You run long enough, you figure at some point stars are going to align and you’ll end up having an amazing race where everything goes right. The Reservoir Dogs Trail Run 35K was that for me this year (so far!). Despite the hot, exposed, quintessential East Bay trail run, things just worked perfect and I ran the 35K in 3:09, 45 minutes faster than the last time (Woodside Ramble 35K). I picked the Reservoir Dogs Trail Run for a couple of reason. One, I just didn’t feel like slogging out a 50K in mid-summer, hot weather. Two, the Reservoir Dogs Trail Run (2,850ft elevation gain) circumnavigates the Briones Reservoir that’s normally permit-only. What better way to explore a new set of trails!
Reservoir Dogs Trail Run
As I drove up in the morning, I was happy see the hills covered in fog, until I crossed the tunnel, came out on the other side to be welcomed by blue skies. At 7:30am, you could tell it was going to get hot out there. I had my Nathan 22oz handheld filled with 8 Clif Shot Gels (diluted with water) with the Garmin 220 beeping every 10 minutes reminding me to fuel. To switch things around, I also ran in the Vibram KSO instead of my Luna Sandals.
We took off at 8am and it was great to be running under the oak trees. Kept a comfortable pace and the first aid station went by rather quickly. The rolling hills reminded me very much of Lake Sonoma 50, only gentler. Tried to run up most of the hills as I didn’t want to be out in the exposed sections when it warmed up later on. Got to the Bear Creek AS at mile 7.1 in about an hour. A little coke, some potato chips, an Succeed S Cap and off again. This part of the trail was semi-shaded, hugging the north shore of the Briones Reservoir. The rolling trails made for perfect running. I was mostly running with Bryan Weathers and Nico Raffo as we kept passing each other for a while. Reached Hampton AS at mile 13 in 1:55. One more Succeed S Cap, potato chips and off into the most exposed (and lonely) part of the run. Crossing the dam was probably the worst (heat-wise), but the sight of the orange tent at the Briones AS was good motivation to keep pushing. It was so nice to be back under the oak trees again. Pushed through the last 3.1 miles to cross the finish line in 3:09, 4th in age group and 12th overall. No blisters, no chaffing, no cramping, no bonking and couldn’t have asked for a better race!
Post-race, got a much needed massage from Diane Jenkins (thank you!) and hung out with Rida Chow (1st place Female!), Mark Tanaka & Mickey Kong, cheering for the incoming runners and slowly getting my sugar level back up again. But the highlight of the race for me was meeting and talking with septuagenarian (72 years young!) Eldrith Gosney, the most amazing ultra runner I’ve ever met. Sarah Lavender Smith wrote a great article/interview about her and Eldrith was the absolute inspiration as she ran past the finish line with a huge smile on her face. This was a training run for her upcoming 100K!
Have you run the Reservoir Dogs Trail Run before?
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