Salt Point Trail Race – August 13, 2011

(Salt Point Race Report by Christy Bentivoglio from her blog, What Do You Want Outta Me?)

Or the Alternative Title, “Amazing People, Amazing Location, Amazing…Okay, Time To Use Other Adjectives”

I’ve written dozens of race reports but unfortunately they’ve all been written in my head while I’ve been running and I’ve never managed to actually committed them to writing.  I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that I’m usually exhausted and in need of a shower, food, and a nap post-race.  But today my motivation likely has to do with the fact that I had a Diet Coke at the finish line table at Pacific Coast Trail Runs Salt Point 11k/26k/50k.

Other than the Go!St. Louis Half Marathon and the Eye-Q Fresno Half Marathon, this is the farthest I’ve traveled for a race.  It was well worth the drive.  After finally figuring out where the start was because it was 1/2 mile from the parking lot, we assembled in a small parking area of the park looking out over the coast.  Despite the fog, it was a beautiful race start.  We immediately started a climb up that seemed to last forever, and the first two or three miles really felt like I was on a hiking adventure more than in a race.  But I settled in with the hiking portion of the program keeping in mind that I do these races not for the speed but for the healthful benefits, the joy of being on trails, and the overall experience.

The first portion of the race was interesting with some very limited single-track trails including some bees that apparently went after some of the runners.  For once I managed to dodge that bullet, but I did manage to nail my left knee while climbing over a huge log, and get a nice goose-egg on my right shin while hurdling (okay, crawling over) a medium-sized log.  Despite the above, the first 6 or 7 miles were beautiful and also oddly unmemorable.  That changed after we crossed back over Highway 1.

We suddenly were running down a couple dozen stairs onto a small beach and then back up the other side to reveal grand cliffs and a spectacular Pacific Ocean in front of us.  I have to say that in terms of the course, from here to the Gerstle Visitor Center parking lot was my favorite part of the course.  I’m happy that I was able to take these pictures before my iPhone battery died.

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