Back Again At The Coyote Hills Half Marathon

Last time I ran the Coyote Hills Half Marathon was 2 years ago and I ended up finishing at 1:43. With the miles steadily increasing over the next months culminating in my first 100K in May, this was a great start for the season and also interesting for myself to see if I’ve gotten any faster. The course is harder than it looks with a ~600ft elevation gain and two loops around the beautiful park with a mix of trails and asphalt. Unlike the last time, I gave myself time to jog from the parking lot to the start line (and back). Got there early enough to scramble up the hill, take some pictures and appreciate how lucky we are in the Bay Area to have these spectacular trails so easily accessible to us. Here’s my Strava activity for the run:

Coyote Hills Half Marathon

Brazen Racing really does an amazing job of organizing these trail runs and there are a lot of first timers around. It’s how I got started 3 years ago! Sam had his usual speech about trail runs, not getting lost and not littering and we were off at 9am. I probably went out a little too fast but tried to stick to ~7:00 minute/mile pace. Through the wooded boardwalks, past the photographers, kept my pace and chugged along. The uphills are still hard for me and it’s something to improve upon this year. Stopped at the top of most hills to catch my breath, take a picture and then bomb downhill. The skies were clear, the weather oh-so-perfect and it was great to be out there.

  • Crisp morning in Coyote Hills
    Crisp morning in Coyote Hills

I’d left my racing vest in the sweat check and was running with just my iPhone. The electrolytes at the aid station was enough to power me through the race. Ran all of the hills on the first loop and then started on the second. I was visibly slower than the first but kept trying to keep the pace. Saw Jean Pommier during the 2nd lap. I had my big kudos to his blog when I wrote about the getting further and faster this year. Turns out his son Greg was running his first half and Jean ran a 50K from Cupertino all the way to Coyote Hills! That’s one way to get your miles in! After the out-and-back, kept pushing on the last three miles. Sherry Lee (1st in her age group) caught up with me at mile 11’ish and I tried to keep up with her until we hit the last hill. She was gone quick while I walked, jog to the top and then bombed downhill to finish in 1:36, a 7 minute improvement over two years. 21st overall and 6th in age group too. I’ll take that as progress! Hung out for a while and then jogged back to my car thinking about how Sean O’Brien 50K is going to turn out in just two weeks.

Did you run the 2015 Coyote Hills Half Marathon? How was your experience?