Run for Amma 30K Recap

On February 20, I ran the Run for Amma 30K charity event put on by Steven's Creek Striders. This year, the event focused on raising funds for spinal cord injury awareness and to purchase a road racing wheelchair for a friend of the club. There were three distance options: 50K, 30K, and 10K, of which I chose to use the 30K as a supported training run for my upcoming 50K.

This was a small run event with about 75 people across all distances, and I loved knowing many of the people there when I arrived. We quickly checked in, had a number marked on our hands so they could keep track of us, and hung out until it was was time to run. At 9:30 am, they counted down and off we went.

The run started in Portola Valley and followed trails on the Peninsula. It was awesome to discover new routes; how had I missed all of this beauty only 30 minutes from where I live? I need to learn and run in this area more, for sure. I ran with my friend, Andrea, and a new friend, Rachel, and had a wonderful time.

The run started out from Alpine Inn and headed out on the dirt trail near Alpine Road. From there, we cut into Coal Mine Ridge Park and started climbing. We ran trails along the edge of Coal Creek Open Space Preserve, crossed gorgeous hillsides in Montebello Open Space Preserve, and then dropped into Los Trancos Open Space Preserve for more beautiful tree covered single track. The last part of the course went through Foothills Park and Arastradero Preserve. Overall, the route had a little over 3K feet of climbing and was pretty mild. My full route info is here if you're curious.

View at the top of the first climb, the Coal Mine Park switchbacks.

Running in Montebello. (Photo from Andrea)

Another view near Montebello.

There had been wind and rain recently, which in California means that land floods and trees fall down. We enjoyed two big tree obstacles as well as a course change due to the changing terrain. We also found a little waterfall and active stream flowing along the trail.

Rachel and Andrea climbing over one of the big obstacles in Los Trancos.

Water in the stream bed? What?! A sight for sore eyes around here. (Photo from Andrea)

More pretty places to take photos in Foothills Park. (Photo from Andrea)

After about 4.5 hours we found ourselves back at the finish cone, where other runners were hanging out and cheering us on. One cool thing about the run is that the 50K starts a couple of hours before the 30K, meaning that the runners end up finishing in a similar time range. We hung out to cheer on the rest of the 30Kers and the 50Kers, chatting with everyone and enjoying post-race pizza. 

I got excited and took off ahead, oops. (Photo from Striders)

Erika finishing 50K.

Andrea, me, and Berke. Go Far peeps.

Overall, I really loved this low-key event, and there are a few things to note if you decide to run it. There were no timing chips; they kept times using our numbered hands. The majority of the route was marked very well, but we had to do some of our own navigation in Foothills Park (I'm guessing they weren't allowed to mark in that particular location.) There were a few course marshals at big turns to help out too. Note: We knew ahead of the race that we needed to review the route and take a map, so this wasn't a surprise but is worth calling out to people considering the event. 

There were two fully-stocked aid stations and one water-only station on the 30K, which was plenty. It was nice to have pizza at the finish in addition to the usual aid station snacks. There was even a massage therapist at the finish, to which my left hip says thank you! Last, we received nice neon yellow, gender-specific, tech tees for finishing.

I'd recommend this one and hope to do it again next year, plus I'm planning to run the Striders 50K or 30K in September. 

Happy Running!


  1. Beautiful photos and excellent achievement, congratulations!

  2. What a great day, Paulette! I always think it's really nice to be able to use an organized event as a training run; less worry about having everything you need, support, etc., and the atmosphere is usually a little more exciting! That course is really pretty; thanks for sharing the beautiful pics!


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