Race Summary: Griffith Park Trail Marathon

10:27 PM
Albert Hammond proclaimed "It Never Rains in Southern California" (vid below).  ....uh somebody needs to dial up Mother Nature and remind that byotch it shouldn't be raining in Southern California because Er'year it rains in SoCal.  



And so I prepared for a cold wet run.  

Glad I did.  


Yeah...

Oh, the single track steep muddy ridge out to the Hollywood sign.  Awesome life experience!

We started off a little cool, under cloud-filled skies which kept the temperatures at bay.  In short, perfect running weather.  With the exception of the prior days presoaking of the course and the random soakings throughout the morning until the clouds broke mid-day!



Despite the rainy and grey start which starts at the home of the old LA Zoo, the views were still serene and inviting.  Easy to get lost in the beauty of Griffith Park.  Something I needed.

Another thing I needed was the welcoming spirit of trail runners.  Pre-start I had several conversations which took my mind away from the trivial worries of the world and allowed me to dig into the world of others. 

Within a mile of the start, I met Kevin.  This was his first marathon.  Big congratulations on his grit and determination to bring this grueling trail race home!  Truly a motivator, which I later learned he really is a motivator (check him on Facebook).  I was immediately captured by his positive attitude as we climbed the first of what seemed like an eternity of HILLS!  

Oh the HILLS!  Did I mention this park is filled with HILLS!  During the course of the marathon, according to my Garmin Fenix 5, we climbed 4,941'!  This would be the MOST CLIMBING I'VE EVER DONE!

Around mile 5 I ran into Instagram running phenom Tam @tamarathoner.  Who somehow has this ability to run for crazy miles without dropping a drop of sweat and maintaining that fresh out the house look!  She has an impressive following and knows everyone.  Check her out if you need a dose of motivation.  


I received a warning from another famous running instagramer Robert Manon @rmanon as I descended the trails a bit around mile 10.  "The singletrack past the next aid station is very slippery.  Be careful", he proclaimed.  I was excited to see him in person, but heeded his words and tucked them in the back of my mind as I continued.  

Throughout the morning the rain was spotty, but as I began my climb across to the Hollywood sign, the clouds unleashed.  If the single track crossing was bad before, this is now treacherous. 

It's a single track trail that is on the ridge of the crossing across with a ravine right next to the trail!  I've run in rain.  So I was good until this point.

Now I'm faced with mud!  On a single track!  On a cliff!  With a ravine!  With slippery, yet sticky mud!  In the rain!  [cue treacherous soundtrack - dun, dun, duuunnn]

Have you ever played on one of those slip-n-slide thingys?  In the mud?  No?

Oh...




Well, runners doing the 50k and marathon got that chance today!  Except with mud!  Biggly!  And yes, I slid.  And slipped!  And slid! And fell!  Many times.

Our dangerous mud playtime was rewarded with a hard-fought well-earned glimpse of the Hollywood sign from behind!  it was a surreal moment in which I took in and hung out for a spell just to take it all in.  


But alas, the muddy slip-n-slide awaited my return.  Fortunately, the rain had relented and the skies would soon clear.

My New Balance Trail Shoes were not designed to provide grip in this type of terrain, but they performed flawlessly on the hard packed areas and their ability to dry out quickly kept my feet dry when I wasn't stomping through water or when mud wasn't trying to suck my shoes off my feet.  Consider me impressed.   

Despite some work calls and a few reviews of emails during the first half of my adventure today, I was able to escape.  To fall in love with trail running once again.  

Three days ago I had no clue about this run.  I needed to put some miles in.  I needed to clear my mind.  I needed to escape.

During lunch on Wednesday, I searched for 1/2 marathons this weekend and...  Griffith Park 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, and 50K!  I was sold!  

It has been a while since I've put some serious miles into the trails.  I had something to look forward to.  Something to take my mind off the craziness of the world.  And the Griffith Park Trail Marathon did just that.  


Challenging me throughout with its majestic views, challenging relentless climbs, weather factors, mud, and the amazing people took me away.  Giving me a moment to reflect on why I started.  How I started.  Reminding me that I stumbled into trail running by accident just three years ago this month and how my running journey began a mere six years ago this month.

The suffering hasn't changed.  I still suffer physically just as much as I suffered trying to run the first 20 yards on Constitution Trail while following the instructions of the Couch to 5K app.  The difference?  My mentality and the distance.  

I no longer think what my body can't do.  And it takes 5-8 miles to warm up these days before the suffering begins around mile 20 if I'm pushing myself.  

Thank you, Griffith Park.  Thank you, organizers, for this beautiful life experience today.  Thank you aid station workers who were so nice and had the BEST watermelon, ginger cookies, and assorted foods and goodies EVER!  Aid workers are so grateful and caring.  Thank you!  

If you want to run this race in the future, here's the link to the Griffith Park Trail Marathon should you want an adventure with beautiful vistas in the northern heart of the City of Angles.  

Just remember Albert Hammond stated, "It Never Rains In Southern California".  


What?  You thought the Tony! Toni! Tone! joint was an original idea?  Silly fools.  Told y'all I listen to all kindz of music!  All kindz!

But for y'all that want a little R&B to end the night...



1 comment:

  1. Well done, Ed! Great to meet you on the trail yesterday!

    ReplyDelete

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