Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mt Baldy Trail Race -- The Tortoises and the Hares

October 1: summer is over, ski season is winking at us from around the corner.  It was a great day to head up to the ski trails and do some training with your friends!  Lucky for us, today was the first annual Mt Baldy running/hiking race on the Cabin Creek trails, and conditions were perfect.  The forecasters had promised "unsettled weather," and that's just what we got: cloudbursts mixed with sunny intervals for driving over the pass, temps in the mid 40s and intermittent drizzle at Cabin Creek, and more cloudbursts for the drive home, with just enough sun breaks to show off the dazzling splashes of red and golden vine maples, barely visible through the wispy fog.

Augustina's photo
Augustina's photo
The race was one loop around the Viking/Ozbaldy/Berg loop, and it was a definite case of the tortoise and the hare.

(missing from this photo: Ozzie (wandering off somewhere) and me (taking the picture)
The uber hare was Jeff Hashimoto, of course, who ran an extra loop just for fun -- as Jim pointed out, we were glad he only ran one extra loop so we only had to be lapped once!  He ran by the tortoises on a steep uphill and we could only gape slack-jawed at how effortlessly he flew up the trail, barely touching the ground, as we whispered, "How does he do it??"  The other hares were David Tower and Jim Slyfield, coming in second and third.  Race director and organizer Rune would have been a hare, too, but he injured his knee and biked the course instead, leading chief timer Augustina, showing no mercy, to blow the whistle on him and DQ him.

The three little tortoises -- Victor, Ozzie, and I -- were far behind the others, but that's okay: we made up a fun workout for the event, hiking the flats and downhills and charging every uphill, no matter how short.  Every time the trail inclined upward, we shouted, "Up! Up! Up!" and Victor and Ozzie bounded with poles, while I ran up with quick little feet as fast as I could, trying to grow myself some fast-twitch muscles.

It was an awesome day; as Ozzie pointed out, our trail system is perfect for training and it's a lot more fun to do it with your friends!  With any luck, Rune will organize another one of these events before the snow falls and we're back on skis.

A big big THANK YOU to Rune, for coming up with this idea and making it happen,

and to chief timer Augustina and assistant timer Joan for herding all the cats and tracking their times.

Augustina's photo
And of course, thank you to everyone who showed up for such a fun morning, especially my fellow tortoises, who saved me from doing it by myself and being tragically eaten by cougars.  Let's all do this again!

Not enough eye candy yet?  Here are more photos Augustina took:

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