Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Death Star

SoCal Trail Headz (SCTH) had a big group run at the Black Star Canyon again on Saturday. This time I had enough time to run all the way to the point called Death Star. It is a little summit at the Main Divide with a huge white ball with antennas of some kind – not sure whether it is meteorological stuff or TV/radio antennas. As usual the summit was covered by a cloud blanket. As we passed the Death Star, we continued running along Main Divide for a while and pretty soon where passed by a couple of young runners from a local high school's track & field team, and few minutes after that by two more guys. The kids looked pretty fresh compared to us, and to our surprise did not carry any water bottles, despite they were running around 12 miles that day. However they had a kind of an aid station – a truck waiting for them. Probably this is the secret of running without any water.

The views were spectacular: emerald valleys and surrounded with vertical rocks and huge boulders. Back Star is becoming one of my favorite trails. And it is one of the most ideal places for group trail runs as we run all the way on fire roads which allows for running side-by-side having a little chat on the way.

This time we had two guests invited by Charlie – Shannon and Olivier, who also live in Ladera Ranch. Shannon had run her first marathon and was training for her first trail ultra – Old Goad, I guess. Not sure how many races Olivier completed before, but they both kicked out butts on the ascent. I had a difficult time trying to keep up with them, while Shannon ran up effortlessly with a very consistent pace.

Charlie and Greg, SCTH twins separated at birth, are showing off their matching grey man-bras. Charlie boasted he does not take his one off even when he goes to bed at night.

Here is the 6am group once we reached Main Divide: me, Shannon, Greg, iMichelle, Keira, Chaz, and Olivier. After so called 6am group left the Black Star trailhead (well, we left it at 6:15 or so), there were at least two more waves of SCTH runners – at 6:30 and 6:45. We met a few of them on our way back, but unfortunately still missed some including Marisa, who did not turn right on Main Divide and continued on Black Star Canyon Road in North direction towards Corona.

When I got back to the car, my Garmin was showing exactly 19 miles at an average pace of 10:01 min/mile. Greg averaged at 9 min/mile. If the weather allows I will strive to break 10 next time too – I was 2 seconds a mile too slow this time. The decent was pretty easy and fast, but deceitful at the same time – my legs ached on Saturday after run as if I just ran 50 miles.

More photos from our run:

SoCal Trail Headz at Black Star, April 5, 2008

1 comment:

Charlie Nickell said...

Great re-cap. If you want to speed up, run with iM and Keira next time. Here are our exact splits coming down from the Death Star after climbing back out of the Inland Empire. And, lots of the kids were in the back of that truck on the way down.

Mile 18 7:39
Mile 19 8:30
Mile 20 9:48
Mile 21 7:24
Mile 22 7:31

And, it a "bro".