A weekend like any other?
It was pitch dark at 6:30 am on Saturday morning and I was not so surprised to find the gate of the Rancho San Antonio Park closed then. I parked on the street one mile away and rushed to catch-up with my running buddies starting their training run from Rhus Ridge on the other side of the park. What surprised me though when I entered the park is to notice that the lot was almost full already! Some folks must know how to open the gate in the early morning... Again, despite the darkness, there were already hundreds of hikers, mostly Asian (see my previous post on Cupertino's healthy habits).
Running Chamise Trail, I saw several deers and I would see many more of them all morning. With the rain we got two weeks ago, there is a lot of fresh green grass, a treat for the deers. I also saw a coyote before getting to the Windmill Pasture. On my way up to Black Mountain, I caught-up with Mike Topper and Chris Garcia and we stayed together for the rest of the run, back to Rhus Ridge through Hidden Villa and running through the Palo Alto Foohills Park.
The weather was perfect and we reminded ourselves of the invaluable luck we have to live here. So many trails, views over the Bay and to the Ocean, a perfect weather, so many local races, not to forget the company, and the personal enrichment gained through the multicultural environment and the business connections.
Chris also joked about his luck to run with local elite runners. Between Mike and I, we have three Ohlone wins and many other Masters wins. Mike ran Western States 5 times (1996-2000) and placed in the top 10 Men 4 times. We also met Roger Dellor on his bike.
Roger started ultra running late, just before turning 50, but excelled at it and still holds the M60-69 course record at Western States in 20:28. He is now alternating running and biking to alleviate some knee issues.
I ended up doing exactly 31.1 miles or 50K on Saturday, with a cumulative elevation of 5,200 feet, in 4:45 of running time (more elapsed time with a few stops here and there).
Here is a link to my photo album of the day. (Much different views from my last coverage of this run back in the Spring).
This Sunday, I went for a 10-mile tempo run at the De Anza College track. I wanted to run the 10 miles under an hour but missed my goal by 15 seconds. Actually, 40 laps represent a bit more than 10 miles (10.25 according to my Garmin GPS), but I have been able to do 40 laps in the past under 58 minutes. Granted, not the day following a long and hilly run like I did yesterday. Besides, there was a bit of wind (6 to 14 mph according to the web) which bothered me in the last 5 miles. I also started a bit too fast (5:44 for the first four laps).
Here is a view from the satellite. Sometime these satellites must wonder what goes in our mind for running in circle like that for an hour... ;-)
San Francisco One Day
While Sarah and Wendell must still be counting the laps, here are the preliminary results they posted this morning. They setup a webcast so it was cool to get an hourly update, although I admit I didn't stay up all night to watch. The race started at 9 am on Saturday at Crissy Field in San Francisco (a flat 1.061-mile loop).
In total, between the 24 and 12-hour runners, participants logged 6,938 laps and 7,361 miles!! I really want to enter a 24-hr event at some point, hope my calendar allows it next year.
Overall, not your ordinary weekend but one of the many we, ultra runners, can enjoy in the Bay Area. Blessed are we!