Monday, March 7, 2011

Montara Mountain 50K Race Report

Short Version: John wins 50K race, sets new course record!

Long Version: This Sunday I took part in the Montara Mountain 50K in Pacifica, CA, organized by Coastal Trail Runs. The weather was ideal: cold, rainy, muddy, and miserable -- just the way I like it! However apparently not everyone else was as excited about the prospect of spending 5 hours or more out in the rain trudging up 7,000 feet of muddy, rocky, treacherous mountain paths. Only a dozen or so runners showed up at the starting line for the 50K race (though the 10K and half marathon races had bigger turnouts). And of those dozen or so, only 10 would go on to finish. So everyone who toughed it out and crossed the finish line could brag that they were a "top 10 finisher". And yes, I did manage to hold off the field for the victory (in 5:08:58). And since it was technically the first time that Coastal Trail Runs has held a 50K event at Pacifica, I also established (by default) a new course record. Woo hoo!

Although I've had a few 2nd place overall finishes lately including Cystal Springs 50K at Woodside in January and Summit Rock 1/2 Marathon in December, this was the first overall race win for me in a couple of years and my first 50K win since back in 2005. So I'm definitely excited. So what if I've actually run 25 minutes faster for essentially the same course back in 2009 at a Pacific Coast Trail Runs event. And so what if my first place finish was actually due, at least in part, to a very small field. A win is a win. And I'm taking it!

I don't want to bore everyone with all the minutiae of just how muddy, rainy, windy and cold it was. I doubt that anyone really cares how many gallons of water I dumped out of my shoes after the race, or how windy it was on top of the mountain, or how many times I narrowly avoided falling in the mud or twisting an ankle on a rocky descent. Suffice to say I was very wet, very muddy, very windy, and that I nearly met with disaster a dozen times or more. But at the end of the day, thanks perhaps to my tiger blood and Adonis DNA, "I'm Winning".

Here's a link to the official race results. And here's my Garmin Connect data that shows the course map, elevation profile, and mile splits.