SANTA BARBARA NINE TRAILS 35 MILE ENDURANCE RUN
Thanks to Luis Escobar and Friends for putting on a great race this year.
Have you ever wondered if it is possible to put 50+ miles of toughness into a 35 mile slice? Nine Trails does it.
You can read all you want about how much climbing and descending you will encounter on this mighty course, but you can never understand until you taste it, taste the 10,500 feet of elevation gain and loss in 35 miles.
I tasted it. Me like.
What you can only appreciate by being up in those rugged mountains is the view, looking down into the Santa Barbara bay, looking out over a wide ocean with distant Channel Islands siloutted against the horzion.
California at its best. High beauty.
The trails were often very steep and slippery.
There were SO many different textures and footings.
And I felt them, all of those textures, and for me, mostly, they felt wonderful.
I wore an upcoming Vibram FiveFinger shoe nicknamed KSO (Keep Stuff Out). It is similar to the FF Sprint, but it has a top foot cover.
Photo by Scott Dunlap of A Trail Runner's Blog
My KSOs along with a pair of black Injinji toe socks made the running of this race very comfortable for me.
However, when you run with FiveFingers on rugged trails, you must think:
Every step (every single step) must be made consciously.
You will perfect this skill more and more, because your foot will get tired of feeling the pain of kicking things.
My feet felt as if I were running on the hard-packed low tide sand at the beach...with a lot of obstacles.
My feet and legs feel fine today. But keep in mind, I stayed in control the whole race and ran very conservatively since I had never been on the course before.
Time 9.21. 40th out of 80 finishers, 108 starters.
Highly recommended, and do attend the pre-race dinner at the Savoy Cafe the night before the race. I have never enjoyed such wonderful pre- and after- race food. Quality healthful delicious food.
PS. Big thanks to Luis Escobar, el Coyote. Thanks to Deb getting me to SB, getting me a place to stay and getting home. Greatly appreciated. And thanks to Marina for hosting us, and Andy, thanks for that beer!
PSS. It was great to see Gary Hilliard up and about. Keep moving forward!!!