Yesterday I attended PCTR’s Mount Diablo event. The 25k distance was part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup series so I helped answer questions at a La Sportiva booth. I also met fellow La Sportiva Mountain Running Team members and watched friends have great performances on this unusually cool June morning. I arrived at the park at 5:40 am hoping to get a run in because I had never been to Diablo before. I left a little after 6 am and I knew that if I wanted to make the start of the races at 8:30 am I would have to hustle a little bit, especially because I was taking the slower and more technical route up Mitchell Rock and Eagle Peak.
Part of the way up Eagle Peak I ran into the marine layer and never really exited the fog until close to the summit where I was greeted with gorgeous views, including the Diablo Range, mountains of the North Bay, and Central Valley. I stopped to take many photos on the observation deck and toured the parking lot area before making the return trip on the 25k course down through Mitchell Canyon.
Mount Diablo is a gorgeous mountain. With its extensive chaparral, high meadows, and clumps of pine trees, the area has a different feel than the Ohlone Wilderness to the south and the Santa Cruz Mountains on the Peninsula. According to the Save Mount Diablo Map “the State Park, and twenty-eight other open space preserves make up a regional open space system of almost 90,000 acres and approximately 700 miles of public trails.” Wow!!
I made it to the starting line after my run with about 5 minutes to spare. The event was super fun to watch with elite mountain runners Shiloh Mielke and Tom Haxton dueling it out to run amazingly fast times. Also, big congrats to La Sportiva teammate Caitlin Smith for winning yet another race, this time only 6 days after a grueling Ohlone 50k! I also tried on the Ultimate Direction Wasp hydration pack. It was not essential for this run, but I wanted to see how it felt because I hope to take it on adventure runs in the mountains. I loved how I could keep the camera and food on the front side in the vest and the pack itself felt comfortable on my back while running. I am excited to use the Wasp in the mountains! More photos after the jump.