Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bandit Trail Runs 2012 - Upgraded!

Bandit Trail Run never fails to impress me. After I did my first ever 50K event here last year, again, I was treated to a wonderful trail run experience. Scenic views, well-organized support, helpful volunteers and just the overall feel was awesome. And the medal, definitely a first class upgrade. Wearing it left no doubt about my gruesome ultra race finish. I am wearing it now as I do this, yeah, baby!

Medals compared. 2011 medal (top) and this years' first class upgrade.
Having ran the course in the past really helped a lot. I paced accordingly and managed to stay on target even on the most difficult portions of the trail. The course was physically taxing nonetheless. On the first climb, my Achilles tendons were about ready to burst (20% grade incline from mile 2 to 2.4, whew!). Las Llajas Canyon was all mental with what it felt like a never-ending ascent. And right about when you thought you've reached the top, there you'll see another quarter of a mile of nasty uphill.
At the start line, photo courtesy of Rowell Ramos

Since Rocky Peak is at the heart of this race, the surface of the terrain was the main challenge. I couldn't imagine myself tripping down on those rocks. I'll sure bust my knee (or face) if I wasn't careful. So, I was cautious but this didn't stop me from doing one of my favorites on the trails - down hills. And like the way I do it on any of my trail runs - I holler, yell and shout my heart out before I roll and plunge down hill. 

I improved my time by about 40 mins from last year. This I credit for having a positive mental outlook throughout the race. I greeted each runner I passed and the ones that overtook me. I offered the same courtesy to other trail users who were not part of the race greeting them "Good Morning" even when it was probably past noon (took me 6 hours to finish). I chatted with some of the volunteers manning the aid stations though briefly. I never got bored and was humming a lot of my favorite tunes. I was tired in the end but I felt strong. I even managed to do a movie night with my family when I got back home after the race; and the next day went back to work just like any other day (now I'm bragging). Overall, another very positive Bandit Trail Run for me and this race is definitely on schedule again next year. Click the link below for full result: http://bandittrailrun.com/BanditDocs.html


mox said...

Great race report! I had my eye on this race, but I knew I couldn't be ready in time (even without the foot injury excuse ;-).

So, you seriously whoop and holler on your way down? That's hilarious, I love it. I think many of us feel that kind of exhilaration on a rip-roaring downhill run, but it's nice to see someone has the guts to express it out loud. :-)

If you enjoy the downhill, then I'm sure you're going to just LOVE the upcoming Verdugo Mtn. 10k. Plenty of serious down (and up) hill stuff on that beast.


smeltedfeet said...

The trail is probably one of the only place where we can act like this without being weird. Hope you can do the Verdugo Mtn run (if your injury allows). Thanks, buddy.