Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sequoia 50 Kilometer Trail Race

Last weekend several southern Oregonians traveled south to run in warmer climates at the Sequoia 50 Kilometer Trail Race. The course starts in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, CA and continues to roll through Redwood Regional Park where runners pass under huge redwoods and catch views of the Bay Area and the Oakland Hills.

Views along the course. Photo by Scott Dunlap

Here's what Eric Poole, of Ashland, had to say about his race and the course.

"What a treat to be able to head down to the Bay Area for a great trail run in the hills above Oakland. The weather could not have been better. It actually felt a bit too warm towards the end of the run. Nice problem to have this time of the year. The race started in Joaquin Miller Park and then jumped into the Redwood Regional Park as well. I started out running with Chris Rennaker and Aaron Brian who are both Rogue Valley boys that were running the race also. Chris was running the 50 km and Aaron was running the 30 km. We had a few laughs as we climbed up the first steep climb of the day that was crowded with runners. Once we topped out on that climb it was some nice fire road running to the first aid station. After the aid station we descended down into and then started climbing again as we got onto the French Trail. The French Trail is what trail running is all about. The trail is soft, the trees are large and the climbing and descending were constant. I felt like I ran the first 30 km too fast and was feeling good but that feeling would not last long. As I entered the French Trail again (we ran the 30 km course and then went to the start finish line and then headed out on the 20 km course) and started to catch the guy in front of me my legs decided to rebel and let me know that the pace that I had set up to that point would not be maintained. So, I tried to regroup and get some food and drink in me but that last 20 km was not too pretty. There was plenty of time to walk and take in the views! Chris caught me with about 5km to go and we ran together to the last aid station where we sucked down some Coke, ate some food and found some energy to finish the run. Luckily most of the 5000+ feet of climbing in the race was over and we just had a steep descent on the Cinderella trail to finish the run. All in all it was a great day. There were over 450 runners that competed in the 10 km, 20km, 30km and 50km and I will look forward to coming back next year to give this race another go."

Chris Rennaker, of Talent, posted these thoughts.

"This being my first official 50K race I had a lot of pre-race excitement and was feeling good about my training. However, I didn't work on my race pace very much. I started out too fast and felt the blow the last 20K loop. The temperature was another factor that I had not incorporated into my training, which reached the 70's. I didn't finish as strong as I wanted but running the last 5K with fellow Ashlander, Eric Poole helped keep my spirits up. The Redwood Regional Park is a very nice and well maintained park and while running in it you do not feel like you are only a few miles from downtown Oakland, CA. I'm looking forward to making it back to this trail run and having a better race."

Poole finished fifth in 4:42:20. Rennaker finished sixth, 35 seconds back. Aaron Brian ran in the 30 Kilometer version and finished fourth in 2:43:21. Congratulations boys! Further race results and info can be found here.

The racers at the finish line. (l to r) Eric Poole, Chris Rennaker, Aaron Brian


erik said...

well done gentlemen...


Rennaker said...

You gotta love Aaron's gang sign. We were in Oakland after all...