This weekend I had to opportunity to run my first race of 2008. It was the Boney Mountain 21K Trail Run, part of the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. The races are put on by Generic Events and I think they do a pretty good job. The definitely are able to put on some races on some pretty nice trails around here. I've done a couple of their other races - Malibu Creek, twice and the La Jolla Canyon Legend, now called the Pt Mugu Trail Run. Each of these are fun races on wonderful terrain. Boney Mountain was no different, maybe even better.
I'm very fortunate to have been able to run in the race at all. It was originally scheduled for Oct 28, 2007. That was the weekend of the Marine Corps Marathon. Unfortunately the race had to be rescheduled due to the wild fires that were happening at the time. The trail was not ablaze but the air quality was just too bad for the event to go on.
The race locale was about 70 miles from my home, so it was an early morning. The race is almost all single track, very nice. The first miles is on road and then once we headed onto the single track, we fell into a pretty nicely paced single file line. There was a little jockeying for position, but not much. The first significant hill at mile three worked wonders at thinning out the ranks. I was surprised at the number of people that were forced to walk. I didn't really mind counting myself among them. The single track was a pretty deep depression in the ground about 2 feet wide and sometimes more than a foot deep. There was a group of about 6 of us in lock step from about mile 3 to 5.
One of the prettiest parts of the run was along the Blue Canyon Trail. After that began the real challenge of this race. Around mile 7 there is an earnest climb for the next 3 miles with about 1500 feet of elevation gain. I was pleased that along this stretch I was able to run, power hike or walk past a half dozen people or so. Check out the elevation chart here and an example of the views from the top here.
Once we hit the summit it was mostly downhill from there. I expected to be passed by the masses as I usually am but was really pleased when I was only passed by 3 people. I was passed by three more on the home stretch, flat, mile. There was just nothing left in these poor legs at that point.
My final time was 2:35 (official results aren't posted yet). So with no real expectations other than to get a run in and enjoy the scenery, I'd have to say it wasn't a bad day. I had heard others comment that the times at this race were on par with times from Malibu Creek. Although Malibu Creek is a mile longer, this course was more difficult.
After breakfast of eggs, muffins, bananas, oranges and coffee, I walked the mile or so back to where the cars were parked and headed home.
Earlier in the week I'd done my tempo run. I ran 6 miles at 8:07 pace. I'm pleased with that as well. Today the quads are complaining a little but I made it to the gym for some crosstraining; 35 minutes on the elliptical and some weights.
Sooner or later here I've got to set down my race goals for 2008. Maybe I'll have time mid week for that. I'm looking forward to reading all your reports about Disney and RNR AZ.