October 24, 2009
Laura convinced me to run a Trail Ultra with her in Coto de Caza. Apparently, to deal with the appeal of running marathons, there are people that put on several marathons a month (small) for lower costs than the big city races. Today’s race director, Charlie Alewine, is an ultra runner himself, and provides the timing, a central aid station, course mapping, and a t-shirt. I think we paid $30.
The course was pretty difficult. We start out in the Coto de Caza (a gated community where they film “The Real Housewives of Orange County”) Park and run a half-mile loop on a dirt trail that is solid uphill.
We come about halfway down and then turn off to the right. This eventually brings us to the street and we follow the street down to the main road, and circle back up to the park (the sidewalks are also horse trails, so the pavement is minimal).
After finishing this loop, then you head back up the steep hill, turn around and then go to the left. This somewhat connects to a county park trail (a somewhat awkward drop onto the path) which pops out just outside of the Coto complex. We run past the guardhouse on the main road and back to the park.
This double-loop is about 5.2 miles, so the intent is to do 6 loops, which would be 50K, give or take.
Laura is having a really good run, and I am having a so-so run. I can tell by looking at her posted splits that she is getting further and further ahead of me.
When I finish my 5th full loop, I am notified by Charlie that Laura does not want to wait for me to finish my 6 loops because she has places to be (and because I drove with her, I am impelled to obey). I am able to complete the final out-and-back to top out over the marathon distance… or closer to 26.4 miles. It’s either my worst marathon in 6 hours and 41 minutes… or my best 26.4 mile race ever!