Finally, I participated in a Brazen Racing event. I’ve heard many good things about this local trail racing company and yesterday I finished the Bad Bass 10K at Lake Chabot Regional Park. I had originally signed up for a 10K race closer to home in June but had to drop it due to bronchitis. I was very much looking forward to the Bad Bass 10K, though with slight trepidation.
For one, yesterday was my first trail racing. Although the race started with paved road, it had plenty of trail and hills throughout the course. I saw the course map before registering and was wondering about 650ft+ elevation gain. I was actually hesitant but my brother-in-law who had done the course encouraged me to try it. He did tell me that it would be a “giant hill”.
Indeed, it was a giant hill. At the bottom of the climb, I had to stop and wondered if I wanted to run it or walk it. Well, it didn’t take long before the hills decided for me. I ran one small hill and walked the rest of the one-mile incline. My heart could not handle the aerobic activity from climbing over one mile on series of hills.
The saving grace was the view as I climbed higher and higher (and wonder when this was topping out). It was a gorgeous summer day, although on the warmer side. At the start of the race, at 8.30am, it was already 70F. Ideally, cooler would make it easier to run. In any event, the view made it worth while!
The uphill was work, but the real challenge came with the down hill. The 10K turn around at the top of the hill. I had to take a break and mentally prepared myself for the downhill. I knew I wanted to run it to see how I’d feel. I mentally went over the form (short strides, slight lean, minimize heel strike) and set forward the downhill course. I did well for the first half mile, but my right knee started bonking out half way. I had to really focus to make it through the entire downhill section. The fun part was it felt really fast (compared to the uphill!).
The last 2.5 miles was flat with small rolling up/down’s. It felt so good to run that flat portion!! Trail elevation made me appreciate flat running like no other! By then I was pretty exhausted and I didn’t stop to take any photos around the lake. It was a gorgeous route. I wanted to focus on getting to the finish line because I was tempted few times to stop and walk it. My knee wasn’t feeling great but no significant pain.
I actually made it to the finish line without stopping! But I believed the uphill and especially downhill took a toll on the legs. Right before I turned left towards the finish line, I had a misstep and slightly sprain my right ankle. I was not thrilled but with the finish line so close, I said “the heck with it!” I sprinted! It felt good to finish!
I hopped over to the first aid after catching my breathe. It wasn’t a bad sprain (phew!) so the medical staff helped me to wrap it for tight compression. The overjoy of finishing a trail 10K probably propped me up as a mood-elevator (no advil needed!) Other than the sprain, it was a very enjoyable race. Brazen racing has a new fan now!
By the way, for my all Bay Area runners, if you haven’t done a Brazen, you have to sign up for one. It was so pleasant to run with them:
1) The medal was amazing, specifically and customized for each event. I loved that!
2) The race was well organized and intimate. I could tell there were runners who became friends through Brazen. It was a tight little community. The race was about 260 people for half marathon, 10K, and 5K. Very manageable. Unlike the RnR I ran, parking was easy and there was not delay at the start line!
3) Granted, there was no “cheerleaders” (spectators). The runners were just amazing to cheer you up. And let me tell you, there was fruits, bars, M&Ms, and ice pops at the aid station! Totally different and fun!
4) Did I mention the trail running part? Away from the road, buildings, and crowds?
I highly recommend Brazen Racing events. And yeah for me, first trail race done! I’m honestly considering a trail half marathon as my next project after November’s Morgan Hill Half Marathon 🙂