Posted by: Jen | April 24, 2010

Wildcat Trail Half Marathon: A Race Report

Hello, faithful readers – I am back! I had a great workout schedule the week of April 11th and completely failed to blog about any of it – including two great bike rides. This week wasn’t so great, but it ended well!

I ran my first trail half marathon today – the Wildcat half in, appropriately enough, Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, which has some seriously magnificent views of the Bay Area – seeing San Francisco from the top of one of the hills made the long, steep, exhausting trek totally worthwhile. (Unfortunately, that photo didn’t turn out.) I was fortunate to see “Alameda Ted,” our pacer from the Oakland half marathon, at the race. I caught up to him a few times throughout the course and he complimented me on my toughness. (Yeah, you know I’m so hardcore. LMAO)

My goal was to be one of the top 10 women – there weren’t many of us, but dang it I wanted to be up there. One part of the race included a little random out-and-back so I was counting all the women who came towards me and at one point I was hanging in there at 7th overall – but the hills got the best of me and I fell back. I chatted with the guys who were running around me – one, who I kept getting into a passing game with (he’d pass me, I’d pass him, and so on), told me that I “won the climbing race today.” I was powering up those hills at my brisk-paced walk. All that speed-walking I do really paid off today!

The aid stations were awesome – water and Gu2O as well as pretzels, candy, orange slices, Gu, and other goodies – with friendly and motivating volunteers. It was a pleasure to stop and take a break and chat with them for a minute. I did get a couple of photos with Alameda Ted but they haven’t been posted on his site yet ( As soon as I can get ’em, I’ll post ’em. Apparently, Ted is napping. I’m seriously considering copying that! 🙂

Here are a couple of shots of the amazing scenery:

Mount Diablo, which is not far from where I live, can be seen in the distance (top right)

Lots of hills!

Mount Tamalpais (aka Mount Tam) can be seen in the distance in this shot. Foreground is the city of Richmond.

As you can see, it wasn’t exactly flat. 🙂 I slogged through some serious mud, too. This is why trail shoes are made in darker colors:

And as a huge surprise, I got an extra shiny thing (as my friend, Wild Celtic Rose, would call it):

Second in my age group and, I believe, 10th female overall!

Final time: 2:35:25 (11:56/mile, which is far faster than I anticipated considering the major elevation changes)

Elevation profile (you see what I mean?):

Got hills?

The terrain map on Google:

All in all, it was a great experience. I will definitely participate in another Brazen Racing event!



  1. what a beautiful course and congrats on hitting your goal of top 10. that’s so awesome!

  2. Oh my goodness! Fabulous job and what a beautiful course! You are such an inspiration that I’m currently researching my first trail race. Any advice on shoes would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    • I wear the Asics GT-2150 Trail shoe; I don’t wear the 2150 road shoe (it overcorrects me a little too much) but the trail shoe is perfect for my needs and has offered great support for those bumpy/rocky/hilly trails! I recommend getting a trail shoe with a little more stability (not much, just a little) than your road shoe offers; it comes in handy on the uneven surfaces. You will LOVE trail racing. It’s a blast!

  3. Great job! Yes trail running ROCKS!!

  4. Hi Jen-it was nice seeing you again today. I updated Mikes post linked to the photo page.

    You did a great job pressing on the whole way. The hills were brutal. It sure was a sense of accomplishment when we crossed that finish line. I like the muddy look on the shoes.

    If I don’t see you at LN4B, I will see you at CIM 2010.

  5. Good job. That looks like one hardcore race!

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