January 27, 2013

Going international : Pacifica Foothills Trail Run 50K

I can't find a link to the site now, perhaps it was all an illusion.

In San Fransico area with work for 10 days, so with a spare Saturday, I decided to enter a race.  Using that Internet thing found the Pacifica Foothills race in San Mateo country park just to the west of San Francisco and you could pick a couple of distances : 20km, 30km, 26 miles and 50km. Of course, in the light of having done minimal running since by Bob Graham in August 2011 and not run more than 15 miles in one go since then I decide the 50km (31 miles) would be the most appropriate distance to opt for. Totally logical of course.

The organisation was great, aid stations could not have been more helpful and prepared, you just turn up and run. The folks at the aid stations filled your water bottle with water or electrolyte. As much as you could eat. I found the provided Clif Bars worked OK on the 1st lap, but were too strong/rich for after 15 miles.

I did find the concept of running 2 different loops a couple of times was somewhat alien. There was more climb than I expected, about 8000ft at a guess, but it was never steep and if you were only doing 1 loop it would almost all have been runable.

By the time I finished, the organisers were packing away. I was well looked after and to my surprise I was not that wreaked. Of course driving back to the hotel[ about 40 miles] was entertaining as my legs took turns to cramp up.

Looking east back towards area of the race

So all went well, I paced it just right, but as expected was not fit enough to be competitive, but that was never the point. It was the experience of doing a long-ish US trail race, the people and looking at the Pacifica from a hill I will almost certainly never visit again. These races are not cheap to enter, but it was still I believe for me good value for the experience. I clearly would not fly 6,000 miles just to do a race like that, but if you are there anyway, it would be rude not to sample what is on offer.
A nice place to chill post race

Post race Burrito with a view


  1. Nice one, Clive. If you're out there it's just got to be done. As you so rightly say, rude not to. :-)