Saturday, March 19, 2011

Diablo Trails Challenge - Brazen Racing


This promised to be an exciting run as we have had a full week of rain and the rain continued to pour this morning. As we approached the park, traffic was being diverted to the high school nearby. Brian asked an official what was up and he said it was too muddy up at the park and cars were getting stuck so they are having to shuttle people in. Nice. So the kids had their first experience being shuttled to the start of a race, which is exciting for them to get to ride on a bus full of runners.
We arrived at the park w/no complications. The rain began to come down pretty good and did not stop for the rest of the morning. We got our timing chips situated and made our way to the Pete's Coffee tent for some free coffee. We met up with a bro from the hall that was running his first race ever, and another bro and his 2 kids who came out to cheer everybody on. We also got to see Rebekah and Josh for a quick "Hi" and then they were off on their 10k.
An exciting thing for me was to finally meet in person one of my favorite bloggers, Punk Rock Racing's Ron (or Punky). You may remember he sent me a shirt a while back. Nice guy. We talked for a bit and he let me get a picture.
The 50k-ers (31 miles) were the first to start, then half marathoners, 10k-ers, and 5k-ers. By the time we hit the trail, the mud was pretty deep as hundreds of people had already passed through.
Emma started out in the front row with Brian right behind her, and Bro from hall was starting about 50 people back from the start. I ran with Sophie. Brian had been instructed to wait at the first creek crossing if it looked fast to help Emma.
Sophie and I had a blast! The entire run was very very slippery. You were either in mud, ankle deep mud, mud puddles, or a creek the entire 3.1 miles. We had 6 creek crossings total. They were full and muddy, but not scary at all, just way more water then we are used to seeing in them. As we approached the second one there was a lead 10ker coming back down the trail at us towards the creek, full speed. He yelled out "runner, runner, runner" to let us know he was not slowing down, and he didn't. He hit the creek full speed and crossed it in maybe 2 strides?? It was pretty cool to see. As the lead runners came at us at a much quicker pace than we were moving, they would throw up quite a bit of mud, which was also kind of cool.
The first fall came early on. Sophie was more comfortable running holding my hand as we were really sliding around, so when she went down she took me down with her. No worries, we laughed it off and kept going. The second fall I attempted to lift her up as she slipped and she stayed up and I went down. No worries again and I managed to keep the camera in the air out of the mud. The third fall was on the way back. I was trying to get up a tiny bank onto some grass along the side of the mud and slipped and slid down the bank. Sophie stayed up and I think at this point is starting to wonder if I would do better crawling than running. Not much later she went down in the mud as a fast 10ker came up right behind her and hurdled her. He just flew over the top of her and kept going with out even breaking stride. It was pretty neat!
Along the way out to the turn around, we saw Ryan heading back in. I was a little surprised to see him so far up in the pack, my guess was he was in maybe 15th place overall...not a bad run for your first 5k ever! About a minute or two later I saw Brian coming at me, looking strong. And finally we saw Emma making her way back. She looked cold and wet, but was running strong and gave me a high five.
We hit the aid station and I told Sophie to take her time and do what she needed to do. She drank a bit but didn't' want any food. We kept going to the turn around which wasn't much further, then we headed back. When we hit the aid station the second time she drank and had some M&M's. We worked our way up the last hill, and then just enjoyed the rest of the run which was down hill, then flat. We picked a park sign out and put that as the place she would kick in, and she did just that, finishing strong, covered in mud, and appeared to be oozing mud from her nose. : )
We got our medals and the photographer took some pictures of Soph and me. We found Ryan first, who ended up finishing in 29 minutes and took 3rd in his age division. Brian and Emma both had solid runs, too. Both girls placed in their age divisions, earning additional medals.
We hung out for a bit afterwards even though the rain was pouring and it was pretty cold. Whole Foods was putting on a full catered lunch, and there was also table after table of additional food and drinks. Then we caught the shuttle back to the car.
It was another extremely well organized, well put on run by Brazen. I chatted for a while with one of the volunteers at the aid station. She had been the photographer out on the last 5k course I did with Soph, today she was handing out drinks at the aid station. She had purple eyeshadow that day that Sophie loved. Today she had bright pink hair. Her dad was running the 50k and her mom the half marathon. That is one of the things I continue to love about Brazen, the volunteers are so so friendly and willing to talk and encourage you and praise the kids.
Anyhow, it was another great, memorable run!
There are tons of pictures and a video of Soph crossing a creek here.
I think it was a good test run for my Mud Run next weekend : )


  1. It was great to finally meet you and your family. It certainly looks like you had a blast. The half marathon was brutal but Katie managed to win top female for the day. I felt bad that she had to wait so long for me to finish.

    Congratulations on a fun day and I hope to see you guys again soon.

    All the best,


  2. Thanks, Ron. I can't imagine gutting out a half marathon on that course in those conditions, especially after running a 50k last weekend, so way to go!
    Katie is a machine, but then again I think most your "Punk Rock Girls" are!

  3. Looks like you had a great time! Awsome job all of you!

  4. Ah - so these are the girls my daughter (with the weird hair at the aid station) was talking about. It's so great that you all went out there under these conditions! I love the pictures (the "before" ones are hilarious knowing what is coming). Thanks for sharing these and the nice writeup.

  5. it was great to meet you and your daughter, I love seeing the kids out on the course! She was such a trooper, neat that she remembered my purple eyeshadow :D very nice write up of the event, nice and detailed I enjoyed reading it! and great pics.

    are you and your family going to be at western pacific? my family will be doing the 5k there, hope to see you all!

  6. WHM,
    Thank you!

    We won't be at WP in April, but do wish you and the family a great run, and hopefully better weather!