Lake Chabot Trail Challenge Half Marathon: Check!

Today was the second leg of the three-race East Bay Triple Crown trail running trilogy.  The Lake Chabot Trail Challenge half marathon started a little after 8:00AM in Castro Valley, California, and it turned out to be just about a perfect day for a run.

It's been raining this weekend; yesterday I ran a 10K in support of my wife, who is becoming a runner and preparing for her first half marathon this summer.  We ran yesterday's race in the rain, and I was expecting much the same today.  Somebody was watching over this race, though, because when I got to Lake Chabot, there were high clouds but no rain and the weather was relatively warm.  No need for rain protection gear.  It did rain during the run, for a grand total of about 3 minutes half way into my run.  Perfect for cooling me off.

This is basically my home park; it's where I do the majority of my weekend runs, so I knew most of the trail segments.  I was feeling a little gassed half way in from yesterday's run, but once I reached the stone bridge, I knew exactly what the trail home would be like, and I knew I was home free, no matter how tired I felt.  Man, that was a great feeling.

The course is gorgeous, and challenging; there's one section where I had to walk for a bit, because the climb was steep and relentless.  Overall, though, the climbs aren't the hardest in the East Bay, and they're all runnable, if you pace yourself well enough.

Results: 2:07:05, a 9:42-per-mile pace.  I'm happy with a sub-10 minute pace considering I haven't run a half marathon race in well over four years, and I'm coming off a couple of weeks of low-mileage training.  And again, this race showed me that I'm not fast, but I can climb well.  I'll take it!

Next up: the Woodminster 9-mile cross-country race in Oakland, in two weeks.  That one's going to kick my butt, but it's a gorgeous venue.

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