1) The trail markers were vandalized and volunteers got up super early to fix this so we could have a safe and fun race. What nice people, right?
2) They had lightly flavored or unflavored electrolyte drinks instead of Gatorade. They also had plenty of yummy snacks.
3) SWAG. I got a hat, a shirt, a wine glass (right?) and medal. For a 10k this is pretty awesome bang for your registration buck.
The race is in the Oakland Hills which I have run before during my half-marathon last year during the Cinderella Trail Run. They are absolutely beautiful trails and also have plenty of rocks that make barefooting not the most fun. So, I strapped on my Vibram Fivefinger Bikilas and intending to enjoy the scenery of towering Redwoods instead of picking my way around rocks on the trail. The Bikilas worked well enough except for a weird bruising in the joint of one of my toes. I'm looking around at other trail shoes without toe pockets.
I arrived a little later than when I had agreed to meet up with my friend so I warmed up running around between the check-in table and the bathrooms before I found her. We started off at 8:30 am. after the 25k and 50k runners started at 8:00 a.m. This might have been a little late for a summer run but 90% of the run was in delightful heavy shade. I had checked out the elevation profile and was a little intimidated- it was "only" 850 ft. elevation change for the 10k but 600 of that was in the first 2.5 miles and the 500 ft. climb from mile 1.5-2.5 was... challenging to say the least. I need to run more hills.
Took a couple of blurry pictures with my phone while catching my breath on the climb.
However, after that initial beast of a climb it was mostly downhill from there! It was a pretty small race so I was running alone most of the time with just a couple glimpses of a person in front of and behind me. There were a lot more roots on this trail than on my other trail runs and that proved to be my quite literal downfall in the last mile of the race. My right foot caught a root and I went down on my hands and my right knee. I hopped up and hobbled the rest of the way not sure how bad it was hurt. The medical technician wrapped it with ice and although I've got a nasty bruise, a swollen knee and a slight limp today it is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think walking around after the race helped the potential stiffness.
My time was 1:14:06- not a personal best of course but my personal best for 10k was on a flat road and this was a hilly trail so they're really not comparable. I did come in 3rd in my age group which was my first time placing in a race! Great race overall and it is getting me pumped for my Fall Halfs!