Travel Magazine

Cinderella Trail Run: Race Recap

By Travelspot06 @travelspot06
Last weekend, I ran the Cinderella Trail Run as half marathon number 5 of the 12 in 2012 Challenge. It was in Oakland about three miles from my house. The course ran through trails in both the Redwood Regional Park and Joaquin Miller Parks. This race, like the last trail race I did, was hosted by Coastal. I am so glad I found out about them! Their races have been fun, the field is very small (therefore intimate) and both the ultra runners and the race directors are awesome. Plus I get to eat gummy bears as fuel.
The details: This race started at 8 a.m. The weather was forecasting temperatures in the 80s, and in the morning, by about 7, it was already feeling pretty warm. Luckily much of the trail was in the shade. There was a 10k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and 50k.
Cinderella Trail Run: Race Recap
The course: This was a loop course. The half marathoners did the loop once; the marathoners did it twice and the 50k folks did it twice plus an extra 10k loop. The total ascent according to my Garmin was about 7800 ft. The course winds through a nice shady, wooded area mostly, and affords views of the city, the bay, the Golden Gate bridge and even the Marin Headlands!
Cinderella Trail Run: Race Recap
The pros: * As I said, luckily the majority of the course was in the shade. However, the 1000 ft climb you see in the profile above was NOT in the shade. Go figure. * The other runners were very friendly. I usually am not one to talk to other people while I am racing, but surprisingly I had several conversations on this course. Granted, they were mostly things like, "whew it's hot, eh?" or "that's a big hill!" but still. * The volunteers were great, very friendly and eager to help. * There were few non-racing runners/walkers on the course. * There was a no shirt option, which saved $5. I took it! *At the finish, there was fruit, clif bars, soup, pretzels, candy, goldfish...and more! * They do the awards right away, so you don't have to wait around.  
The cons: * I did encounter some bicycles, but they got out of our way. However, maybe having the race on a non multi-use trail would be a good idea. * The sun on that big climb was a killer. 
The race: Right after we started, the course went uphill (you can see in the profile above). It was only about a half a mile, but it really took the wind right out of my sails! I was wheezing and panting and feeling like death. Around mile 2, the course started to go both up and downhill and I kind of got a rhythm going.
Mile 1: 10:03, Mile 2: 9:04, Mile 3: 9:03
Mile 4 had a large steep uphill. In case you have never raced trails before, you may not know that most people walk up the steep hills to save energy. I did not know this the first time and I tried to barrel up one of these steep ones and almost keeled over. Now I know. So I took this little hill slow and easy and then tried to get my rhythm back once I got to the top. However, I was still feeling very tired. I think that I ran too much this past week, especially after doing the Relay. I should have taken an extra day off. My legs feel like lead. Also, I don't think I ate enough breakfast. I didn't want to overdo it, so I fear I under did it.
Mile 4: 10:30, Mile 5: 11:43, Mile 6: 10:49
You would think that the downhills are easier, but sometimes trying not to fall on one's butt, twist one's ankle or crash into another runner (while falling on your butt and twisting your ankle) requires a lot of concentration! I feel like most of my soreness usually comes from the downhill sections. Mile 9 goes from about 500 ft to about 1200 ft in one mile.  
Mile 7: 9:03, Mile 8: 9:28, Mile 9: 13:10
Mile 10 goes from 1200 ft up to 1500 ft. This is where the, "when is this hill going to end" conversation is had. Finally the course "flattens" out before heading down a VERY sharp downhill section (a 600 ft drop in about half a mile) where I fear for my life, and then finishes with a mostly flattish section at the end. 
Mile 10: 11:33, Mile 11: 9:28, Mile 12: 9:59, Mile 13: 9:13
Finishing time: 2:10:29 (10:02/mi)
This is a 5 minute PR from the last trail race, plus I got 1st in my age group! I was the 2nd female overall; the first got a 2:08:49!! If only I wouldn't have stopped at that aid station and eaten those gummy bears! If only I would have run faster on that first mile! Oh well, next time I will beat her!
Afterward, I volunteered for a couple of hours. Its so great to stay and watch the ultra folks coming through. They are all so positive, even though they are going to have to go back out in the heat and do another loop (or two!) It's really inspiring!  Also, it's good to meet other Bay Area runners. Even if I am not a group running person, it's still nice to be part of the running community!
The verdict? I would run this race again. However, I would take a full rest day the day before, and I would get up earlier on race morning and eat more breakfast. I had no gas in the tanks this time! I thought I knew better than that!
Do you ever talk to people when you race? Have you ever had one of those "lead legs" or "empty gas tank" races? Would you (or have you) ever run an ultra race?

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