The San Diego 50 is a 50 mile trail race held in Escondido, CA on the north side of San Diego. It is an out and back course of 25 miles each way. There is lots of farmland, overall it is a pretty flat course but there are some challenging sections. There is a stream crossing in mile 23 (and returning mile 28), and the last 7+ miles of the course get very rocky and technical. So I was in for a lot of everything.
|Cold but ready to run|
Right as the sun was coming up, we all got the starting gun and took off. It was kind of questionable if we would need headlamps at the start or not, but you would definitely need one if you were going to finish after 5 pm. We did not need it at the start, but they had drop bags waiting at the mile 20 aide station if you wanted to drop it there. I just ran with it the whole way.
At first we went out past some farmland, then about 100 yards down a road before picking up more trails. These were double track, wide dirt trails that were very well maintained.
|farmland after that grassy part and before the mountains|
|goofy - what do you mean we have to climb those mountains?|
|Farmland and mountains|
|Finally getting up to some elevation! starting to hurt here|
|Wide dirt trails and dreadlocks - Mike was a super cool guy to run with|
|I knew we were going to be running into that fog, and we did|
|Nice wide trail, runners in the distance|
The creek crossing at mile 23 was a really nice relief. The cold water felt great on my feet, and my shoes were totally dry again by the time I hit the turnaround.
Eventually there was an aide station where my Garmin said mile 24.6, and they said from there the turn around point was .75 miles away. Didn't seem like 3/4 of a mile away to me, which was a relief. I hit the turnaround point strong and felt great. Ready to tackle the return trip.
|Sun is getting low already|
|This is a cactus farm! Such cool sights on this trail.|
|You can see the trail turn up ahead, there are a few runners up there in the shot|
|The black shrubs were from a controlled burn - very interesting|
|The white part on the other side of the valley was a rope retaining system for erosion control.|
|Houses on the hillside|
Around mile 43 I knew my conditioning was catching up to me, and that huge hill was coming up in mile 46. I switched into walking mode and didn't even try to run any more. That hill was a total bastard, but after that it was just running around some farmland in the dark to make it to the finish.
I walked in at 11:35:57, got my medal and finishers glass, and hit wind down mode. This was my 3rd attempt at 50 miles and my first finish. Ah, happy day!
Overall I would highly recommend this race if you're looking for a 50 miler. The course was incredibly beautiful, volunteers were very friendly, aide stations were well stocked, and the organization was outstanding. I am extremely happy with my finish, my time, and my overall experience. This was an incredible way to polish California off from my 50 state list.