I ran a fun steep race this morning -- Mt. Umunhum 14K (8.8 miles), with 1,963' of elevation gain, in Almaden Quicksilver County Park. This race is on the calendar for one of the running clubs I'm in, Excelsior, and multiple clubs were competing for points, so it was quite competitive. It was fun meeting up with so many Excelsior runners and other friends and acquaintances, too.
The weather was nice, and I only felt warm briefly in the bright sun on the uphills. I ran every step. The hills are so steep and long, that my ears popped on both the ascent and descent! I don't recall that happening in a race before! I carried a water bottle but could have done without it -- I had expected to take 1 hour 20 minutes and the aid stations are cup-less, but it took me 1 hour 7 minutes 43 seconds. The race results say I averaged 7:46 per mile, which was good enough for 2nd place in my age group. I didn't trip or fall or go off course.
The event was well organized. I want to give a big thanks to 1) my friend Suki for volunteering all day and 2) Excelsior-member Simone for the after-race picnic and 3) the Belmont Runners for the good speedwork sessions. It was also very helpful to have visited the park once before with a Belmont Runners group; it was nice recognizing many of the trails.