Race report for the May 2014 Cinderella 50k.
Cinderella Trail Run 50k (May 2014) with Coastal Trail Runs.
The start being at 8am, I had planned to wake up at 6am, get ready in 15 min, drive for 1h and be there 45 minutes before the start. Turns out that I woke up at 5:15am, couldn’t fall back asleep, so I just got up, and drove up there. I had everything ready, so I had some time to drive a few more miles to get to a Starbucks, and eat almost a real breakfast 1.5h before the start. I then drove to the start, and was there 1h in advance, which was perfect. I had time to grab my bib, get ready calmly and everything went smoothly.
The course goes through the Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, CA. Although not too far from home, I had never ran there. Which is partly why I signed up for this race (That, and also Adam suggested it)
We started running at 8am sharp. The course starts with a climb on Sunset Trail. It is mostly a single track trail, so with all the distances starting together (5M, 1⁄2 Marathon, 30k, Marathon and 50k), the entrance of the trail was pretty crowded. And since I was planning on taking it easy, no rush: I followed along.
The course is about half single trails, half dirt roads. Mostly in the trees, which is great. It never got too hot. The 50k does 3 loops: 2 half marathon loops, and one 5M loop (the 5M loop is in fact the start and end of the bigger loop). The advantage of such circuit is that you know what to expect the second half of the race. And usually my thinking half way is “Oh, already half done, that wasn’t that hard, I can definitely do that again”.
Somewhere about half way in the first loop, another 50k runner passed me. He was much stronger uphill, but I more or less ran with him for the next 25k. Keeping him in distance, catching up from time to time. Originally, given that the previous weekend I had run about 50k during The Relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, I had planned to run easy. Easier said than done when there is actually a chance of finishing in the top 10 (my first half marathon pace was about 6:28/km - 10:24/mile, which I thought would put me in the top 10 based on previous editions). So I tried to keep that pace.
At the start of the last 5M loop, I lost sight of the guy I had decided to stay with. He probably picked up the pace significantly, because I did too. We both passed the first female 50k runner (she ended up breaking the course record by 20 minutes) though. He crossed the line about 2 minutes ahead of me.
In the last loop, I had sort of given up on the top 10 idea for some reasons, but I still made it.
I crossed the finish line 5h24 after the start, finishing 7th overall and 4th in my age group. 2 minutes (behind the previous runner) is not a small difference, but I could have pushed harder. It was another one of those mental fights between taking it easy and going faster. It’s not productive.
Congrats Adam, who won his AG, and finishes 3rd overall (not sure which is most awesome).
Fruits, hot dogs and drinks were waiting for me.
The organization was very good. Adam had mentionned that to me. Aid stations were well stocked, they did not run out of anything AFAIK. After the finish they were quickly anouncing the age group winners, and giving them an extra medal. On top of that, they take pictures and upload them on Picasa.
And for finishing the ultramarathon, not only you get a medal, but you also get a coaster:
For future reference, this is what I should keep (+) or change (-) for future races:
That was a fun race. I like the “wake up early, run early, finish early”. I stil had a good chunk of the day to rest.