Woodside Ramble 50K was my 12th and last marathon+ distance run for the year. My primary goal for the run was to get to the finish line before the IPA ran out. 🙂 Secondary goal was to run up the second big climb on Alambique Trail without walking after having run 15 miles already. I’d say mission accomplished. I love the trails along Huddart and Wunderlich parks. Redwoods & oaks below, and manzanitas & chaparral higher up with lush ferns, gushing creeks and waterfalls all around. Bliss. Here’s my Strava activity from the run.
Woodside Ramble 50K
I was a little concerned that the trails would be muddy and soggy after the stormaggedon. But nope, the land must’ve been so parched that it wicked the moisture away. Other than a couple of muddy spots and some debris and fallen trees along the ridge, the trails were immaculate. It was fantastic running on soft trails with sounds of gushing creeks and little waterfalls all around. With just 70 or 80 runners on the 50K course, there was plenty of solitude too. I’d say, I was mostly by myself after the first few miles.
The overall mode for the Woodside Ramble 50K and the inspiration for the title of this blog was from Scott Lucchesi, who I had the privilege of running with for the last 11 odd miles. We kept passing each other, with him going past me on the uphill and me catching up on the downs. I was super pleased with my overall performance. Didn’t linger around aid stations and with the cool weather, didn’t require much food or water either. After the descent down into Wunderlich, the climb up on Alambique Trail was slow going, but steady. Just chipping away at the miles with little pitter patters, occasionally running with my eyes closed. The ~6 miles back to the last AS was all ebb and flow. Slow on the ups and faster on the downs.
I had a half eaten PB&J sandwich in my hand on top of Chinquapin Trail and this is what I’d been waiting for all day long. Leaned forward and started bombing down the hill. Felt amazing. Finally some non-technical, I-can-run-fast-on-these trails. Every little up, I was talking to myself while power walking, “Give me a downhill, soon”. Felt my right calf cramp up, but I know how to deal with these now. Shorter strides on the flats/ups and all good. Passed a couple of runners and almost caught up with Mark Todzo, but couldn’t keep up with him when I hit the last hill before the finish line. But hey, I’ll take a 5:18 finish and 7th in age group. What an amazing day in the woods! And yes, there was plenty of IPA’s at the finish line. Strava says my moving time was 5:05, so I guess all that picture taking does take time. But so worth it though, don’t you agree?
Shout out to Bryan Weathers (2nd overall in the 35K), Nate Dunn, Rida Chow, Mark Tanaka and Erin MG (1st 50K and a sub-6:00 finish).
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