Race Report: 2012 ITR Skirt ‘n’ Dirt 25k

I love using trail races as training runs.  Not only do you have the fun race atmosphere, but the courses are marked and supported.  It’s a great way to get to know new trails and practice race day fueling, since you have all the great aid stations along the way.

I was even more excited for this race because it was my first one since April!  I have missed the supportive, laid back nature of trail races, and was so excited to be out there again.  On top of that, a bunch of the bay area girls were going to be there!

Alyssa spent the night at my house the night before where we loaded up on pizza and watched Unbreakable with Cate.  I cannot get enough of that movie and always watch it before trail races.  Our alarms were set for 6am, which actually was sleeping in for me lately.  We got up and were out the door by 7am and at the start by 7:30 for the 8:30 start.  It was a cool, foggy morning in Oakland which I was very much looking forward to running in.

Katie, Kristen, Alyssa, me, Jessica, Jana 
SnD 003
(thank you Jana for the photo!)

We met up with Katie, Jana, Kristen, and Jessica before the race.  I didn’t really have a plan at all for this race.  I knew the course was going to be tough since I ran it a couple weeks ago, but I just wanted to have fun reminding myself that I had to run long the next day too.

Knowing the course, I tried to get as close to the front as I was comfortable with because I knew it was going to get pretty tight on the trails pretty quick.  After we made the first little climb I turned around and started looking for my friends and Jess was right there.  We talked a little bit but continued to work getting up the hills.  After that we settled into a pace next to each other and just kept on running.

We got to the first aid station a couple miles later and Jana was right behind us!  We grabbed some quick fuel and were off, on our way to the French Trail in Redwood Park.  I love this trail, but it’s tough.  Very technical with a lot of rocks and roots, but it’s all lush underneath towering redwoods.  There were lots of steep descents and some steep climbs, but we kept on charging along.


Eventually we came out of the tree covered single track to the next aid station.  I took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich square – which was my first “real food” fuel in a while!  I have to start getting my stomach used to real food during runs again and this was the perfect time to start.  I was continue to fuel with Shot Bloks every couple miles, a salt cap every hour and lots of water.

After the aid station, we started a big climb back up and over what we had just come down.  Jess and I continued to run together and Jana had gone ahead.  It was fun to have someone to run with!  We just kept on running enjoying the beautiful trails and the miles were ticking off.

ITR Skirt 25K 50K Return 076 
(photo by Allen Lucas)

Around mile 12 we were at the last aid station (which was also the 1st one) and we both took a cup of soda.  I had forgotten how much I love drinking soda during runs, it was so good!  We continued on with just over 3 miles to go, which included a technical decent and a fun single track loop with a steep climb.

SnD 002
(photo by Sam Hsu)

Then we were running back into the meadow where we started with the finish line ahead.  We heard Katie and Jana cheering us on and we crossed the finish line together.


Garmin: 15.5 miles/3:03:34/11:50 avg pace/3,056’ gain


Official results:
Overall: 14/91
Age Group: 9/39

We saw Alyssa running in shortly after with a huge smile on her face which made me so, so happy.  We all chatted for a few minutes, grabbed some food, then headed back home.

Once again Inside Trails put on a great event.  Very well organized, well marked, and well supported with amazing volunteers.  I am signing up for a bunch of their races during my training the next few months!  Hopefully I can continue to have a bunch of friends join me, because that makes them even better.

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13 Responses to Race Report: 2012 ITR Skirt ‘n’ Dirt 25k

  1. Christine August 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Congrats!!! What an awesome race!

  2. Jana August 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    I didn’t even recognize that the last aid station also served as the first! Thank goodness I have you with me when we do our weekday trail runs. I’d get so lost without you :-P

  3. Page August 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Woohoo! Glad to hear you had fun with the girls.

    This might be a stupid question, but what is considered “technical” in trail racing?

    • Aron August 27, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Not stupid! My definition of techinical would be rocky, rooty, big step ups/downs etc… anything where you really have to watch/think about where you put your feet.

  4. The Runners Bug August 27, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    Nice job!

  5. Joanne August 27, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    Miles 9 to 12 must have been amazing! You guys did great. Congrats on an enjoyable race.

  6. Cathryn @ My Heart's Content August 27, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    This looks so much fun. Between yours and Alyssa’s race reports, I’m going online now to find myself a trail race. A 10k though ;) Well done on a great race!

  7. Rene August 27, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    That’s awesome! I gotta run there soon!

  8. Holly August 27, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    AWESOME job out there! So glad y’all were able to run together and enjoy a race with friends. You’re definitely making me have trail envy! :)

  9. Marlene August 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Yayyyy! Congrats on your come back race! Sounds like it was a good one.

  10. Lisa August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Sounds like fun! And well done!

  11. Anna August 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Congratulations that was a great race! I also love sodas during races, it`s the only time I will drink them!

  12. Allen (notthatlucas) August 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Thanks for the elevation chart – I was really curious how much it would match the one supplied by ITR (they are similar, but theirs really smooths things out, making it seem easier than it was). Congrats on a great finish! (And thanks for calling out as you blasted through our aid station – otherwise I would have completely missed you while focusing on taking pictures.)

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