|Finishing the Crystal Springs 50k|
It's been a while since I felt fit and fast thanks to my stress fracture last year, but I'm just about getting there again...just in time for Rocky Raccoon 100 at the end of January. I find that a marathon or faster 50k is a great way to test fitness, ideally three to four weeks before a target race. So I ran the Crystal Springs 50k again this year, just like I did last year before Rocky Raccoon. Thanks to a wrong turn on the way back I had 3 mins added to my finish time (I accidentally shaved off 0.3 miles taking the marathon turn-off on my return instead of back-tracking the full orange ultra route - see the difference here and I think that's very fair of the RD). Full results here.
There are so many races and trails in the Bay Area that the number of races to choose from is almost overwhelming. However, the plus side is that every single local trail race I've ever done here is excellent so it's difficult to make a bad choice. Crystal Springs is a flatter, faster 50k with only 4,500ft of elevation gain and it's a typically pretty course for this area too - check out Scott Dunlap's photos from the weekend here. I managed to high five him along the way and he's also preparing for Rocky Raccoon (where he has a very good chance of becoming the USATF National Champion for 100 miles).
I also want to take advantage of the local races before heading back to Bend, OR, in April for a more permanent base. In the five years I've lived in the US I've been in the Bay Area 50% of the time and Oregon the other 50%. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather live.
Bring on 2015, especially with my new kicks from Altra which feel so good. Am looking forward to running 100-milers in them (the Lone Peaks), since that's the real test.
Altra Lone Peak 2.0 shoes
UltrAspire Isometric water bottle
UVU technical T-shirt
Drymax Maximum Protection Trail socks
Julbo Venturi shades
Clif Bar gels and Shot Bloks