The Malibu Canyon 10k was this weekend and it was so, so fun. It was a crazy experience to say the least, so I guess that I’ll start with the weather. It was not ideal. A friend of mine had another race in Malibu at the same time and he sent me the forecast on Friday. In sunny Southern California where it barely ever rains, it would obviously rain during my first trail race. Here’s the view when I first pulled up, apparently around 7:19 am.
Bib pickup went very smoothly, it was a tiny race made even smaller by the weather. Parking was right by the start line so it was great to be able to grab my shirt and then throw it right into the car (its an awesome lime green tech shirt- and you all know I run for free shirts). The bathroom line was a few people deep but not a big deal. Most of us then chilled in our cars until right before the race… because it was rainy and cold.
About 5 minutes before the start I finally hit the start line. They explained the trail markers (yellow= 10k, pink = 25 and 50k, blue= you’re going the wrong way) and sent us on our way right on time. The 25 and 50k groups had started about 10 minutes prior so it was a nice, small group that thinned out quickly.
The course was an out and back (3.1 each way). There were definitely a decent amount of people around until the turnaround. On the way out I ran with a few people but on the way back I wasn’t around anyone but like I said, the trails were really well marked. It was fairly wide for the majority of the race aside from a half mile portion that where it was super thin and you really, really had to watch your footing and run single file. I wish I could have stopped to take some photos but it was pouring rain and I didn’t want my phone to explode.
There was one very steep part but other than that this course was much less difficult than the hill I’d been training on. I was worried that it would be the opposite so I’m super glad that it all worked out.
Now, back to the weather. Because this was a trail race and it was raining, you better believe there was some mud. Lots and lots of mud. Luckily it didn’t cake on too terribly except for a few different little sections. There was a really steep part where mud would just glob on. My shoes got super heavy and everyone was stopping to try and scrape their shoes off. It was more hilarious than it was annoying. You would be super surprised to see how globs of mud might throw off your balance!
I stopped for water at the half way point and I briefly walked at the super steep part (because my fastest run was basically a walk) but other than that I was pushing along to try and get back to the warm clothes waiting in my car. I made the somewhat unwise decision to wear shorts because I thought wet pants would be wayyyy worse than cold legs so it was hard to run fast because my legs were stiff and cold but when I looked back at my times, I had rocked a negative split! During the last mile a girl was about 50 yards behind me and I kicked it into gear because I was afraid she would pass me.
My final time was 1:07:37 which is only two minutes slower than last week’s Turkey Trot, a huge accomplishment considering how difficult this race was (mud, rocks, hills, rain, numb legs, etc). Since it was such a tiny race I also got to boost my self esteem by being 10th in my age group and 33th overall (out of 50 something).
There was a killer spread post race. From reading other blogs I’ve heard that trail races always have awesome food because typically people are running for a really long time. I tried not to eat too much because this is also the halfway point for the 50k and I knew they’d be hungry but I really wanted a brownie.
I didn’t stick around for a very long time post race because I was freezing to death but I met some super cool people. If the weather were better I definitely would have stayed for a beer and met some new people but there was nothing I wanted more than the warmth of my bed. Before the race I talked to some 50k runners and I am beyond impressed with the fact that they’re out there today. I loved a 10k for a trail run distance but I definitely see myself shooting for the 25k some time soon. It’s barely more than a half marathon and with proper training it could be awesome. The company that put this race together, Costal Trail Runs, does several races along the California coast and I would definitely do another one of their runs in the future.
Do you like to run in the rain?
When is your next race?