The gun just sounded and the crowd of over 600 runners bunched up. In my prerace preparation I looked at the course map and elevation chart and I knew the first half of the race would be the easier part of the race. The first three miles were a slow gradual downhill, what I did not know what that a lot of race was a trail run and trails creates a whole other set of issues.
Less than one mile into the race the entire field is funneled to a small almost unnoticable trail. The single wide trail resulted in a lot of bunching up and walking, which was fine by me because I knew there was a lot running left. As the trail opened up we were running 3 or 4 wide on a rocky dirt trail in the Arroyo Seco River Bed.
Wec continued under a few bridges, one of the other runners said one bridge was haunted. At first, the Suicide Bridge is very pretty and architecturally very impressive. But as the name sounds there is more of a story. Starting in 1919 people starting comitting sucide by jumping from it. In the four year span of the Great Depression nearly 50 people lost there lives right there. It is kinda creepy knowing we ran right through there. Local Legend is that several ghost spirits haunt the bridge. I didn’t have a close encounter but maybe Zeb noticed some unusally activities.
Unknowingly, Zeb and I escaped the ghosts and hauntings to start the return back toward the Rose Bowl. The next 6 miles were gonna be uphill, according to the elevation chart.
Zeb decided to start running at his own pace and started to pull away. Before the race we decided that we would run at our own paces. I knew Zeb would be faster and I just hoped to stay close. Eventually our friend from the start line with the fancy GPS watch came up and I asked how are we doing on our pace, she replied 8:43. I know I start faster and slow down toward the end so 8:43 sounds about right.
By mile 5 we emerged from the trail and were back on streets. My feet, knees and ankles appreciated it. Our support crew was cheering for us as we passed by the Rose Bowl. I don’t care who are, seeing familar faces cheering for you will always put a little pep in your step.
It turns out that at that point I was only 2 minutes behind Zeb . I was doing pretty good up .
Stay tuned to hear about the second half and the post race.