I ran a fun half marathon race at Skyline Ridge this morning with Enviro-Sports coming in first place with a time of 1:37:05. Skyline Ridge and Russian Ridge are two of my favorite local parks and was the location of my last trail race, a fantastic 50k with Pacific Coast Trail Runs on March 1st. The course was hilly, which is to be expected in this park and more like 13.5 miles with an initial section of out and back to allow the runners to spread out before hitting the single track (photos by J.V. Littell/www.bahiker.com).
In addition, it was unseasonably cold and very windy. The temperature at the start was a chilly 38 degrees under marine clouds and 30 mph winds. As the run unfolded, the sun emerged and warmed temperatures into the mid-40s by the end (still quite cold for mid-April). The winds on top of Borel Hill were howling (this area is breezy even on calm days) and I felt close to being thrown off the ridge at some points! However, the out-and-back nature of the course allowed me to benefit from a tailwind in the other direction.
I knew the course from the 50k except for a small hill section heading up to Skyline Blvd on the Grizzly Flat trail. All things considered, I felt pretty good the whole way except my uphill running left some to be desired. I wasn’t expecting a showcase of strong hill running because I have basically only done one run involving real hills the past month and a half. The few steep sections felt especially slow, but I felt comfortable on the flatter terrain.
I had fun chatting with other runners at the finish area and eating the famous Enviro-Sports banana bread (mmmm…). The wildflowers on Russian Ridge were also delightful (photos by J.V. Littell/www.bahiker.com). It was great to be back out running in the hills six days after climbing Mount Williamson!