Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Into the Wild OC Trail Run - Recap

Things I learned tonight:

Sand is REALLY HARD to run in

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Small races really ARE my favorite
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Trail run finish lines are THE BEST EVER.
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I've been wanting to try some trail racing for awhile, but with marathon training taking over my life the last 6 months, I just didn't bother. Yeah, I ran on some trails a couple times, but no real training.

I wanted to find a low pressure race, inexpensive, and low mileage. What if I hated it? What if I sucked at it? I hate to invest a ton of time and cash on something new.

So when I found Into the Wild OC Trail Runs - 8k race, at a park on my way home from work, and for only $35 - I was on it.

After fueling up with some delicious stuff...
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I headed over to Irvine Regional Park, to find the packet pick up area. Heads up, if you're running Race 2 in the series, there were no signs for where to go - but head to the zoo. You can't miss the race area. Picking up my bag, race tee, and bib was super fast and easy, and there are real bathrooms in the parking area.
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I was running with Julie, and her foot is semi-injured-ish, so we lined up towards the back.
With a cowbell jingle, we started through the start line, down a bike path, before we hit the dirt.
I've never been to this park, so I didn't really know what to expect. Turns out, a LOT of the trails were loose gravel...
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and beachy like sand.
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So less than ideal for running.
There were a few climbs...
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...but nothing super crazy. We ran through some open scrub brush areas, some woodsy type areas, straight up beach sand, and then back out to the bike path for the end of the loop.

The course was well marked for the most part...
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not that way!
The only sketchy part was through a sand field, but I think it was my fault - should have just followed the ties, not watched for the white arrows in the sand (duh).

The scenery did not suck
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At the end, we passed everyone in our sights, including the dude who wore his camelback (why!? There were three aid stations!).

It was pretty much the most fun ever, and I'm totally in love with trail racing. I mean, while I was running, I'm pretty sure I told Julie I was never running this race again, with the sand and gravel and tiny boulder fields, but runnesia tells me otherwise, I'm really excited to try this again in a few weeks. I don't think the hills were anything unmanageable, and I think racing it a little bit might be fun.

TL;DR, the race was really well organized, the course well marked, trail runners are the nicest people in the world, and the swag was RAD.
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awesome tech tee AND a keychain medal!
If you don't mind slogging through some sand, highly recommend.

9 comments:

Taryn said...

This does sound awesome!! I wish there were more trail runs near my neck of the woods - the really good ones are about 3 hours away! :(

Alene Gone Bad said...

Good job! Trail running makes you stronger for the roads. Off to your "hood" this morning, close anyway. Should be in LA by early afternoon. Have a great weekend!

Bean said...

Trail looks so pretty and that is some pretty sweet stuff for a small race. Way to try something new:)!

stridingmom.com said...

I so need to try this out next time. I actually have a trail half in about 3 weeks. Methinks I'll be trying to get a sitter and join you!

Karen said...

Looks pretty! I love trail running so very very much, too :)

Mike said...

This was my third race with this event. They seem to be getting the hang of it, each race is getting better and better. Yesterdays run was hot but manageable, I carried my own water bottle so I wouldnt have to worry about the aid stations and did a lot better than I expected. See you at the next race.

Deirdre said...

How fun! Isn't trail running the best? I love it!!! I just put up a link to my last trail race on the SR post today. The Whoos in El Moro 25K and that race is running again in October, you should check it out. Seriously so much fun, I love everything about trail running!

Good job!

Lauren said...

Bravo! Sounds super fun. I like to carry my own water on trail races so that I don't have to stop at stations. Though, on short ones, I'll usually just carry a handheld.

chacha said...

Trail racing is way more fun than road racing. I like them equally, I think, because I still like to get on the road and be able to actually run fast (since trails, not so easy to run fast).

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