Sunday, July 28, 2013

Brazen Racing Bad Bass Trail Half-Marathon Race Review and Recap

My legs are tired. 

Since I found out that I was coming to California for 3 weeks, I wanted to sign up for a (or a few) races while I was going to be here. Since the trip is 3 weeks, that gave me 2 weekends to get some racing in.  I found the Napa to Sonoma which I ran last weekend, and Bad Bass Trail half. iPad no idea what I signed up for when I did, trails in the Midwest aren't nearly as bad as in California. Needless to say, I paid my registration fee and made the 40 minute drive out to Lake Chabot from the hotel on Saturday morning. 

I got there shortly after 7am so that I could be one of the first to pick up my bib since I didn't attend the early packet pickup. I ended up parking on Lake Chabot Road so i could avoid the $5 parking fee, nominal but i still didn't want to pay it unless i absolutely had to. There was one guy in front of me, so this packet pickup went super quick. Since I had some time to kill, I went back to my car to drop off the race t-shirt and got settled back out to the course. 

While waiting I noticed several things.  For one, this ain't going o be a very large field, the scent at the starting line was horrendous, everyone was really excited. I got into a conversation with Jeff, since he was looking for someone whom I was allegedly blocking his view. Nice guy, super good runner.  One of the things I love about this sport, is the fact that almost everyone is so nice and welcoming. Being from the chicago area, it's needless to say that I didn't know anyone there. I was on the opposite side of the country, so if I ran into anyone, it would have been pure coincidence. 

I wasn't able to hear the race director make the pre-race announcements since they banned the use of megaphones and speaker systems. I ended up starting near the back of the pack, since I had no idea what to expect on my first trail race. 

The gun sounded, and we all took off.  I have found in the past that I don't really like races where all distances start together.  This wasn't the case and I was very appreciative that the 10k and 5k started about a half hour later. I messes me up mentally when we all start together.  

I recall about e first 1.5 miles being sort of easy, then came the first hill, then the second, then the third, and then another.  They just kept coming with no sign of a downhill in the near future. Well, finally the downhills came.  

My splits were as follows. 9:50, 10:50, 10:23, 17:42, 12:26, 11:17, 12:28, 11:54, 15:40, 11:42, 13:56, 13:40, 10:56.  

From the splits you can definitely tell where the uphill just continued. At some points, I felt like I was claiming a vertical wall. According to my elevation map, one climb, at 3.3 miles, was 650 feet, with a small rest near the top. There was approximately 1,780 feet of climbing.  somehow i didnt feel the drop that much if at all. It was a nutty course, that's all I know. I'd totally do it again. I did get the chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery though, and got plenty of pictures to show it. 

Since I had always heard great things about Brazen Racing, two things that are always common, are great medals and great shirts. This year did not disappoint. 

I was pretty surprised that I received a personalized race bib, I registered about 2-4 weeks prior to race day. 

I've never see the back of a shirt look so cool!!

The fact that the bass is gonna kick the butt of the Loch Ness Monster is so sweet!  This medal is so big, perhaps one of the largest half marathon medals I've received. 

Following are some of the pictures that I took during the race. 

The start line, you can see the crowd ahead of me. 

The top of the first uphill. 

A mini downhill. What a tease!

Here is the first downhill. 

Not even close to the top, looking back. 

Forward relentless progress

If you look near the top center of the photo, you can see how long this uphill was. 

The flattest part of the course. 

The following are some of the scenic pictures I took while on the course. 

I'd like to thank Brazen Racing for putting on such a great event. It was truly one of the most memorable half-marathons I've ever run, and will stay there. 

Typical blogger mobile app, photos have to be added at the end. Booooo!  Sorry if its confusing. 

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