|Runners milling about at the finish on the Los Gatos High School Track|
Who ever laid out the five mile Dammit Run course forty years ago was a diabolical genius. The race starts easy enough, with a lap around Los Gatos High School's synthetic all-weather track before weaving through a parking lot and athletic fields onto the gravel Los Gatos Creek Trail. The next mile on the gently winding, slightly uphill trail is easy enough, but then there's a short, steep hill at mile two. One you get over that hill, there's a flat section, then steep down hill to the foot of the Lexington Reservoir Dam. You then take a paved trail diagonally across the Dam, climbing upwards from the bottom corner to the top, and then after a couple hundred yards on a street, take a rocky trail where immediately a steep ascent with uneven footing greets you. Get to the top of that and you've finally made it to mile 3. Then it's a roller coaster ride to the finish, with descents down rugged hills before you hit the streets of Los Gatos and finish back on the high school track.
|Everyone's performance captured and tagged|
Not only did I not want to miss out on the Dammit Run this year, I used it to gauge my early fitness as I begin training for the Monterey Half-Marathon, November 17th. I'll try not to bore you with a tedious play by play. My legs had the strength to get up the hills pretty well, the problem was I kept going into oxygen debt and really couldn't get moving up them. I was pretty pleased with how I kept my speed during the rugged descents that I used to wibble-wobble down, and give credit to Eric Orten's form and strengthening exercises I started doing last spring for that improvement. A time of 34:15 earned me 26th overall, higher up than I expected. That got me 2nd in my 45-49 age group, good enough to make me pretty optimistic heading towards Monterey, and made those post-race beers taste even better.
|Plenty of cookies greeted the runners at the finish.|