Mid-December as I was checking out race websites planning my 2012 race calendar I came across Brazen Races. I knew they hosted primarily trail runs and given that one of my goals for 2012 is some trail running I decided to see what they had to offer. As I was perusing the site I saw they had a NYE race and a New Years Day race and if you did both you got a really cool medal - even if you didn't do the half marathon. Motivated by bling I signed Kevin and I up for 10ks for both days.
My back, while better, is still not 100% and I am on my way to the doctor today to discuss some more options. However, race morning I felt pretty good but slightly nervous since I haven't run more than 5 miles in about two months.
The course was a out and back course - half paved trail and half packed dirt trail - running along Lake Chabot. Not having ever done trail running before I wasn't 100% sure what to expect but I knowing I was only doing this race for fun took pressure off.
The race started and we were off. The first mile and half was on the paved trail. Around mile 1.75 we ran over a little bridge and were on the dirt trail for the rest of the race until we hit the bridge on the way back.
Right at mile 2 we hit a fairly good size hill - that kept going, and going and going - for about 1.2 miles. I had looked at the elevation chart but guess I was picturing a hill that was more like the ones that can be found in the Nike Women's half. In my opinion this one was way steeper than any of the hills in that race. I ran the first 1/4 mile but some points were so steep I ended up walking most of it but I wasn't alone, everyone around me was too. Despite the climb, the top provided fantastic views - I wish I would have taken a picture.
At the top was a water station stocked with not only water/Gatorade, etc but fruit, pretzels, gummy bears and other yummy snacks. I was so impressed as I had never seen this for a running event before.
It was fun to fly down the hill on the way back. It was precarious at points but I love a good down hill. Once we were down the hill it was an easy 1.75 miles on paved trail back to the finish.
Distance: 6.37 miles
Time: 1:11:48/11:16 min/mile avg
Distance: 6.2 miles
Chip Time: 1:13:01/11:45 min/mile avg
New Years Day 5k
As I mentioned above, originally I had planned to do two 10ks but I think that climbing that hill threw my back for a loop because it was not happy Sunday morning despite my attempts to stretch it around. I decided to drop to the 5k. Like I said, these races were for fun, not time, and there was no sense in pushing myself farther when I didn't need to.
We had a fairly mellow NYE, fun, but mellow so I woke up feeling just fine. The 5k course was the paved portion of the 10k so I knew exactly what to expect.
Once we started my back was pretty angry so I focused on trying to keep a slow (i.e. not a 5k race pace) and steady pace. Once I settled in I felt a little better but was not regretting the decision to only do the 5k.
Time: 35:14/10:32 min/mile avg
At the finish both days they had quite the abundance of snacks - the standard
bagels, oranges, bananas but also pies, a candy table, hot chocolate,
coffee and ice cream sandwiches! Not wanting to "ruin" my workout I
only took some hot chocolate but the organization of this race was
beyond amazing and the fact they give you a medal no matter what
distance you do it pretty cool too. The prices were also completely
reasonable despite the little extras. I will definitely do more Brazen Races in the future!
Of course, I got what I came for - my medals! One for each race and then a third connector piece to make one large medal.
Both runs were a really fun, and different, way to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012! Hope your new year started off with a bang!