Diablo Trail Run 25k

May 31 - Jun 6
S: 1.7 B: 44 R: 30.5

Hill training anyone?

Oh the challenge of running Mount Diablo! I had set my sights on it last year after running up Mt. Tamalpais and there it was. Another hill to climb. I had heard about it from other running blogs and PCTR runners (Rick and Jo Lynn). Be careful what you wish for.

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The course starts down in Mitchell Canyon and then goes up some really narrow steep singletrack trails (Back Creek) that snakes it's way up to Deer Flat Road. I kept watching the trail snake around the ridge and then once you get around the ridge, it switches back to another ridge, and another, it just keeps going up higher and higher. Then when you finally get to Juniper campground, there is a nice breeze and another hour of climbing to the summit. There were some loose rocks up here and I stacked real good twice. All along the way there are amazing views to take your mind off the pain. I would say that for me, on the way up only 10 - 15% of this was runnable, especially in the heat almost 90°! We'll just call it Extreme Hiking! Coming back down the summit trail was a little scary steep in some areas, so not so fast. After several hours of walking was able to finally get a nice downhill run from Juniper to Mitchell Canyon to finish in 4:23 (2:45 to summit {fast people are done by now}, 1:38 back down). This was my first PCTR event and I totally enjoyed it. Thanks to all the friendly runners and volunteers who made it a really great experience! This is a great social run if you are not racing it because of all the hiking - gives you plenty of time to chat with friends. Popping Endurolytes and strategically placed moleskins in advance of the run made it all good.

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I am smiling here but am so sore and sunburnt right now.

This turned out to be a camping trip as well as a run and have to say that is the way to go. I had a great time! I think my dog appreciated the healing calm of being out in nature. The Juniper Camp has an amazing view:

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and amenities such as showers, fire pits, sinks, water fountains. You may want to bring your own compressed fire wood since they didn't sell it at the ranger station. I ran 5.5mi down to the starting line early in the morning and saw dozens of little brush rabbits. Afterward I had a nice little nature hike back up to camp and took lots of photos. As I walked back up enjoying the flowers, I watched in awe the 50k-ers coming down from the second loop. It took me 2.5 hours to hike from Mitchell Canyon to Juniper. It was nice to rest under a shady tree listening to the wind rustling through the grass and fall asleep on the mountain afterward.


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To get to the camping spots by vehicle or to cycle to the summit on a road bike, use the North Gate or South Gate Entrance. Bring a camera and lots of water & electrolytes! It is possible to BART and mtn. bike here (about 11 miles from Walnut Creek Bart to Mitchell Canyon) but you will want to give yourself plenty of time to climb up a couple thousand feet to where the camp is!

Comments

aron said…
AWESOME job! that mountain is NO joke. i was actually thinking about all the pctr diablo racers yesterday because it was SO warm... gah quite a day to be on the mountain! beautiful pics :)
The Green Girl said…
Congratulations on completing such a grueling trail race, girl. I am very impressed with your stamina - especially in the heat!
Thomas said…
Congrats on your 1st PCTR run! I love their races and have done a few in CA. Will have to try Diablo next time!
Jo Lynn said…
Yup, you did it right - experiencing PCTR for the first time on THAT mountain. No better way to do it. ;)
The Mean Scene said…
My GOODNESS Gracious!!!! YOU ARE MY HERO!!! YOU ROCK SIS! GO RENE!
RenĂ© said…
After walking like a penguin for the past couple of days, now I know why they call it "SERIOUS Fun!"
The Mean Scene said…
Wadle Ouch! Wadle Wadle Ouch OUch! One step at a time baby - WOW I am so proud!
fuzzbuzz said…
So awesome, I wanna see this place. Proud of you sis!

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