Monday, 13 January 2014

Crystal Springs 50k

There are a lot of trail races in the Bay Area in California. I'd be surprised if it doesn't have the greatest concentration of ultras in the world, plus many of those events have shorter distance options too so the whole family can get involved.

I've not lived in California for that long overall, just a year and a half in total over two stints, but I've been able to discover a lot of trails thanks to these races. At the least there's Brazen Racing, Inside Trails, PCTR and Coastal Trail Runs putting on these excellent events, but it was the latter that organized the Crystal Springs 50k in Woodside last weekend.

Trails over on the West Coast are sometimes described (by hardcore mountain runners) as too gentle, with too many switch-backs and too much grooming. As well as the really tough stuff, I enjoy these beautiful routes which often with vast miles of single-track. It's fun to have fast trails where you can hurtle along at break-neck speed, only to do a 180 again and again on the switch-backs.

This race didn't disappoint and it reminded me of some of the East Bay hills around Oakland. Towering redwoods covered most of the course with virtually no mud due to the current drought conditions in and around the area. Nothing too steep to be unrunnable and almost the opposite of a Skyrunning-style of course with just 4,500ft of ascent, but variety is one thing that makes running interesting.

Congrats to all the runners from the 5 mile race up to the 50k - full results here. I was very happy with 3:39 to take a few mins off the course record. Overall, an ideal pre-race tune-up for Rocky Raccoon 100 in three weeks. Strava file here.

Scott Kinabalu T2s
Julbo Dust Shades
Drymax Max Protection Trail Socks
UltrAspire Isometric Pocket 20oz Bottle
Clif Bar Shot Gels

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