Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Montara de Oro 25K (+ bonus 2K)

Montara de Oro was a surprise addition. I’d planned to be in SoCal to see my college friends. While looking at the PCT schedule, I saw they had a race 1.5 hours from where I was staying, on the California Coast at Montara de Oro. New place? Coast run? sold! There’s an 8 K, 12k, 25K and 50K. By the time I went to register, online registration had closed, but over email the race organizers very kindly said “no problem!”, sending me instructions and a warning to bring cash as the credit card wouldn’t work in the remote area.

I budgeted plenty of time to arrive at the venue, a pretty location on the coast. The 25K was two loops and saw the most scenery, the 50K was two loops of the 25K, and the 12K was 1 loop of the 25K. I’d run Western States five weeks before and had nothing to prove…at registration I almost signed up for the 12K, then decided I’d spent so much time driving here I should get my moneys worth. There were ample bathrooms and I had plenty of time to spare - a rarity for me. 

The race had a low key start up the road, then we did a flattish loop along the coast cliffs. Then the first real climb began - up, up, up Victoria Peak. The fast 12Kers, who started 15 minutes behind us, passed me. The fog obscured the top. I stopped to take pictures and tweet. A nice downhill back to the start, as I tried to stay ahead of the 12Kers. 

At the aid station/start/finish the volunteer treated me like an elite - he grabbed my pack and quickly refilled it, then said “Go catch them!”. A boring section on a dirt road, then a turn and another sharp climb. In the distance I saw the peak we would have to climb. Up, up, up. Then down, I thought. But then another up. My Strava was ticking over 14 miles - and the end was not in site. I trudged along, finally reaching the end at 17.3 miles. I’d finished. 

Good: Took pack, as water was after 8 miles and then 9 miles
kept moving forward

To improve on:

Shoes are too small. Caused pain. Toenails felt like they were jammed.

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