Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Race Report: ITR Berkeley Trail Adventure

This past weekend was a pretty standard weekend of running one day and cycling on the other.  I had 17 miles on the schedule for CIM training but was also invited to run Inside Trail Racing's Berkley Trail Adventure 1/2 Marathon for Paulette's birthday.  Perfect way to celebrate a birthday if you ask me.

With the race not starting until 9:00 am, Layla came over before we headed over to Berkeley and we were able to get in 4 road miles prior to the race to get our 17 miles needed for the day. 

4 miles/37:02/9:15 avg

As we got to the start on the race I instantly remembered I had raced a 30k here earlier in the year and it had been hard.  I had glanced at the elevation chart before I registered but since this race was "for fun" I hadn't been too concerned with the race map or elevation chart.

We met up with Paulette, her husband, and another friend and made our way to the starting line.  Just as we got there we saw Cate and her husband about to start the 35k.  Always fun to run into other running friends.

The course was pretty much uphill for the first 4 miles before a pretty technical decent into the first aid station at 4.8.  I was keeping up with Layla for the first 2 miles when I suddenly just felt exhausted and let her go on as I was stopping to have to walk up some of the hills.  My stomach was grumbling and I knew I was just out of energy.  Despite knowing I had 17 miles to run the next day I just wasn't hungry Friday night and probably didn't eat as much as I should have or fueled enough after the first four miles.  I took a Gu and kept pressing forward hoping it would kick in soon.

I took these right before the technical decent into the first aid station.  While it was slightly warmer than expected if it had been cool and foggy we wouldn't have gotten to enjoy these beautiful views. 

On the way down I heard a familiar voice behind me - Paulette and her friend had caught up to me.  Once we got to the aid station I was able to drink some coke and get some real food in me.  It must have been the combination of the food finally kicking in and having some people to run with because as we made our way up the next hill I felt my energy coming back.  Soon enough we were at the top and about to begin my favorite part of the course on the Bay Area Ridge Trail and the East Bay Skyline Trail. 

We could see the Bay Bridge, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from up there!  The next few miles were really fun as we were virtually alone on the trail.

Pretty soon we were back at the aid station and starting to make our way back up that hard technical descent we went down.  I wasn't sure what was harder - the up or the down.

Photo courtesy of Paulette's friend Sophia.
Once we reached the top of the hill it was pretty much downhill from there back to the start - a positive thing to come out of all the uphill at the beginning!

Photo courtesy of Layla.
13.1 miles/2800 feet of elevation/3:04:26/14:12 avg

Total: 17.1 miles/3:41:28/13:00 avg

Inside Trails always has a great spread of food set up at the end of the race.  Also, instead of medals they hand out mugs.  We chatted for a bit over the food and grabbed our mugs before heading over to Pyramid Brewery in Berekely for a birthday lunch and delicious Sprinkles cupcakes.

It wasn't my fastest race ever but despite it being tough it was a beautiful course with lots of single track, shaded trails and beautiful views we were lucky to see.  Moreover, it was a great way to celebrate a friends birthday.

Happy Birthday Paulette!
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  1. This race looks amazing, I would have loved to have done it except for HMB the next day! You look SO good in your race photos too! 2014, this is on my shortlist!

    1. Aww, thanks! You should do it! It is tough but very beautiful. Coastal Trails does this race in the Spring if you are looking for something sooner.


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