Lots of "valleys" and "crests" in the Valley Crest Half Marathon
1:44:35 - 2nd place in division!
Just when you think you can't possibly run one more step uphill, the Valley crest marathon course makes you go about three more - but then you get a break. Of course, this process then repeats itself downhill, but eventually the uphill nightmare begins once again. Despite the bipolar terrain, the weather was perfect. The event began with June gloom overcast skies. When the haze cleared, there was still a nice breeze generated by other runners passing me uphill. The course has two u-turns in it which is maddening for serious racers as they try to count those in their age division running past them while still paying attention to where they are going. This skill is especially tough to master when counting females in the 35-39 division since they seem to either look much younger or much much older, depending on their level of sun exposure. The event has one of the nicest race directors around - Nancy Shura. Her side kick this year was a particularly informative park ranger who reminded us that there was "No smoking on the course" just before the start. My favorite part of the race? The downhills - all of them. Nobody passes me on a downhill. Nobody. Except Diana Rush. But her polite British accent actually made it a rather lovely and pleasant experience for me. I guess the only unpleasant part of the race was watching the other runners navigate the extremely steep downhill finish. No matter how "in shape" any of them were, the sight of them coming down on wobbly legs and the jarring thereby induced caused a severe "jiggle" factor that affected jowels, foreheads, and mid-sections in a most unflattering manner. As I pondered the effects of gravity upon the human body, I distinctly recalled hearing at least 10 camera shutters clicking when I ran down this exact hill. Great, soon there will be photographic proof that the "valleys" and "crests" of the Valley Crest Half Marathon weren't limited to describing the course.
Nancy Shura gets bullish.
Keith from Mountain Goats
and Valley Girl at awards ceremony.
Jimmy, "I feel fine!"
Keith models a new accessory, the Valley Crest Finisher Medal!