Saturday, January 30, 2010

Brazen Racing - Bear Creek 10k Trail Run

These are my shoes at the end of the run today. Poor things, they were put through a lot.

Let's back up a little, shall we?

Aron, aka runner's rambles, signed up to do Bear Creek Trail Half Marathon/10K/5K Winter Edition a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I'd like to sign up too. She was going to do the half marathon but I only wanted to do the 10K. I met Katie in a park-n-ride in Walnut Creek and we waited for Aron to show up. Once she did, we all drove over to Briones Regional Park East Bay Regional Park District in my car.

Aron, Katie, Me

Their race started 20 minutes before mine so I wished them well and off they went!

The race directors sent us several emails over the past week, warning us of the impending mud and course changes that had to be done because of it. It rained here pretty good last night so I guess that was why the mud was a very wet mud. I understand Katie actually got her shoe sucked off by the mud. I know mine almost did, more than once.

I couldn't help but laugh at all the runners as they tried to get up this hill. It was between mile one and two of the 10K course. It was the worst of all hills! I think this mile alone took about 30 minutes to complete. A lot of people had regular road running shoes and I saw several that looked brand new.

Top of the hill, still smiling! Actually, I was laughing. I was having such a blast, even though I was by myself.

The views were incredible. You could see miles in every direction.

The course itself was mostly on open fire roads (not my favorite) but there were some areas that were covered. I imagine in the summer it can get pretty darn hot out here. A couple of my friends ran this same race last summer and it was over 100 degrees. They said it was pretty miserable.

Still smiling!

Even when the road was flat, it was still difficult to run because of the mud. I had to watch every step I placed. I never knew if it was going to sink or be firm. The course was very well marked but it is challenging to have to watch your footing and also look for colored ribbons to follow. I had to call two women back down from a hill because they totally missed a turn through a cattle gate.
After the second aid station, we had about a mile to go. FINALLY, we ran into some single track trails. And boy was it pretty!!

I was doing pretty good through here, it was mostly flat and I was able to run just off the mud part. I was flying by people here. We got to the six mile marker. YES, 2/10 of a mile to go and I HAVEN'T FALLEN yet. With 1/10 of a mile to go, BAM, down I go. Crap! It was on a downhill single track that was super slick. I started sliding, then I did the splits and slammed down on my left side with my hand breaking my fall. I bounced back up and was fine but I couldn't believe I fell that close to the finish.
Then came the reward. Yup, they had donuts at the finish. Yippee! And they had my favorite kind - white frosting with sprinkles. How lucky am I?!

Before the race started I was thinking I would probably finish in 1:30 because I usually average 15 min/mile on trails. I knew after the second mile that wasn't going to happen. I could only hope to be finished in under two hours. My finish time was 1:50. I'll take that!
I changed into some dry pants and shoes and waited for Aron and Katie to finish the half marathon. I was thrilled to see them come around the corner with HUGE smiles on their faces.
Fun day was had by all.
Until later.............


Southbaygirl said...

sounds like a very fun day!!! Gotta love caking on the mud!!! You are a donut fiend! I love it!

RunningLaur said...

As always, such fantastic single track pictures - it looks like paradise! Great work battling through the mud, and earning thy donut!

Lisa said...

beautiful,beautiful, beautiful

expect for your shoes. lol

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

It looks like a blast! I'm glad you had a great run!

Thanks for the advice.

Glenn Jones said...

Great photos JoLynn. Thanks for sharing.

It's intresting - around here in OC, all of the wilderess park are usually closed for a couple days after a rainstorm to keep the trails from being torn up by hikers and mountain bikes. n fact, the Crystal Cove Xterra has been postponed twice becuase of rain.

Hmmm. Can't be all bad. A race with donuts at the finish? My kind of race!

Looney said...

Nice pictures. The mud is one of the joys of the East Bay Hills this time of year!

Kristi said...

That's some serious mud! Nice job. And I love the reward....mmmm....donuts.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Aweosme pictures as always! Great job on the trail run, having seen some of them with you, I can only imagine how slick they'd be when wet!

Karen said...

Great commentary and pictures! I did the 10K too and had a really fun time - I think a lot of folks didn't know what to expect, but it was actually one of those races you'll always remember! Thanks!

Kristi said...

Hey Jo Lynn....thanks for stopping by my blog....I'm always up for meeting new folks to swim/bike/run with! Drop me a line at kmahadocon at yahoo dot com if you're interested in some company. I even take my pup out to Garin occasionally if you want hiking company. :)

Mandy Lou said...

It was a great run, but after seeing your pics I'm glad I opted for the 5k! My shoes weren't quite as bad, but I did stumble on the way up that last hill - he said most of us would fall and he was right :)

Katie A. said...

I don't remember you telling me you fell near the end! OH MY GOSH! I LOVE your pics and commentary, too1 You are so right, that first mile was brutal with the mud, but sooo worth it! :)
Sooo glad I got to meet you and hang out - we have to do it again really, really soon!

Katie A. said...

I just have to say, I was reading through a few of your other posts and I LOVE how you take pics of you and Boomer! LOVE it!

aron said...

haha SUCH a fun day!!! crazy and messy but so fun :) so glad we got to do another trail race together!!

Irene said...

That's some serious mud! Looks like a complete blast, though!

the said...

It was so fun--felt like a day in "Survivor"--groping up the hills and grasping for branches and tree trunks to break your fall!