This was an interesting and thoroughly difficult race to run. What’s cool about the race is that it’s actually inside Camp Pendleton military base, which I’ve never been to before. It was about a 40 minute drive and even longer wait to actually park once we got in. We were told to bring our ID and car registration to get through security, so I thought they were going to inspect my car for weapons and whatnot (like in the movies!). But they were pretty casual about it and just looked at my ID. What was also cool was that almost half of the runners at this race were people from the military (assuming active and non). They also marked our legs with our division (civilian vs military) and age. I’m trying to think about how this was a good thing, but am stumped. The night before the race, I looked at the previous year’s results and noticed that the top times for my age group weren’t too fast compared to my PR. I knew that this trail race had a few hills, but I was optimistic. Once the race started, all I was looking at was the back of runner’s legs! If it was a running not in my age group (it varies so pretty much anyone NOT in their 20’s), I’d let them pass me without even thinking twice about it. But after the first couple of miles, I was already getting exhausted from the hills, so I didn’t put much of a fight when someone in my AG did pass me..such a sad race strategy. Anyways, I was able to survive the race with a reasonable performance: 1:39:56 (7:19 min/mile), 7/38 AG, 117/1442. And I just now noticed the AG placing, I’m never satisfied!
There are a few things I can say about this course and the race itself. It’s an out an back course, which I’m never too fond of. You can see the elevation profile below, it was pretty tough, and when I hit the downhills at the very beginning of the course, I thought to myself, ‘this is not going to be fun to run at the end of the race!’ It’s up there on the list of hardest courses I’ve run, but definitely doesn’t beat Sidewinder Trail 10K or Dirt Devil 15K Trail Race (featured the Widow Maker!)
It wasn’t too hot out, but warm enough to make me take a drink at every water station. And even worse, after the race, I literally ate 4-5 WHOLE oranges in a row (they were sliced in halves). And I don’t even like oranges; I grew up with an orange tree, so I rarely eat them anymore. But it just shows how dehydrated I was during the race, definitely my fault for not drinking enough the day before and morning of. The splits are funny to look at, start off fast and strong, maintain a decent 7ish minute page for the next few miles and then 8+, you see fatigue set in and then energy stores depleted at mile 13. I didn’t even bother to sprint to the finish, kind of reminds me of my first half marathon, slower but not as big of a meltdown. But this is my typical race strategy, so it’s nothing new here; my fault for starting off too fast.
There are a few race pics I’ll post, the last one is interesting; in addition to looking like death, apparently I stop looking straight and am facing more upward, definitely not a good look! But that’s sort of how the girl behind me is running too so I’m thinking it’s normal for other runners too.