Tag Archives: brazen

Race #15: Brazen Racing Mt Diablo Trail Challenge

What a crazy week! International travel wears you down. But it is truly amazing to fall off the plane and into a race — and trail running is good for the soul. Doubly so at the magnificent Mt Diablo.

Ready for the start of the Brazen Racing Mt Diablo Trail Challenge 5k
Ready for the start of the Brazen Racing Mt Diablo Trail Challenge 5k

We ran the Brazen Racing Mt Diablo Trail Challenge on Sunday morning, and that’s race #15 in the books. We’re well on the way to 52 races in 52 weeks to raise awareness for the GBS/CIDP Foundation, and $52,000 to help people who suffer from Guillane-Barre Syndrome and related conditions. If you’d like to be part of helping, you can head over here and donate.

Any normal week, we’d run the 10k or contemplate the half marathon. But with the trip to Australia and back this week, we made the smart choice and ran the 5k. It’s a great little run — out and back on a sandy trail, with three or four creek crossings, and a little bit of agile scrambling over smooth rocks. We were warned that our feet would get wet, and that was very true — the third creek had probably half a foot of water in it and was a few yards across. Navigating a creek at speed is a challenge, but it sure beats pounding asphalt on some city street somewhere. Ah, trail running!

The start of the 5k at the Mt Diablo Trail Challenge
The start of the 5k at the Mt Diablo Trail Challenge

I ran into first place in my age group, and 8th overall. That’s more of a testament to the fact that the serious runners were in the 10k and the half-marathon. Selina, my speedy wife, came 2nd overall in the women’s division and also first in her age group. Not bad after an international flight, nothing to sniff at.

Selina crossing the line, 2nd in the women's division
Selina crossing the line, 2nd in the women’s division

If you haven’t run trails, and you enjoy running, give it a try. You’ll thank me. And, if you’re in NorCal, give Brazen Racing a serious look. They put on the best organized races around, in beautiful settings, and with amazing medals and shirts. The food is awesome too.

Alright, see you next week. I’m planning two races this weekend, let’s see how that goes…

Race 8: Brazen Racing Hellyer County Park 10k

We started this fundraiser seventeen days ago, and fifty-three people have helped us reach $6,150 for the GBS/CIDP Foundation.

Working up a small hill at the Hellyer 10k
Working up a small hill at the Hellyer 10k

It’s an amazing start and they’re amazing people — but we’ve still got a long way to go to get to our goal of $52,000 in 2015. I’d be thrilled if you’d join in donating — just head over to http://igg.me/at/fiftytwofives and then give us a Like over at http://facebook.com/fiftytwofives.

Race medals and bibs. The Hellyer bib is in the middle at the top, number 2862.
Race medals and bibs. The Hellyer bib is in the middle at the top, number 2862.

Today’s race was the Brazen Racing Hellyer 10k. It was time to step up from the 5ks to a 10k, and see what we could do. It turns out that the 10k distance is pretty competitive — I came 21st overall with a time of 46:46, and that only got me 5th place in my age group. My speedy wife Selina came 1st in her age group, and 5th overall in the women’s division.

The Hellyer 10k. A lap around the lake, and then an out-and-back on the paved trail
The Hellyer 10k. A lap around the lake, and then an out-and-back on the paved trail

While Brazen Racing is best known for their trail runs, this was a flat and fast run on a shared walking and cycling paved trail. The race starts with a lap around a small lake, and then it’s an out-and-back on the paved trail for the remaining five miles. The last mile and half was a little crazy — I was cranking along passing tens of the 5k runners who were mid-pack, and dodging hundreds of the back-of-the-pack 5k runners coming the other way. Kind of like playing chicken, except I weigh more than a chicken and I’m racing like a NASCAR truck.

All up, a fun race and it felt good. I can’t decide whether or not to race tomorrow. Let’s see how the legs feel in the morning.

I’ll update the post with photos when they’re published.

 

 

Race 5: Bay Breeze 5k

I’m 9.6% of the way through 52 races in 2015. Only 5.3% of the way through the fundraising for the work of the GBS/CIDP Foundation — but that’s only the first week! I know it’s hard to find time and that you want to donate — so please help me out. And give me a Like over at http://facebook.com/fiftytwofives

Running the Bay Breeze 5k. A gorgeous day for a race in San Leandro, right on the San Fran Bay.
Running the Bay Breeze 5k. A gorgeous day for a race in San Leandro, right on the San Fran Bay.

I ran race 1 in 21 minutes, 32 seconds. Race 2 in 21:21. Race 3 in 21:06. For a 5’9″ guy who’s 45 and who has legs like tree trunks, I’m moving. Kind of like the NASCAR truck series.

Race 5 was the Brazen Bay Breeze, a flat and fast course. Beautiful day by the Bay. Not a cloud. Not a breeze (false advertising I guess).  Great crowd — hundreds of runners in the 5k. I was ready, so was Selina. It was Valentines Day, and every couple at least starts Valentines Day happy. You get the setup — this is going to a fast time, right? (By the way, the girl who sells us flowers at the Farmer’s Market works in the service industry — she says over her years working in restaurants, she sees more couples arguing over dinner on Valentines Day than any other day of the year.)

Oh sorry. Anyway, I ran 31 minutes, 37 seconds. About 10 minutes slower than the first four races of the year. I wasn’t actually supposed to be running — the doctor said no strenuous exercise for a week. I had surgery on Monday — so it was more of a shuffle than a run. I recommend it — running slow, not surgery — it’s nice to smell the roses, look around at the beautiful Bay Area, chat while you run, and have no pressure to get faster.  Don’t tell my doctor. I’ll be faster next week.

Crossing the finish line in a blistering time of 31 minutes and change.
Crossing the finish line in a blistering time of 31 minutes and change.

The race was one of the Brazen Racing series. These guys put on a great show — packet pickup is fast, the races start on time, the courses are marked carefully, they take *free* photos, they have the best medals in the business, and the food afterwards is amazing. Most of their races are hard, in state parks on trails, and with climbs that burn your legs. This race wasn’t like that, it’s probably their flattest and fastest, and their most urban and accessible to everyone. Throw in Valentines Day, and you get a crowd of thousands running the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon.

Starting the 5k at the Brazen Bay Breeze
Starting the 5k at the Brazen Bay Breeze

Oh, what was the surgery? if you donate $100 and ask me, I’ll tell you 🙂

Several amazing people donated to my campaign this week. Thank you to (in order of donation): Nate Lyman, Luis Gaitan (best limo service in the Bay Area),  Prathibha Alam, Jay Weiler, Katy Chu, Antoine El Daher, Mike Mathieson, Angela Lau, Oliver Hurst-Hiller, Brian Johnson, Wilson Pang, Gene Cook, and Matt Madrigal. You guys are amazing.

Please donate — help people who are debilitated by GBS and its related conditions. It’s a great cause. See you next time.