Sunday, March 06, 2005
Palo Alto Half Marathon 3/5/05
The Palo Alto Trail Race was March 5, 2005. Race distances included the marathon (5 runners), half marathon (91 runners, including me), 10K (89 runners), 5K (21 runners). The weather was perfectly clear and sunny with a slight breeze. The courses consisted of out and back single track trails with lots of hills. Every time the beautiful scenery lulled the participants into a tranquil zen state, a brutal uphill would shock them back to an agonizing reality. In fact, the half marathon had nine hills ranging between 2,000 to just over 2,500 feet. Somewhere around mile 12, I realized that "granny gear" was not enough to get up that particular hill and I started looking around for some mountain climbing gear, but none was found. As I pondered a particularly lovely patch of shade, perfect for a nice picnic or brief nap, another girl who was about six feet tall with legs that were at least four and a half feet long passed me. My suspicions that someone that "peppy" had to be at least five years younger than me were confirmed at the finish, so I still managed to finish first in my age group and second overall female. To put this race in perspective, my finish time at the muddy & rainy Catalina Buffalo Half Marathon two weeks earlier was actually twelve minutes faster than Palo Alto during ideal conditions. Afterwards, Eric Gould, the friendly race director, handed out ribbons while runners munched on generous servings of trail mix, licorice, P&J sandwiches, gummi bears, muffins, pudding, brownies, pretzels, potato soup and hot chili. So be sure to check out Eric's other races and bring your appetite, your camera, and your mountain climbing gear!