Early this month, my family participated in Brazen Racing’s Trail Hog series of races. Beth and my oldest daughter, Emma (our eleven year old) would be running the half marathon, Sophie would be running the 10K, and I would be pacing Myles (our seven year old) on the 5K. This would be Emma’s first half marathon ever and she decided to run one with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain and with temperatures in the in the low nineties by the time she made it to the finish line.
The race takes place in the Joseph D. Grant Ranch County Park on Mount Hamilton. It is a beautiful park with rolling hills on both sides of the valley with oak trees dotting the landscape. The name sake of the race, feral hogs, can be found as well as other wildlife. The Race Director the night before came across a bobcat on a run the night before.
Looking on the elevation chart on the Brazen site, my wife and I thought it would be an OK race
for Emma to run her first half and that it would be ok to let our 9 year old
daughter to run the 10K by herself. My
son ended up getting sick the night before; which meant that we ended up
sitting through his race.
|Sophie heading up the first climb.|
Well the hills were a bit more challenging for my daughters. The first climb for the 10K (which was also featured half way through the half marathon) was pretty steep. However, the girls both attacked the hill with much of the same tenacity that I normally see on much tamer trails.
I was expecting Sophie to finish her 10K around an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. I figured with the heat and running by herself that would be a good time. I started getting nervous a little after two hours; but after 2:24 minutes of waiting, in came Sophie with energy to spare! The smile on her face was awesome! She was gleaming in the accomplishment she had just undertaken.
I figured that Emma and Beth would be coming in at 3:30. However, with the heat, most of the runners were coming in unusually long so I knew that I might be in for another nerve wreaking wait. It was becoming too warm and I knew that they would be pushing their limits. I made a couple of trips to check with Jasmin to see if they had made the cut-off, which they had. This meant that they would definitely be finishing.
Off in the distance I could see Emma and Beth coming over the rise. My eleven year old would be finishing her first half marathon. On the last quarter mile I saw them both pick up the pace to a quick run, with Emma and Beth finishing in 4 hours and 21 minutes.