I was excited to run Rock It Racing’s Smoothie Tuesday Trail Race on June 26, 2016 as I had been wanting to make it out to one of their races. Rock It Racing is new to the trail racing scene and has shorter (5k-half marathon) races on trails. Finding shorter trail races is pretty tough so these races are great for new trail runners or for people who love trails and want to get in a race here and there that’s not a 25k or a 50k.
The race took place at Riley Wilderness Park in Coto de Caza. All of Rock It Racing’s races are in the OC and this race was way south! It was quite a drive from LA, a 67 mile drive for us (thankfully, Wayne drove and did a bike ride while I ran!) But I’m always up for exploring new trails!
We had to park at an elementary school nearby and I walked .75 mile to the start.
My INKnBURN ambassador friends, Michelle and Kristina, who are also Rock It Racing Ambassadors, were volunteering!
The Smoothie Tuesday Trail Race is a series and you get something different at each race. We got a blender bottle for this race. On July 26th, we will get a t-shirt and on August 16th, we will get socks! If you complete the series, you get a medal!
Smoothie Tuesday blender bottle! The bottle is really cool! It’s one of those nice bottles that’s not made with cheap plastic. It’s BPA-free and has a little mixer in it. I’ll definitely use this for my green smoothies. And it’s orange! Yippee!
RD, Jeri, gave us instructions and we were off! We would run out for a big loop around the wilderness park and then pass the finish line for another lollipop loop and come back to the finish.
We went out and everyone went toward the left at the junction. About half a mile in, the fast runners were coming back toward us, yelling ” Turn around! Turn around!” Everyone was confused. It turns out we had gone the wrong way as the fast runners came to a dead-end and ran inside someone’s private property! Yikes! So we all turned around and at the previous junction, went toward the right. I think the kid volunteers were told to stand where they were standing, blocking the path where we were supposed to run. It was a volunteer mistake which meant we’d all run about an extra mile, 5 miles instead of 4. I wasn’t upset as I actually needed a 6 mile run (for my 50k training) and would get an extra 1.5 miles from the walk to the start and the walk back to the car.
There were several good climbs on the course.
The views were beautiful! The trail isn’t rocky or technical and is great for beginners and veteran trail runners alike.
There were many runnable sections.
I took it nice and easy on the inclines. It was very hot out there. This was a training run for me and maybe next time, I can push it a bit more.
The last climb!
We ran through a dry creek bed. And there were volunteers directing us at tricky areas.
On the way back, I was already at Mile 4 when I ran past the finish line for the lollipop loop.
I was tired for that last lollipop loop. It was kind of hard to run past the finish and not be done. A woman behind me kept shouting, “Do you see the turn-around? Are we almost there?” I yelled back, “Yeah, I see it! We’re almost there!” So the lollipop loop was about a mile and was just tougher since the course was long.
But I finished proudly and made the most of it all! So 4 miles ended up being 5 miles and I got my training miles in so I was happy! I ended up with 656 feet of elevation gain and a time of 1:16:51.
I didn’t get a smoothie at the finish as they had run out (I must run faster next time!) but the owner offered me a free smoothie at their shop if I bring in my bib. There was a presentation of awards and my friend, Michelle, came in 2nd overall! Yay! There were tons of raffle giveaways at the finish, too!
All in all, I had a great time! I saw runner friends and got to run on new trails! We got free race photos from Paksit Photos! So cool! Other than the little mishap with the course, the race was well-organized and there was a positive vibe all around. I’ll be back for the 2nd race on July 26th and need to get my smoothie! Check out Rock It Racing and use code RIRFANS20 for 20% off!
Your path, your pace, Tam