Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Race Review

It's Friday, and that means the weekend is within reach! Each week on Friday, I will review a race or two coming up that weekend, ones coming up the next weekend, and then once coming up a month or so away! So, let's roll!

Muddy Buddy San Jose
This weekend's main event is undoubtedly the Muddy Buddy event in San Jose. This event is put on by the Competitor Network, which has given us such fine races as Rock 'n' Roll San Jose. The race will kick off at 8AM on October 9, 2011 at the Joseph D. Grant Regional Park. What's the deal with this one? You will run/bike 6.3 miles with a buddy through 5 obstacles.

You start out at the start line, one of you on the bike, one of you running, and then you both are off! The biker will bike to the first obstacle, complete it, leave the bike for the runner coming behind them, and then run to the next obstacle and wait for the first runner (now biker) to catch up to them. Bikes are left at a transition point at each obstacle for the buddy who is currently running to pick up and ride to the next transition point.

What is the whole deal with it being muddy? Well, at the end you have to crawl through a mud pit with your buddy in order to complete the race.

Check out the course map for the obstacles. They look pretty awesome. This race is definitely not for the faint of heart. There is no elevation map on the course map, but from the description it looks like it's going to be a hilly one.

Nike Women's Half and Full Marathon
Since I am training for it, I of course have to talk up the Nike Women's half and full marathon occurring in San Francisco next weekend. It will happen on October 16, 2011 at 7AM and will kick off  from Union Square, San Francisco. Best part? The awesome finisher's prize. Usually you get a finisher's medal, but not at this awesome event. Instead, you will get an official Tiffany & Co. necklace handed to you by San Francisco firefighters at the end. Ummm, I call that some major motivation when I start struggling around mile 15.

You may get a shiney new piece of race memorabilia, but they definitely make you work for it. There are some nice hills in this one. Check out mile 6 and 11. That's almost 300 feet of climbing they make you do. Oh, and they make you do it twice! Thank god for the hill workouts I got at Bear Creek and Ragnar. I'm biking the course next week, so I'll let you know how gnarly those hills are in person then.

Firefly 5K and Oktoberfest 5K
In case you weren't one of the lucky to get the lottery in at Nike, there are some other cool races in the Campbell area. I know a few people who are making these races a two-fer, so I will review them together.

Kick off your morning with the Campbell 4th Annual Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk. The race begins at 9AM at Campbell park. The race route is right along the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which I have run about a million times since I have moved to Campbell. This is going to be a flat, easy one that you can definitely PR on.

Afterwards, there's lots of drinking festivities in honor of the great German Oktoberfest. There will be German beer, food, and music in downtown Campbell.

Don't drink too much though, because later on that night you should hit up the Firefly. The Firefly 5K is a night course kicking off at 7:30PM from Dana Ave. in San Jose. Since it's at night, they throw in some pretty cool, unique race swag including LED lights with reflective material and a glow in the dark participant bracelet. The course looks pretty sane, and is close to where the R'n'R took place. Hopefully those sausages you ate earlier in the day won't hinder your time for this run!

Morgan Hill Marathon & Half
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the Morgan Hill Half and Full. This is going to be one beautiful race. This is a second year race, and I have heard nothing but good things about the first year event put on last year. The race director knows what he is doing, is organized, and it definitely shows. The half and full kick off at the same time on October 23, at 8AM.

The half course looks like a challenge! You will have about a 400 feet elevation climb in the first 6 miles, but once you make it through that first half you are definitely rewarded. An almost 300 feet elevation drop from mile 6 to 7, a roughly flat course until you hit mile 10, and then a small hill leading you to a downhill roll into the finish.

The full course seems to follow about the same pattern. rolling hills always leading ever upward taking you from a starting elevation at about 400 ft to your first major peak at about 600 ft around mile 10. You get rewarded briefly with a small downhill before you climb another 200 ft between miles 14 and 16. The downhill after 16 looks pretty epic. You drop from 700 feet to below 350 in under a mile. Make sure you save your knees though, you still have some rolling hills to deal with for the rest of the course. Overall, looks like a challenging, but very do-able, full course.

Well, that's my race recap for this week. If you are running Muddy Buddy this weekend, let us know how it goes! If you are gearing up for Morgan Hill, Nike, the Firefly, or the Oktoberfest, let us know too! What's your goal time? How long have you been training? Are you planning on making it a double with the morning and night run on the 15th?

Until next time, happy running!

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