Humboldt Redwoods Half 2017

In Running, Race Report, Travel

Chip Time: 1:26:40 (6:37 min/mile).
Overall: 18/329. M25-29: 4/19. Men: 17/145.
Bib #1399. http://aasportsltd.com/results/pages/2017/res_h817

HIGHLIGHTS, aka “I’ll write an actual race report later, maybe.”

1. Out-kicking Chris Mintzias (who I snuck up on) at the last second with barely 10 meters to spare.

“SORRY, CHRIS!!!” (as I pass him milliseconds ahead of the finish line)
“FUUUUCKKK YOU, VICTOR!!!”

2. Camping with Casey McNamara, Ken Cluff, Jim Eckford, and Chris Mintzias on the Saturday before the race.

First time camping since college, and definitely the first time camping before any race — much less a half-marathon in the redwoods four hours north of the Bay.

No campfire or hiking, but lots of conversation, chilling, pasta, and entertaining a rather eccentric man ranting about the coming apocalypse.

3. Escaping the Bay Area air.

Each day last week, I kept thinking the air would improve the next day. That I’d get to run the next day. Sadly, that never happened. My right hamstring had feeling unusually tight all week, and my right knee had been feeling funny since I tripped and fell. I was relieved that they still worked Friday night on a dreadmill.

4. Running among the redwoods. Running with LMJS teammates. Scoring a new half-marathon PR!

This race is among the one of the best I’ve ever run. Not just because it’s now my fastest half-marathon, but also because

(1) The weather was perfect. It was cold, for sure, but not freezing. No wind, and lots of cover from the redwoods. I literally didn’t sweat!

(2) Pack running was immensely fun — and motivating. Chris, Ken, Casey, Jim, Rick Soper, and I all started together. And for the first 4-5 miles, almost all of us packed together pretty tightly, with Chris and I at the front, maintaining a 6:30-6:40 pace. As late as mile 9-10, Chris, Ken, and I continued running together, and pushing each other on, in pack.

Later, Chris would say that he did as well as he did partly because I pushed him. Maybe. If so, he pushed me just as much!

(3) The course was as scenic as I’d hoped. The course was paved (and relatively fast). Yet, it had the serene yet majestic undertones of a trail run. At every turn, I couldn’t help but enjoy the light filtering from leaves 30 stories above, and every breath of fresh, cool air.

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