Sunday, May 12, 2013

Angel Island 15 Mile Race Report

Angel Island 15 Mile 

A picture perfect day, but not a perfect race. Angel Island 15 Mile is three loops around Angel Island, starting from the outward perimeter and working inwards. The last loop summits the highest point on the island.

I'd originally planned to run the Diablo 50K, but I would have to get up around ~4 AM to make it out to Walnut Creek to take the bus to the start. ugh. Angel Island had a civilized 10 AM start, timed with the ferries. Yes, please!

Taking the ferry from Fisherman's wharf was easy -- buy ticket, get on boat, arrive at Angel Island about 30 minutes before the scheduled 10:15 AM start. The start/finish was within site of the ferry dock. Wendell, Coastal Trail Runs owner, was putting up tents and tables by himself but there was no packet pickup. After watching him try to get everything ready, I said "Wendell, do you want some help?" 
"Are you sure?"

The next ferry arrived with all the volunteers, who quickly set up bib pickup. I pinned, and lined up. I was aiming for even splits.

Loop #1: mostly paved, gorgeous views of barracks and bay. ~1 hour. At the end of the loop, we merged in with the 10 milers, which was fun. 

Loop #2: Started with the 10 milers, then rolling fire trails. Jaw dropping views. At the merge back in with the 10 miles near the end, a ranger had blocked the trail. Paramedics were treating a runner. Uh-oh. Runners were scrambling up and over the steep embankment to get around. A kind guy helped me get up and over…but in the climb, my iPod stopped working. From the stress, it was hard to get my gait back. ~1:05.

Aid Station: The day had warmed up, and the aid station was out of Gu. I filled my water bottle with water, and grabbed my iPhone to sub in for my iPod. 

Loop #3: my iPhone wasn't playing music. oh no…I need my tunes! I was distracted by this, and just didn't run this loop very efficiently. I finished in ~3:23, well off my goal of 3:00.

When I finished, the next ferry was leaving in ~15 minutes. I shuffled over to the dock, then realized I hadn't picked up my race shirt. While picking it up, I thanked Wendell for another well-run Coastal race, and he apologized for snapping at me during setup "It's easier if I do it myself rather than trying to explain, but I know you were trying to help". 

After I got my shirt, I saw the cafe by the dock had burritos and Mike's Hard Lemondade-- just what I had been craving. Why the rush? I ended up staying two more hours, looking at the Bay and enjoying a fine Angel day. 

Things I did well:
Left plenty of time to get ferry so not stressed about arrival. 
Tried to say good job to other runners, thanks to the volunteers, AND thanks to the hikers I passed on the trail
stayed hydrated with bottle
experienced beautiful location!

Things to improve on:
Issue with my iPod was actually with the headphones -- and I had a spare set in my drop bag! If a music issue arises, try to fix at aid station
didn't body glide arms