10K, with over 1K feet of elevation gain, and the second race in as many weeks for my wife and I.

Emma swinging like a Goonie!
As I have said in previous posts, Brazen Racing is a first class trail racing company, and this course was no different.  Located between Fairfield and Vacaville, the trail included a lot of fire trail as well as some decent single track, balanced with a flat run at the beginning around the Lagoon.  The theme of the race was tied to the motto “Never Say Die” from the 1980’s movie, The Goonies.  The kids love the movie The Goonies, so to get the kids in the proper mood (and to properly wake them up at 5:30 in the morning) I looked up the Cyndi Lauper video and had them watch it.  If you haven't seen it, the video includes the cast and many of Lauper's wrestler friends like Rowdy Roddy Piper and Andre the Giant.  You can watch it here.

My daughter, Sophie, had a wonderful time for her first 10K.  At 8 years old (at the time of the race, she turned nine yesterday), she was smiles from beginning to end.  This is actually a major accomplishment for her and finished 1:43.  She has run a lot of 5Ks and she actually beat her sister’s first trail 10K by 2 minutes.  
Source: Brazen Racing Volunteer

Beth ran with Sophie for support.  With the 30K the previous weekend at Canyon Meadows, this was a fun run for her just to see how far she had come from running similar races.  She found herself powering up hills that a year ago would have been more challenging.  A lot of this has to do with her training on Mt. Diablo. She has been averaging at least 5K to 8K feet of elevation gain per week and it is paying dividends. In a lot of ways, she felt Sophie’s pace a bit challenging; however, she loves running with the girls and they had a great time.
Source: Brazen Racing Photographer

Emma did well too on her 10K.  She had taken a nasty spill prior to the race on a rope swing.  It had knocked the air out of her, some scratches on her back, and left her with a sore arm.    She spent the run most of the time with another runner and finished at 1:30.

Source: Brazen Racing Photographer
Myles ran the 5K with a family friend, Tessa, 100-miler Ryan’s wife.  Myles took a couple of spills himself during the run; however, kept a good pace.  At 6 years old, he is beginning to be a good little runner, when he is in the running mood.  He did well at 53 minutes.

Source: Brazen Racing Photographer
This brings me down to my performance for the trail half-marathon.  As stated in my last post, I was shooting to be under 2:30.  With my PR on a road marathon at 1:51, I had yet to crack below 2:30 with any trail half marathon.  Considering ran atrail 30K the previous week, which I PR’d at also, I thought that a 2:30 goal was achievable, but there was a strong likelihood that it wouldn’t be this course

This course was a double loop course with over 2K feet of elevation with a bunch of single track.  On paper, this course is deceptively a challenge. The race did begin like the others, a flat run around the Lagoon and was humbled by how many people were passing me.  Knowing that I would probably catch up with a lot of these folks on the hills, I kept my conservative pace.  The first hill was short but steep.  On the other side, there was a bit of technical following the big climb.  The climb consisted of fire trail, single-track, and switchback.  I too have been a beneficiary of running Mt. Diablo and powered up  the hills and back down to the beginning of the loop for a second go time around.  

I felt strong on the run and was keeping a close eye on my time.  I knew, unless I spent too long at an aid station or got a serious cramp, there was a real strong possibility of finishing under 2:30.  I had revised my aid station strategy for this race to be closer to how the aid stations would be paced on the 50K, which meant one stop.  I did take a Gu at one point and downed it 3 miles from the aid station.  I also did take a minute or so to empty my bladder before the final decent.  The final half mile was also deceptive, since you are running parallel to the finish…up hill.  As I turned onto the trail that would take me back to the finish, I was greeted with the sign “Never Say Die.”  

Well I exceeded my goal and finished at 2:28!! At an 11:21 minute mile, this time is actually better than my best trail 10K pace by a few seconds.  Also my legs felt great and ready to go further.  It is insane to me to think that I had run the 30K just 6 days prior.  And I feel great today, with to tiredness.

While this race was a personal accomplishment for me, the real emphasis is that this is an activity that we have chosen to do as a family.  I am really proud of my family and never thought that I would have kids that like any physical activity, I didn’t at their age.  Are we good? No, not really.  And we have no aspirations for our kids to be the best runners out there.  What we hope is that they use these events as a challenge and to set goals, but more importantly, just have fun!

 It hit me yesterday that there is less than 19 days before the 50K. Beth and I will be running on Friday and Saturday this week, then on to the taper for the Diablo Challenge50K.  I am so excited.


  1. The kids had a blast!
    Diablo Taper??
    What's that??

  2. It's so cool that your whole family did this! And that everyone did so well! I can't wait to see you two finish Diablo - you are both in great shape for it. (And I've never even seen the Goonies movie. I need to add it to my list.)

  3. Thanks Alan! Looking forward to 18 days!


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