This may be my year of trail races.
Way back in September- Berkeley Trail Adventure took place up in Berkeley in Tilden Park. I actually registered super late for it- just a couple of days before the race. Turned it into a family affair- my mother, brother and I all headed up on race morning. That meant a 4AM leave time. It was rough not gonna lie. I was registered for the 10K and my brother was registered for the 35k.
The 35K started first with the 50K’ers and then I had some time to wait before the half and then the 10K started. The half ended up starting 15 minute early so I thought maybe the 10K would but nope. We started on time, which normally is great, I was just confused, ha!
The race started by running up a little hill and then through the parking lot to get to the trails. I am torn on how I feel about these trails; parts I loved and other parts felt like I was in someone’s backyard. Because we kind of were. Parts of the trail backed up to a neighborhood or overlooked a golf course. Other parts made you feel like you were in the woods far away from civilization.
I had had crap week and was planning on taking it easy for the race. A look at the course elevation showed that we climbed for 3 miles and then ran downhill for 3. The incline didn’t look too steep- my favorite kind of course. The first 2 miles lived up to the course profile. I was feeling decent about the hills and making decent power hike time.
Then the last part of the hill to mile 3 killed me. I felt like parts were vertical and was trying to figure out where the hell this had been on the elevation profile. I was dying. I felt a little better when what looked like a super fit half marathon runner passed me – they were moving slightly fast than me but also showed they were struggling. Solidarity.
Once I finally made to the the top, I had to walk more than I would have liked just to bring my heart rate down. I was also struggling to get my water bottle back into my pack for some reason and it was making me cranky. So of course I look up and see the race photographer. I shouted out seriously?!? Then I just to run by him without any other issues.😂
The next mile or so was an awesome runnable downhill and I suddenly felt like I was in the zone. I felt I could have stayed there all day. But we couldn’t, the course looked back round to first mile or so and now we were running those rollers the opposite way.
And my body let me know it was toast. So I walked a lot. Which was fine but I was missing that zen feeling I had a mile back. We came back to the finish through the parking lot and then had a small uphill to the finish line. Boo.
Once across, I got some snacks and waited for my brother to finish his race. I had an idea of what I thought he would finish in and just kept looking for his bib color. I was realizing that if I was right, he could very well place. And he did. 4th overall and third in his age group. Hell yeah!
While I didn’t like this course as much as Santa Cruz, I would definitely run it again. Just wish it was closer.