Thursday, July 4, 2013

Need to Run....Ready to Run!!!

Western Pacific Rattlesnake
This Saturday will be the Dirty Dozen 12 hour endurance run.  Needless to say I haven't run in a week and am really anxious to do some running.  That, combined with the BART strike limiting me to working from home and 100+ degree weather has forced me to be fully rested for the run on Saturday.

This post is more to get some of the running frustration out.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been doing some runs close to home.  Since I do a lot of my runs in San Francisco, I have been trying to get up early and run through Crystal Ranch up through Lime Ridge.  These have been good runs with some elevation gain.  Needless to say, one stretch of the trail is a narrow single track with high grass.  I have been a little concerned with this area because it is prime rattlesnake territory.  We have seen snakes up on Lime Ridge before, so I have been over cautious though there and it has been uneventful.

That is until my wife took our girls up their a couple of days ago.   Our oldest was running lead on full rattlesnake patrol and came across this beauty at the single track trail head.  Of course it was in no hurry to get out of the way but as an adult had as much respect for humans as we of it. Unfortunately this is the one entrance to Lime Ridge from my home, so I will be taking precautions going through this stretch.

Overall though, there is some pretty grasslands and fire trail to run.  You are not secluded with Crystal Ranch on one side of the ridge and Walnut Creek and Arbalado Park on the other.
Tim Olsen in the lead!

Also, last week I volunteered at Western States 100 at the Forest Hill Aid station.  My assignment was basically crowd control, making sure there was only 1 pacer and one crew member in the aid station.  At mile 62, this is the first location where pacers can join their runner, so it could easily become crowded if these limits were not in place.

Hal Kroener playing catch-up

Cameron Clayton dropped earlier due to injury.  He came down to cheer on the runners.
The Forest Hill aid station is run like a well oiled machine by Lon Monroe.  Everything went on without a hitch and the runners and their pacers and crew were well taken care of. It was amazing to me, since it was so hot, how the runners leaving the station were dowsed in water to bring their core temperatures down like they had just come out of a swimming pool!

Amy Sproston looking strong.
I got there early to here the directions and was rewarded by seeing the lead runners come through.  It is always amazing to see Tim Olsen run, and at mile 62 he looked strong.  Followed 20 minutes later by Hal Kroener and then all of the rest, it was really motivating.  Keep in mind that at our location the temperatures were over 100 degrees and these guys ran the entire length of the course like the elite runners they are.

Ian Sharman picking up his pacer/crew of one!
I stayed until the close of the aid station.   To see the runners at the back of the pack was truly inspiring and watching Lon jump into action when a runner was wavering on the decision to keep going was truly impressive.  Everyone has so much respect for this race and the privilege of being selected, so the decision to drop weighs very heavy with every runner, especially the back of the pack.

Mt. Tamlpais in the distance.
So today, we braved the heat for a short 2 mile hike with the kids in Tilden Regional Park up at Grizzly Peak.  It was a nice hike with a fair bet of technical single track.  I had to show a lot of restraint running it, knowing that I would pay for it in a couple of days.  We have never hiked this part of the park and it is beautiful up there.  You easily can see much of the Bay, Mt. Tamalpais in the distance as well as Mount Diablo.  By the time we finished it was hot, but not as hot as it was back in Concord, where again we were at 105.  Oh well, cooler temperatures ( in the mid-80's) begin tomorrow.

So I am really ready for this run coming up in the couple of days!  I know I can run the full 12 hours, it is just I am not sure how far.  I know I have to keep my pace down because I easily can see me running for the first 10 to 15 miles at a fast pace  for the first couple hours to succumbing to walking for the next 10 hours.  This is going to be an interesting experience for sure!


  1. I think each of the aid stations have their own vibe based on where they are and what sort of access there is. Having done Last Chance for three years now I think it's the best, but I can see that something like Foresthill could be fun just because of the added complexity of pacers and crew. (I like that we have none of that - it really simplifies things!)

    I'm anxious to see how you and Beth do tomorrow! I have little hope for me getting much done, but you never know. See you there!

  2. I know you will do awesome tomorrow and no doubt reach your goal! See you there!


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