Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Trailquake 2014 - Magnitude 8.8 on the Fun Scale!

Having lived in the East Bay and having direct access to Mount Diablo and the Oakland Hills, we really have not branched out in running in the South Bay or the Peninsula.  So on a whim, as well as a way to kick our butts into gear, we signed up for Brazen Racing’s Trailquake Races.  Emma and I would run the 10K and Beth would run the 5K with our younger kids, Sophie and Myles.

For me, Beth, and the girls, this really was a bit of a whim.  Beth and I have been recovering from various and sundry injuries and illnesses with Beth on a 4 month hiatus and myself 2 month hiatus. For me, this has also led to a 15 pound weight gain. For Emma and Sophie, for some strange reason (only because it is a California School testing anomaly) did not run in P.E. for the second half of the year.

And while most of the family has really embraced the running lifestyle, our son Myles has not really enjoyed running.  In fact, it has been a challenge for him not to end the race in tears.  In fact, he has missed the last two races because he was sick.  Now at 7 years of age, and being healthy, how would he do?

Located in Sanborn County Park on the San Andreas Trail, it is a stone’s throw away from Saratoga, we were treated to what I would have to say is one beautiful but challenging course.  

The first 2.25 miles was a fun climb through a redwood forest with over 1,800 feet of elevation gain.    Most of this run was on single track, so at times you would have to yield to a downhill runner.   We definitely were not going for our PR’s which would be difficult to do on this course in normal running shape, so the occasional stop and start was not a problem.

The downhill was, though, what I was looking forward to the most.  With 4 miles of moderately technical downhill trail, the quads were going to be taxed.  Emma was struggling to some degree and took a header half way down.  Being the good papa that I am, I was a quarter mile a head of her and had no idea until I stopped so she could catch up.  Like a trouper, she had picked herself up and kept on going.  Needless to say I kept her in my sights the rest of the run down.

In the end I would have to say this is now one of my favorite 10K courses.  We finished the 10K in a “I am happy with it” 1:55.  I say that finish knowing that the person who one finished a full hour before.  

That said, I caught an interesting exchange with the 10K winner and his not so happy, I assume father.  It seems that his father was not too happy with his 10K time at 54 minutes and continued to chide his son for the failure.  Clearly there needs to be an education on what Trail running as well as course differences on performance.  Oh well.

For Myles, this was his best run ever!  Always a kid we have to drag, at this race we found him deciding that he would run downhill ahead of his mother and sister by himself!  No complaints with the uphill either.  Hopefully we have turned a corner.  In fact he said he had so much fun he is ready for a 10K….we’ll have to wait a bit until he has a few more 5K’s under his belt before I feel comfortable with that.

It was a good run for Beth and Sophie also. Sophie found her running buddy, Bylthe, at this race and kept with her until the finish.  She also loved the technical aspects of this trail.  Beth will have a complete recap of the 5K on her blog, you can find it here.

So while this is the farthest we will probably drive for a race, it was definitely worth it.  We are already talking about doing it next year.

And thank you Allen and the other Brazen Volunteers for the pictures!

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