There are three weekends left in the year, and only two races to run to complete our 52-race challenge this year! And so it is time to get race #51 in the history books…
We decided that #51 would be the ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes 10k in Fremont, CA. This is the fourth or fifth time this year we’ve run a race organized by the Coastal Trail Runs folks, which made it an easy choice — they run nice, mid-sized races that are well-organized, have a great vibe, and also nice medals and shirts!
It’s also the third time we’ve run at Quarry Lakes this year, including recently for Race #49 and also for Race #21. When you run 52 races in a year, there’s bound to be a few visits to the same locations (I’m also looking at you Hellyer Park and Vasona Lake).
Anyway, this was a fine 10k race. We didn’t run it too hard, and finished in 48 minutes and change. It was *cold* for California — probably just a few degrees above freezing at the start, and with a relatively stiff breeze off the lakes chilling everyone. The race itself was half on dirt trails (which I prefer) and half on asphault / pavement (which I don’t). But all of the race was pretty flat and friendly, and the scenery nice under any conditions.
So, that’s 51 races done, and 51 race reports written. Just one more race, and one more race report for the year! If anyone is actually reading this, I appreciate you being along for the journey! Onward to the 52nd and final race!
We took it a little slower in this race. It was freezing at the start, enough for me to pull on the running gloves. We sat on a pretty gentle pace until the last mile, and then picked it up and brought it home — some guy was racing me, and I decided he needed to be thrashed at the finish line.
The race itself was at Quarry Lakes, a nice little park with a few lakes in Fremont, CA. We’ve run here once already this year in Race #21: The Zoom Quarry Lakes 5k. This time around there was probably five times as many people, and the parking lot was full. Brazen Racing is turning into quite a crowd puller indeed.
Anyway, we’re both feeling great about being well-and-truly on track with the racing. It’s been a tough few weeks to get back on schedule, but 52 races is now within sight!
There’s a monster 20,000+ Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving in downtown San Jose. We ran it last year and, frankly, once per lifetime is plenty. This year we ran the smaller Zoom Turkey Trot 10k and that’s more our cup of tea. Either way, It’s a good idea to go into calorie deficit on Thanksgiving!
We didn’t talk too much about pacing before we started, and I decided to pick it up a little out of the gate. The 4th and 5th miles were a little tough as a result — but we still did a pretty nice time of just over 46 minutes. All up, a nice way to spend the morning!
That’s race 48 done, and now there’s just 4 to go to reach our goal of 52 races this year!
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.
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!
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.
We’ll definitely be back. Anyway, for now, that’s 45 races done in our quest to run 52 this year!
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.
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.
Just 14 races to go to reach our goal of 52 races in 2015! So far, we’ve raised nearly $43,000 and I know we’ve raised awareness of both Guillane-Barre Syndrome and the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’d like to be part of helping beat GBS and help folks in need, head over here.
Race 38 was a tough one. At least for me. My trust running buddy didn’t find it quite as hard, and beat me by a minute or so. The pictures tell the complete story.
The race was a trail run at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, though we didn’t see any water on our run. Indeed, it’s pretty dry up there, similarly to the rest of California right now. Picture dry dirt trails, undulation, and views out over rolling hills in every direction. A nice place for a run.
I’m not quite sure what was up with me, but I found the race tough from the start. I willed my way through it, and it sure felt like I’d run a lot further than the 6.4 miles or so (the “10k races” trail races are often a little over 6.2 miles).
Anyway, as always, I highly recommend trail running and the Brazen Racing series. Always good vibes, good medals, good shirts, and most importantly some of the nicest places in California for a race.
We heard down the grapevine that the Rocky Ridge 10k was a tough grind. And the rumors were true — while it’s always magnificent to run Brazen’s races, this was one of the tougher ones. (I can only imagine how hard the half marathon is — maybe that’s a project for next year.)
The race started with a single track, undulating cruise through woods, and short return back down a fire road. And then the fun began — a 1,000 foot climb over 1 mile up onto the aforementioned Rocky Ridge.
I always say to Selina that “Williams’s don’t stop”. The reality is I’ve probably walked maybe six times since 1992, and usually for pretty good reasons; there was the time I’d given blood and that other time when I was dizzy and the world span. Well, make that seven times — there’s no way I could run that 1,000 ft climb.
Once we were up on top of the Rocky Ridge, the views were magnificent. The fog filled the valleys, and a gorgeous day spread out in front of us. If I wasn’t so darn keen to get the race finished, I’d have taken a photo or three. You’ll just have to use your imagination.
The end result was (as usual) Selina won her age group, and I didn’t. I’m pretty sure I was 4th in mine, and power to the guys who beat me! We’ll be back running this one next year — in fact, I think I’ll retire from running road races and stick with the trails in 2016.