Bib #30 – Toro Trail Run 13.1

The phrase “elevation profile” is meaningful to most trail runners. It refers to the rise and fall of a race course over the distance of that course. The elevation profile represents, in layman’s terms, how hilly the course is.

The Boston Marathon, with its famous “Newton hills” and infamous “Heartbreak Hill,” has 783 feet of gain over 26.2 miles. New York City, with its five bridge crossings, has 885 feet of gain. The Toro Trail Run is 3,750… in the half marathon.

It’s a rather hilly course.

Bib 30-2 (August 26)

30k and half marathon runners ready at the start.

Though cool in the shade at the start line, I made the last minute decision to ditch my long sleeved pullover behind a bush for safe keeping at Toro Park in Salinas, California, approximately 30 minutes east of Carmel. Everyone in the start area was in tank tops, and I thought maybe they knew something that I didn’t. Sure enough, I felt the sun bouncing off my sunscreen-free cheeks and nose inside of the first mile, and I would have heat rash where my sweat-soaked shorts rubbed against my legs by the time the race was over.


Not the first climb, just the first one where I cursed.

Did I mention this was a hilly course? When I posted this photo on Facebook, I got two responses.

The friend on the left is a road runner. On the right, a trail runner.

Just past the five mile mark, I was passed by the first and second place runners in the 30k race. These were men who’d started with me but, after a nearly 6-mile detour, we were now back on the same trail for the remainder of the race.

Bib 30-5 (August 26)

The 30k first and second place men around Mile 11 of their race. Undaunted.

And the hills kept coming.

Bib 30-3 (August 26)

I crossed the finish line in the back third of the field, ten seconds behind the second place woman in the 30k (yes, a woman who completed 6 more miles than I did). Nonetheless, it was a good day, and I will remember it as the first race I completed as a forty year old.

And the hills.

Bib 30-8 (August 26)

Resting at the finish line; my beer to the right.


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