Monday, May 7, 2018

Cinco de Mayo Trail 10K Race Recap

The hubby and I ran the Cinco de Mayo Trail 10K at Mount Woodson near Lake Poway on Saturday morning!

This was the fourth time we have done this race. [Feel free to check the race recaps from 2014, 2016 and 2017.]

The Cinco de Mayo Trail Run was launched by the Valley Elementary Educational Foundation in 2007 to raise money for Valley Elementary School in Poway. Each year the event has grown and is a huge fundraiser for the school and students.

With all the craziness that has been happening the last few weeks (travel, racing, travel and more travel) I didn't have a ton of time to prepare for this race. Don't get me wrong, all of the training we put in to tackle the Rim2Rim2Rim run at the Grand Canyon definitely prepared us physically for this run, but normally I have my race gear picked out at least a week ahead of time (#priorities). This go around I wasn't able to finally decide on my get-up until the day before the race!

What's better than rainbows and unicorns?! Not much... but trails with the hubby are definitely up there ;)
My #FlatCarlee included: pink PRO socks, black Handful bra, unicorn and rainbow Sparkle Athletic skirt, pink tank from TJ Maxx, elite
Road ID
, Be Awesome Sparkle Athletic truckerblack and pink QALO silicone wedding bands, black and pink Momentum Jewelry wraps,
MudLOVE bracelet, my Garmin Fenix 5S, and Brooks Cascadia 12.

I love that this event allows for race day packet pick-up (and doesn't even charge extra for the option)! With that said, we did have to get up and over to Mount Woodson a few minutes early so we could check-in and grab all of our goodies, but it definitely wasn't as early as we've had to leave for some races (ahem... I'm looking at you, runDisney!).

We could tell on the way to the race that it was going to be a warm one out. When we walked the pup before jumping in the car it was already in the mid 50s (and 98% humidity) and the sun hadn't even fully made its presence known.

When we got in the car after the race it was already 78* at 9am!
But that is also because it is further inland than where we live.

Traffic was easy breezy and we arrived at the parking lot with plenty of time to spare (the 10K starts at 7:30am but they close the parking lot at 7 so they can get the course clear for the runners). A word of warning - parking costs $10 for non-Poway residents (although they do offer free off-site parking with bus shuttles). We were able to grab our bibs and participant tees, use the bathrooms with zero wait and relax for a few minutes in the car before heading to the start line.

The sun was starting to rise over the hills we would soon be running through

What can I say?! Bright colors distract me ;) 

Ready to get this party started!

I'll be honest, this race tends to be a little like I imagine child birth (okay, that is VERY DRAMATIC, but stick with me)... You tend to remember the highlights and forget how hard and grueling the event itself can be ;) Don't get me wrong, we love this race, but the 10K is definitely a challenge and makes you work for that finish line!

PS The race does a great job at putting volunteers (aka "marshalls") wherever you
may potentially go off course to keep runners going the proper direction!

With having just run the Grand Canyon a week prior, we weren't expecting to go for a great time (but, spoiler alert, it turned out being a course record for us!). We just wanted to enjoy each other, the views and get in a decent workout.


We ended up running a lot more of the course than I was expecting. When we I got up to the top of the first climb (which is at the top of the Ramona Dam) I had counted the runners coming back at us and I was the tenth female overall. Seeing as I wasn't shooting to podium, I let off the gas a bit and ran with the hubby. (Sometimes, especially when you can see runners coming on the other side, I push harder than I intend because I'm focused on cheering them on and take my mind off what I'm doing... so I pulled away from the hubby when he had to walk in a couple spots - OOPS!)

I can't believe it has taken me so long to fall in love with the trails... they are pretty amazing!

The hubby is a ROCKSTAR! 

The trail isn't very technical, but it is pretty steep in parts and fairly narrow (I would say maybe 4 or 5 feet wide). We haven't had a very wet winter (which is bad seeing as we are always in a state of perpetual drought, but good because it doesn't tend to destroy the trails as much with drainage ruts) so the trails were in great (albeit dusty) conditions.

Guess you can see a little of the elevation we were fighting ;) 

The race director asks that everyone line up based on our per minute mile pace and it seems like the majority of folks (at least in the 10K) followed directions because we didn't have to do a ton of bobbing and weaving which is great. Not only does it help with safety, it also helps prevent bottlenecks from occurring, especially when the course narrows. Whenever the hubby and I walk we try to pull over as far to our right as possible and walk single file to allow others room to safely pass. (FYI: This is NOT a closed course so there are others out on the trails. With that said, you've gotta keep your eyes peeled, although, thankfully most everyone obeys trail etiquette and makes room for others trying to get by.)

You can see why these trails bring the community out to explore the great outdoors!

There was a decent turn out this year (about 300 runners for both the 5K and 10K). There wasn't a ton of fan fare when we crossed the finish line since they were getting ready to start the 5K (the finish line is probably 150 feet from the start line), but that was a-okay! In fact, like I said before, this race is a fundraiser for a local school so they only offer medals to the top finishers in each age group (which helps make sure more money can go to the kids). Seeing as I donate my medals anyway (since folks have asked, I donate them to Medals4Mettle), I'm in 100% support of not receiving a medal.

There might not be medals, but there are photo props around the finish line ;)

I know I let the cat out of the bag earlier, but surprisingly (even on pretty fatigued legs) this was our fastest Cinco de Mayo Trail 10K yet - BOOM SHACKALACKA! Officially Ryan finished in 1:02:48 and I was a second behind him (which meant he beat his 2016 time by a whopping 3 seconds and I bettered mine by 7 ;)). Yeah, although I slow down to run his pace the entire race with him, he normally sprints ahead to cross the finish line before be EVERY SINGLE RACE!

AWWWWWW YEAH! A course PR without even trying! We will take it!

I guess you can say we ate hills for breakfast ;)

I'll admit it, I'm proud of what we were able to do - especially when we went in expecting to take it easy. Ryan even suggested that next year I try and race it to see if I am able to secure a podium spot (I ended up in 20th female overall and 9th out of 31-40 year old ladies). I'm not one for pushing it, but who knows what next Cinco de Mayo will hold ;)

Love the finish line fiesta! We would have stayed longer to listen to the mariachi band but we had to go
so we could help friends paint their new condo that they just purchased!

Is there a local race that you run year after year?

No comments: