30 April 2014

Folsom Lake Trail 10K Race Recap

Last weekend, I headed to Placerville to visit Alisyn and to enjoy the awesome trail running and craft beer offered in her part of California. The Folsom Lake 10K was the first trail race I've run in some time, and only the second trail run post-hip flexor injury. I'd forgotten how much I LOVE the trail race vibe both for the enjoyable terrain and the laid-back people. Super fun.

The 10K started at 8:30 am, but we headed out a little earlier to say hello to Alisyn's Folsom Trail Run group friends who were running longer races with an earlier start time. Meeting new runners was awesome, and FTR seems like a fun group. I was actually quite nervous for this event and had no idea how I'd handle the trails that day, but it turned out to be fantastic. I felt great, took it easy and chatted with Alisyn, and just enjoyed myself.

Pre-race with Alisyn. Big thanks to FTR friend Hassan for the photos.

When we lined up for the start, the race director gave us a bunch of directions and also noted that the course wasn't really 10K but around 7 miles. That was fine with me, although I'm glad he told us beforehand because I like to know what to expect. After a bunch more talking - lots of which I couldn't hear because the crowd was getting excited and chattering - we headed out of the parking area and around the lake.

My fave photo of the weekend, a happy trail runner I am.

The course was a little rolling with no big climbs and had lovely fields of purple wildflowers - perfect time of year for the event. We could see the lake pretty often but not always, and it was basically all single track except for the portion crossing the lake dam on gravel. The dam feels long especially on the way back; Alisyn had mentioned it because she ran the 50K there last year and I can see how it'd be even worse on a longer course.

At halfway we hit an aid station, grabbed some water, and then headed back to the start on the out-and-back course. One of the highlights was seeing the runners coming toward us and cheering them on or giving high fives while running by! I've never actually run the shortest available course at a trail event, so turning around earlier than usual felt kind of weird but was also nice. Although after we turned I wished I could have been ready for the half...soon enough.

The part back across the dam was easier terrain and let me open up the legs a bit, which felt good. I finished with a time of 1:14:14 with 5th in age group, and I'm very happy with that on trails especially in my current state of fitness. I thought Inside Trails put on a wonderful event as always, and I'd return for a longer distance.

Fish medals (but can I say I miss the coffee mugs they used to give out?)

They had lots of finish line food options such as coffee cake, peanut butter pretzels, brownies, cookies, fruit...the list goes on and on. There is nothing like the trail race finish line tables. We also received gender specific tech shirts that are cute.

Shirt and fish-shaped medal.

After cleaning up, we headed out to Gold Hill Winery to taste wine AND beer. They have both, and they do well at both, which is impressive. We split a few tasters there because we still wanted to head to Knee Deep in Auburn, but it was enough to get a feel for their style. If I had to choose, I liked the wine more than the beer although I enjoyed it all. More than anything, I liked the feel of the winery - super nice people, easy-going, not commercial like some larger wine country areas, and gorgeous property.

Gold Hill property.

Beer tasting with a view.

Last but definitely not least, we went to the Knee Deep Brewery tap room in Auburn, CA. I've become a big fan of Knee Deep in the last few months and consider their hoppy beers to be some of the best I've had. They've become pretty known for the Simtra Triple IPA; this weekend I had the Hoparillo 3X IPA and the Spring Sipper IPA which were both fantastic too. If you love hoppy beer, try this place!

I end this post with a fun tidbit discovered on the way to Auburn. Gold!



4 comments:

  1. I ran the 50K once and that dam IS a long way on the return trip!!! It's a fun course, one I'd like to run again. Glad to see you're feeling healthier and running well again!! :)

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  2. Glad to hear you had a good race and hope to run trails with you soon! I also miss the ITR mugs -- I'd take a mug over a medal any day!

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  3. That sounds like a such a fun race and location! Sounds like you had a great time out there and glad you felt good out there on the trails. Maybe we can do a trail run together down here? :)

    I have to check out Knee Deep. I LOVE hoppy brews (IPA fan) and keep hearing good things about Auburn wine and beers. Next time I'm in the area, I'll check it out.

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  4. We LOVE Gold Hill - we camp in Coloma every year (we go white water rafting from there, well - braver people in our group do). It's such a cool winery and the view from their deck is just perfect!

    Congrats on the race too. Have IT stopped doing mugs? I was only thinking this week that I needed to run a few more of their races to add to my mug collection!! Heartbreaking!

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