My company is based in San Jose, which offers me the opportunity to visit the Bay area several times a year. One of my favorite places to run are the mountain trails in Woodside CA, starting from Huddard Park. Two years ago I ran my first 50K there, and since then, these trails have a special place in my running heart. The combination of mountain trails, big climbs, single track through 75' trees and playing hide and seek with the sun, makes for a transcending running experience.
The course is very popular with locals and several different racing organizations each hold multiple runs at Woodside each year, providing 6 or 7 chances to run a 35K or 50K. Having to spend a week in San Jose for work, I was able to arrange to stay through the weekend to run Inside Trail Racing's December race, which offered a 50K, 35K, 1/2 marathon and 10K. I registered for the 50K, knowing I wasn't trained for that distance. All week I could hardly wait for Sunday to come and get out on the trails. A nagging, dull pain on the inside of my knee convinced me to drop down to the 35K and take it easy.
|Waiting for the start in the morning sun|
|RD Tim gets us ready.|
|Head for the trails|
The first half mile is down hill, then starts a 1500 ft climb over the next 4 mi, all on trails within a beautiful forest. I previously found that pushing hard on this climb will come back to get you in the second half, so I ran easy, throwing in some brief walking breaks, enjoying the woods.
I decided to try taking some pics as I ran, not realizing my camera was in the wrong mode for capturing motion shots. This only exacerbated my poor photog skills. Some interesting shots did appear to highlight the wooded track.
|. . . and everything started spinning|
|Eat'n up the single track thru the woods|
|Sun lapping thru the trees|
You never know who you will meet on the trail. Scott Dunlap (Inside Trail team runner) and his daughter were out taking some pics just before AS1. Check out their shots at Scott's blog http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com/2013/12/scenes-from-woodside-ramble-50k-photos.html
|Scott and photog protege|
|Thanks for the help and smiles . . .|
|. . . and the trail grub!!!|
|Sunny glow on Skyline trail|
|Miles of this|
|with some of this|
|and a bit of that.|
|Glad I brought my light saber.|
|A back scratch for bears?|
|Thank you. Thank You VERY MUCH!!!|
|A brief peak out from Skyline Trail|
As Schwarzenegger says, "I'LL BE BACK"
|Want more trails!|
|Tim and finish line helper. Thanks for a great run.|