I went into this one a bit nervous about the weather forecast - expected high of 90 degrees, super open trails with full sun exposure, and a start time of 8 am which isn't early enough to really beat the heat. It was most definitely hot at around 85 degrees by the end, but somehow it wasn't as bad as I expected. That said, I was seriously ready to hide from the sun after I finished.
The race was at Joseph D. Grant County Park in Mt. Hamilton, on the outskirts of San Jose. I arrived about 45 minutes before the start, quickly grabbed my bib and shirt, then got ready for the race. The shirts are purple and I love them; Brazen has one of the only race shirts I actually wear.
Shirt, bib, and medal.
View of the hills from the start area.
One of the first things I noticed when we started running was how the air was full of dirt. It's been really dry, and all of the dirt was getting kicked up by our feet and making the air actually look dusty around us. I worried that it might make me cough, but it didn't cause any trouble. We had an easy flat to downhill start before the climbing began. The race director said it was 13.4 miles with about 2000 feet of climbing. One thing to note about Brazen, many of the 'half marathons' are a bit longer than 13.1 but they tell you up front when you register.
The trails weren't my favorite because it was all wide dirt and fire road (I tend to go for single track) but I didn't actually mind at all during the race. Supposedly there are wild boar in the area, hence the name of the race, but I didn't see any wildlife at all.
I can't say I have anything specific and exciting to say about the during the race part. It was hot, very sunny, and I felt like the sun was eating me at times. I tried to eat pretzels at two different aid stations, but my mouth was so incredibly dry that I had to swish water like mouthwash to swallow. I think I got down only one each time. A highlight was that the aid stations had ICE in the water and they were squeezing big sponges with cold water on us as we came through. Cold water on my neck felt amazing.
I ran the downhills and flat(ish) parts well, and I power walked the hills that were steep. Overall I felt good, even in the heat, which is a big win for me. I took it easy at the beginning and passed back many of the people who passed me earlier by mile 8 or 9. It always feels good to be strong late in the race.
I was expecting a finish around 3 hours but surprised myself when I crossed the finish line in 2:44:47. I couldn't believe how good I felt on such a hard course, and I'm thrilled! There were still tons of people finishing after me; I finished 82 out of 191 and 6th in my age group.
Happy finisher with medal.
Oh, and remember all of the dirt I mentioned? I was covered in it. It was too good not to document.
Through the shoes AND socks...holy cow.
Akai was rather concerned about my dusty shoes and wouldn't stop sniffing them.
All in all, a fun time and I'd do this one again. Today's recovery run capped out my week at 37 miles, a build week for me, and I feel good. Here's hoping I continue to feel good over the coming weeks and into the Dublin Marathon. Cheers!