Travel Magazine

Bad Bass Half

By Travelspot06 @travelspot06
I've been having a bit of a "dry spell" race wise, but last weekend I barely squeaked out my July half marathon (#7) for the 12 in 2012 Running Challenge! The race in question was the Bad Bass Half in Castro Valley. It was put on by Brazen, which have put on two of the other races I have run this year as well. Remember the Its-Its?
***Before I start, I want you all to know that I went on a commando run yesterday and it was wonderful. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. Thanks for all your words of encouragement. I couldn't have done it without you.***
I thought this was going to be more of a road race. The race started at the Lake Chabot Marina, which I have been to before. You can walk on a wide paved path around most of the lake, which I think is about 9 miles around. So I thought it would be 7 or 8 miles of pavement and 5 miles or so of dirt. I was wrong. The weather was perfect, overcast and about 55 degrees. I didn't have to use my sunglasses the entire time.
The first mile was good. I started off at a pretty good clip. I felt good. I was on pavement. Somewhere during mile two we veered off into the woods, but it was okay because it was still a pretty even up and down, with not too many very steep hills.
Mile 1: 7:37/mi -- Elevation Gain: 140 ft
Mile 2: 8:19/mi -- Elevation Gain: 328 ft
Mile 3: 8:31/mi -- Elevation Gain: 221 ft
And then we got to mile four. Mile four was pretty much all uphill. At one place, according to my Garmin, the grade was 56%!  Mile five was better, but only because it was mostly downhill, although sometimes the downhill feels harder on my body than the uphill! I notice that I was passing a lot of people on the uphills and then they would pass me on the downhills, so I guess downhill is not my strong suit.
Bad Bass Half
Mile 4: 12:26/mi -- Elevation Gain: 585 ft
Mile 5: 8:38/mi -- Elevation Gain: 155 ft (Descent: 300 ft)
Mile 6: 10:29/mi -- Elevation Gain: 444 ft
I have to be honest with you; I have no idea how I kept under a 9 minute pace for mile 7. It was almost 600 ft of ascent and almost 800 ft of descent! Mile 8 was almost 700 more feet of descent. Notice I actually went slower on mile 8 than on mile seven! By this point, all the miles seemed the same. Up, down, up, down, pass some people, get passed, pass them again, get passed by them again...etc.
Mile 7: 8:48/mi-- Elevation Gain: 581 ft
Mile 8: 9:16/mi -- Elevation Gain: 482 ft
Mile 9: 9:27/mi -- Elevation Gain: 538 ft
At mile 10, I stopped at the aid station for a full minute, had a handful of pretzels, some water and a quarter of a chocolate Gu and went on my merry way. I am surprised that this mile was not slower due to that! It was also mostly downhill, with a descent of 350 ft. Mile 11 was also mostly downhill. I think somewhere during mile 12 we got back on the pavement again. I would like to say that meant no more up and downs, but we were still going around the lake and the topography was a bit varied.
Mile 10: 9:02/mi -- Elevation Gain: 109 ft
Mile 11: 8:23/mi -- Elevation Gain: 252 ft
Mile 12: 8:43/mi -- Elevation Gain: 207 ft
I would like to say that the last mile point one was flat, but it wasn't. I ran as fast as I could given the terrain. I was trailed closely by two men, one with no shirt and one with a white shirt. I could hear their footfalls behind me the entire time, so I kept pushing it as much as I could. For the last point one, I sprinted it out, but was passed by a guy in a red shirt that came out of nowhere! The photo below was actually taken at the start of the race, but this is the guy. His name was Chris; I know this because as he was passing me at the end, his friends (or people reading his bib) were calling his name.

Bad Bass Half

photo source

Mile 13: 7:58/mi -- Elevation Gain: 204 ft
Mile 13.1: 6:43/mi
Total Time: 1:58:39 (a new trail PR!)
Total Elevation Gain: 4295 ft
Place Overall: 45/294
Place Age: 5/30
The verdict? I should have had more breakfast. I only ate a bowl of Cheerios. I didn't even add a banana. Bad move. I was sluggish for much of the race and was not caring that people were passing me. I should have looked at the course map, although I don't know what I would have changed really. Maybe I would have had a bigger breakfast?
The course was well marked and once again, the photos are free if you can find yourself (note to self: do NOT wear a black tank and black shorts if you are going to have to try to find yourself in the race photos). I could have used an aid station around mile 7 or 8 rather than at 10; I was so thirsty and totally out of energy by the time I got to 10 miles. There were Its-Its and I didn't even have to wait in line for them. The spread at the end was really good actually, with trail mix, tons of fruit, chips and snacks.
Would I do this race again? Sure! It was fun! Also, part of this race is on the same trails as my 50k, so it was good practice for next weekend! A trail run. I mean trial run.  
Don't forget to head over to Jill's today for some other Fitness posts!! 
Have you ever run a race where you have actually stopped at the aid station for several seconds/minutes? Do you prefer uphills or downhills?

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog