Along with some background info on my training and the Off Road Pursuits Endurance Team, this is my race report from the inaugural San Diego Trail Marathon that I ran on Saturday, January 19th 2013 in the San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hodges in Escondido, CA.
Off Road Pursuits Endurance TeamOff Road Pursuits race director, Paul Jesse, is a great friend of mine. In the fall of 2012, he asked me to be a member of his Endurance Team along with his wife Carrie and our friends Jess Downer, Dax Ross and Carlyn Peterson. These are all friends who I’ve shared many adventures with, including the first run of the JTree Traverse in May. Skinfit USA also signed on as our official gear sponsor. We all work really well together as a team, and I’m so excited for the adventures we have planned this season.
|Post-Jtree Traverse [left to right] Paul, Toby (me), Dax, Jess, Carlyn and Ben Horne (5/26/80 - 7/13/12)|
The San Diego Trail Marathon and 50 Mile Ultra MarathonWith the addition of the San Diego Trail Marathon and 50 Mile Ultra Marathon, local runners can push their limits in their own backyard. This event is one of the more mellow off-road courses you’ll find compared to the mountainous terrain common to the majority of ultra events in San Diego County. Off Road Pursuits even offered course preview talks and runs in the months leading up to the event, so registered participants and friends could familiarize themselves with the course.
Both races start from the east end of the San Dieguito River Park on Bandy Canyon Rd. off the 78 in Escondido and head west towards Lake Hodges. The 50-mile race starts earlier and keeps going past the lake to Black Mountain and then all the way back. The Trail Marathon turns around earlier [near the marina] and heads back. Both courses climb Raptor Ridge from the back on the way out and the steep front on the return to the finish.
My race day experience was all very positive. I do wish I could have raced the 50-Mile option because it goes through the beautiful Del Dios Gorge trail, crossing over the river bed on bridges and running along the steep cliff sides. I was pretty sick for 9 days straight at the beginning of January, which threw off my training so I opted for the marathon this time around.
Despite being sick, I still managed to fit in a long run of 12 miles, 2 weeks out and 17 miles the weekend before the race. I also kept up with the 30 runs in 30 days program, which I started on 1/1/2013 so the marathon was my nineteenth consecutive day running for a minimum of 30 minutes.
My main goal for this race was to finish with enough in my tank to go on to complete the full 30 runs in 30 days program, which meant I needed to stay within myself and my training and not push as if this was an “A” race.
Race ReportThe start was cold, around 38 degrees, and I wore my Off Road Pursuits Endurance Team Skinfit Aero Shirt with arm warmers, Skinfit running gloves and the Skinfit Vento vest over top. I took off the vest and gloves on the climb up Raptor Ridge. Dax, Corey and Chris were at the first aid station and I just cruised on through carrying everything I needed for the event in my Salomon S-Labs 12 race vest.
|Proudly sponsored by Skinfit USA|
|Running under highway 15|
|Great trails along Lake Hodges|
I finished in 4 hours, 11 minutes which was good for 18th overall and 4th in my age group. To keep this in perspective, the winner ran 3 hours, 3 minutes. I was most pleased with the way my legs kept turning over the entire day, a direct result of the 30 runs in 30 days program. I did experience noticeable fatigue in my lungs and cardio system from mile 19 on, which I can attribute to the 9 days of severe congestion and coughing earlier this month. All things considered, I’m happy with my performance and really excited to have started 2013 on such a positive note.
|Photo courtesy of Paul Hassett|
Runners also received a long-sleeve navy blue tech shirt with large logo across the back and a race medal that doubles as a keychain bottle opener. 50-mile finishers took home a commemorative pint glass.
Be sure to check back for my next post documenting my experience with 30 runs in 30 days.