Race Report: Rain-Drenched Muddy Santa Monica 18k

Off into the rain!

As if getting soaked during the Spartan Race wasn’t enough, Pacific Coast Trail Runs, @pctr, had many Spartans joining them for their Santa Monica 9k, 18k, 30k, and 50k run on November 20, 2011 at Point Mugu State Park.  It was a good thing, too, because a Spartan attitude was needed to overcome rain and vandals who tried to steal ribbons and signs.

The rain in the afternoon forecast was not only blatantly wrong, but they way undersold the intensity in the weather community. Sometimes, I wonder if these forecasters ever actually go outside any more, because the “light rain” did not feel the least bit light.  And the rain didn’t start in the afternoon – it started well before 6am and just didn’t quit.

But, being a trail run, nothing stops the fun, or the mud, from making the run all that more challenging. Fortunately, I did only the 18k, but I definitely felt for some of the runners doing the 50k. By the time they finished, I’m sure there was little left of some parts of the original part of the trail.

I am quite proud I didn’t fall once and only twisted an ankle once (lack of tripping during a trail race was a new record for me).

Taking a look at the elevation chart above is deceptive in its apparent ease, but I did think what great training it would be for the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Long uphill… followed by long downhill. The mud just added to the challenge.

Unfortunately, My Girl, being as sweet as she is, melts in the rain, so there are a few less pictures than normal. Also, I didn’t stop too often for photos as my heart rate was right at the limit on the uphills, and on the downhills I was too busy trying not to fall in the mud. But I got a couple of photos.

The only drama occurred the night before the race.

<rant> Some vandals decided, shortly after part of the course was marked the night before, to not only remove the ribbons, but to remove signs and purposely place ribbons in the wrong place.

What is wrong with people from the LA Basin anyway? What sort of deprived loser do you have to be to mess around with course markings the day before a race? What sort of lame sense of “funny” do you have?

They must be the same people who watch Jersey Shore and think it’s deep meaningful entertainment. </rant>

Fortunately, the “misplacements” were discovered, and some great volunteers from Facebook came out early to remark the course. From the 50k’ers who passed me on my return loop of the 18k, I would guess the remarking was accomplished with success. So, to whomever thought they were going to be funny by messing with the course: You lose, you $#%*&#(! moron, @pctr fixed it and we had a great race.

So there.