Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Trail Half Marathon

This is what I am thankful for:

I love the fact that my nieces and nephew like to have fun. I also love the fact that their conservative parents allow them to have fun when Endorphin Uncle is around. I brought these voodoo dolls back for these kids when I ran the Mardi Gras Rock & Roll Half Marathon back in February. Because of my busy race schedule and the fact that these kids live about 200 miles away, I have not been able to see all three of them until Thanksgiving. I told them that when they stab the voodoo dolls with the pin they had to really feel the anguish towards the person they want to inflict! hee hee. Sure enough, these three really got into it. Hmm, I wonder who it was they were thinking of?

Part two of my Turkey Triple took place in Coto de Caza Sports Park. Getting to the start line from my Motel 6 in Fullerton was quite interesting. I learned something about southern California on my drive there. Actually, let me be a little more specific. I learned something about Orange County. Apparently, there are toll booths! I had to pay at least four times! Had I known this, I would have filled my wallet with coins! The sad thing is that I was 30 cents shy of my fourth payment, but the toll booth operator said that I could go online to pay the toll. Wow, I've never went online to make a payment of 75 cents before. As absurd as this sounded, I made sure that I paid right away because the fine is $55! Can you imagine being slapped with a $55 fine for not having paid 75 cents? Even the Epinephrine Pup was baffled by this!

I barely made it to the start line thanks to these toll booths. I arrived at Coto de Caza Sports Park with 2 minutes to spare. This entire race is run on "very wide well-groomed horse trails in beautiful Coto de Caza. Runners will go north from the Sports Park 0.75 miles on horse trail and a short section on Coto de Caza drive, turn around and run 3.25 miles south on the horse trails to Hilldale Way, the turnaround point, then return to the Sports park for a total of 6.55 miles each loop. For the half-marathon, run twice, for the marathon run four times." When I first read this description off of the Charlie Alewine Racing website, I didn't make the connection that this was going to be a trail race, even though it clearly stated "well-groomed horse trails." I guess I was more fearful of coming face to face with a horse on the course. True confessions, I fear horses more than I do trails.

It no secret that Endorphin Dude's krytonite is trail races. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Me on trails is tantamount to an American on the clay of Roland Garros. I ran the first few miles of this this course, and then I made the decision to walk the rest of the way. I figured, I had seven hours to finish this race and I wasn't really going anywhere afterwards, so why kill myself. Plus, the little rocks sneaking into my Mizunos made for an uncomfortable run. I finished this race in 4:14:15, which I'm totally cool with. At the finish line were fellow Marathon Maniacs, David Reid and Ward Sullivan. Super nice guys. Mind you, they completed the full marathon!

Two down, one to go! Woo Hoo!

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