Today I ran the 35k trail run at the Woodside event of the Pacific Coast Trail Runs (PCTR) series. The actual distance is 35.4k or 22 miles, with 2,990 feet of elevation gain. I was the first finisher in 2:38.45 and broke the previous course record by a nice margin (around 7:10 pace per mile). The course was mainly in Huddart Park, a favorite local location for runs. The race started out a bit fast as I went with the 17k leader, but I knew the rolling hills of Skyline Ridge would enable me to recuperate. Another runner joined 17k leader and me and to my surprise he was a 35k runner as well. We exchanged leads a couple times in the midsection of the run which helped maintain a nice pace. I didn’t feel great after the Bear Gulch Aid Station at 18.9k, but I got into a rhythm on a flatter section and took the lead for good at around 25k.
This was my first PCTR event and it was a great experience. The course was excellently marked and the aid stations were great. The best part was some hot chili at the end that hit the spot and warmed me up because it was chilly outside. In fact, it was so cold on Skyline Ridge in the mist, drizzle, and breeze that I couldn’t move my fingers to open the Clif gel packet – I should have worn my running gloves! I was happy I wore two layers on my upper body though. I look forward to more PCTR trail runs in the future!