I didn’t have much time this week to chart up a new route, but saw that Stuart Taylor ran this course in the Calero County Park trails with a short segment in Almaden. Made my decision easy, especially since I’ve never ran these trails before. Here’s my Strava Activity:
Calero County Park
Got to the main entrance of the park right around 7am. After getting so cold in the last week’s Puddle Jumper 50K, decided to add a Smart Wool base layer for my legs, which was super helpful.
The climb up to Bald Peaks and the view from the summit was just spectacular. There was nobody around this time of the day.
On every steep climb, I would start to get warm and would think about removing the base layer only to turn a switchback and face the wind. The trail was also alternating between wide open vistas to shaded segments.
On the descent from Bald Peaks, the steady stream of bikers started and didn’t let up until I got back to the car. Luckily the trails were one way for the bikers and I was running against them. The Lisa Killough Trail was cool with views of open meadows and lush rolling hills.
Took the connector to Almaden Road and eventually the Hacienda Entrance parking lot of QuickSilver park. Stripped the base layer (finally) and mostly walked up Mine Hill trail. In hindsight, I should’ve stashed some aid at this parking lot. I was rationing my Tailwind and could tell I was a starting to get a bit dehydrated. Took my time coming down Deep Gulch trail careful not to face plant.
By the time I got back to Calero County Park again, it was slow going and I was walking a lot by now. Kept checking my hydration pack to see how much more water I had. And finally ran out of water by mile 28. The last 4 miles was a bit of a death march, but kept pushing and finally made it back to the care in 6 hours and change.
As the weather warms up, I’m not sure I can do these self supported 50K’s without stashing aid along the way. 1.5 liters of Tailwind is simply not going to be enough to last 31 miles. Mental note.
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