Category Archives: races

Race #45: Whiskey Hill Redwood Run 10k

Selina’s been saying the past week that this was her favorite race of the year. She may well be right (and we’ve got 44 other races to compare it to this year). It’s hard to beat running on trails in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains.

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The morning began cold and rainy, but the sun broke through just before we started racing — and that made it just a beautiful day to be running in Huddart Park near Woodside. The race itself was almost a reverse loop of a race we’d run before, but it smartly stayed off the roads and added in an extra mile or so of trails. Just a tweak, but it made it a special race!

There she goes again
There she goes again

This was a tough one, but we don’t mind that. There was well over 1,000 feet of climb, and it pretty much all happened in the first mile and a half. That warms up the legs pretty fast on a cold day.

About to start
About to start

We’ll definitely be back. Anyway, for now, that’s 45 races done in our quest to run 52 this year!

 

Race #44: Race to the Flagpole 5k

“Seline, what time do we need to leave for the Lake Merced race?” I asked. “Let me check” says Selina, sipping her coffee and fiddling with the laptop. “Um, it’s tomorrow!” she says. Well, I’m glad we didn’t drive up to SF for that one, then…

The start of the Race to the Flagpole 5k. I'm not sure why I was smiling...
The start of the Race to the Flagpole 5k. I’m not sure why I was smiling…

So, a scramble starts to find a race that starts this Saturday morning. And we find one — it’s over in Livermore, just over the hills east of San Jose. Off we go, and we arrive about 15 minutes before the start of the 5k, just as the 10k starts. Registration is fast (pro tip: if you turn up at the last minute, everyone else is parked, registered, and generally things are quiet). And we’re off to the start line.

Selina crossing the line
Selina crossing the line

This was a fun little race. Probably 60% on a flat dirt trail through a park, and 40% on pavement. Pretty quick little course, but probably not quick enough to set a real time. Anyway, I was happy with a 22:38 with no warmup and the body feeling a little creaky. Selina beat me though, she’s getting faster and I’m not. Sigh.

And now I'm bringing up the rear
And now I’m bringing up the rear

That’s race 44 done, and just 8 to go in our 52 race challenge. Onward!

Race #43: Save Mount Diablo Trails Challenge 10k

The Brazen Racing Save Mount Diablo Trails Challenge 10k has hills. If you like steep hills, this is the race for you.

Cruising along at the start
Cruising along at the start

Selina and I started out at a steady but slow pace, and picked it up as the race went along. Some days, it’s hard to stick to the mental promise of “let’s just cruise it today”, and this was one of those days. Put it this way, the last mile was at 7:37 pace, and that’s reasonably quick for (a) my middle-age (b) my body type (c) a trail race and (d) a 10k race.

I love the smiles as Selina pips this guy at the line
I love the smiles as Selina pips this guy at the line

Anyway, I’ve digressed. This was a fun race in a beautiful setting, and a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. What’s more, that’s 43 races completed in our 52-race challenge.

Strava shows you the hills and the pace. Steep!
Strava shows you the hills and the pace. Steep!

 

Race #42: Stanford Race against PH 5k

Today was race 42 on our way to 52 races in 2015! I’m sure you’ve been following along, and I’m sure you know we’re raising awareness and funds for the GBS/CIDP Foundation.  If you’re new to our fundraiser, it’s easy to get onboard: just head on over here.

Getting started!
Getting started!

Today we ran in support of the Stanford Race against Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). I learnt about PH today, and it’s one of those conditions (similarly to GBS) that’s hard to diagnose, not well understood, and needs medical research and raised awareness. I felt good running for a cause, and also raising the awareness for our cause too. It’s also fun to run around the magnificent Stanford campus!

We also ran yesterday, and the body was a little bit tired from that and Halloween celebrations last night. So, no records were smashed today, though we did pick up the pace toward the end. Out of the 750 finishers, we placed 96th and 97th. Not too competitive, but faster than a jog for sure.

Well, that’s 42 races in the history books. That means there’s only 10 races to go — join me in counting them down, and counting down every dollar toward our goal of $52,000!

Race #41: ZombieRunner Halloween 5 miler

I’d never run in a costume. Now I have. We got in the spirit of Halloween on Halloween morning, and cranked out a 5 mile race as race 41 on our way to 52 races this year. As you know, we’re raising awareness for the GBS/CIDP Foundation and trying very hard to raise funds for folks in need. You can be part of our team by heading over here.

Yes, we were egg and bacon. And our friend Kelly was a beer. A perfect breakfast for some...
Yes, we were egg and bacon. And our friend Kelly was a beer. A perfect breakfast for some…

Race 41 was the ZombieRunner 5 mile race in Campbell to Vasona Lake and back. I’ve run these trails hundreds of times, it’s one of the places I always go for a quiet training run and to listen to a few tunes while I run. I’ve also raced these trails more than a few times, from every different direction and from a variety of starting and finishing places.

The race was well organized, well attended, and had a fun Halloween vibe. Power to the people who wore costumes — and a gentle boo to those who took it too seriously on a festive day. I’m saying that since I think we were the first finishers dressed in costume. At least, we were definitely the first food over the finish line. And there was a lot of food — people dressed as beer, tacos, and much more.

Just one more race until we’re at 42 races for the year, and then we can count down from 10 to our goal of 52!

Race #40: Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series 7.6 miler

Best race of the year. Hands down. And Selina agrees! What a way to celebrate hitting the milestone of 40 races on our way to 52 races to raise awareness for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’d like to help someone deal with GBS, it’s pretty easy: just head on over here.

Hey, that's Ross Comer! We were pleasantly surprised to see Ross out on the trails taking photos. He was one of the first folks to get on board and sponsor our fundraiser.
Hey, that’s Ross Comer! We were pleasantly surprised to see Ross out on the trails taking photos. He was one of the first folks to get on board and sponsor our fundraiser.

I’m not so old that I can’t be ever-so-slightly spontaneous. We decided just a couple of days before this magnificent race in Seattle that we’d jump on a plane, head up to where we used to live, and experience the race for ourselves. And, of course, we took the chance of catching up with friends and supporters of our fundraising and running adventures: thanks again to Sean and Rebecca for their hospitality in Seattle, and Ross for the photos!

Catching up with Sean after the race.
Catching up with Sean after the race.

This 7.6 mile run through Cougar Mountain is reasonably tough. Lots of up and down, and a pretty technical single track trail with plenty of roots, rocks, branches, and leaves. But it’s so beautiful that you’ll barely notice — it’s just such a wonderful place to spend a Sunday morning, and the running crowd had an incredible vibe. I’ll remember this one for a long time — or just come back soon and run it again! Awesome.

Race #39: Run to Send a Girl to School 5k

When you’ve run a tough race yesterday, you’re looking for the local 5k the next day. That’s the way we play it when we’re 39 races into our 52 race challenge to raise fund and awareness for the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’d like to be part of helping solve the puzzle of GBS and help people in need, head on over here.

Lining up at the start of the small, first annual Race to Send a Girl to School 5k
Lining up at the start of the small, first annual Race to Send a Girl to School 5k

We decided to head over and support Dir Biyabir and their first annual run to send a girl to school in Ethiopia.  The race was small, pretty well organized, and exactly the same course as the Moonlight 5k.

We started off slow, warmed it up slightly, and came home with a reasonable last mile. I’m pretty sure Selina was the 2nd female over the line.

If there’s a second annual race, I’d recommend coming on down and enjoying the nice, small, friendly atmosphere of this one.