It’s a whole different world trying to trail run at that altitude, however, particularly when the top of the hike is at almost 9,000 feet. That’s what happens when you go trail running or hiking in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area near Las Vegas, NV.
An elevation gain of 7,700′ doesn’t sound so bad when you’re sitting at home planning your next race. It’s just a number. And certainly, I’ve done nearly the same amount last year, so what’s the big deal, right?
Well, numbers don’t tell you just how fast you change altitude. A smooth gradual change is far less brutal than an abrupt climb followed by an equally abrupt descent.
This weekend’s 20mile run could have been boring, but thanks to Angel Island, I was able to get both hill training and distance training in a beautiful setting within the San Francisco bay area. I’ve already made one trail report on Angel Island, but this is the first for 2012. Also, I was able to actually discover new areas that I hadn’t found in my previous visits to the island. Round and round we went, as you can see below:
The Phlegar estate is a couple of trails accessed from Huddart Park near Woodside, CA. Access to the park costs $6, which isn’t bad considering how much time you could spend having fun in the park. The park itself is open only to horses and hikers (trail runners), so bicycles are strictly off-limits.
We only had time enough for a taste of the trails, but what we saw was an excellent, cool hike.
With more time, we hope to return and see more of the park and estate. This is also the location of my Woodside 50km Ultramarathon, and I can say the place looks much better without the torrential rains.
On January 17, 2012, we returned to Purisima Open Space Reserve for a trail run along the North Ridge, Whitemore Gulch, Purisima Creek, Craig Britton, and Harkins Ridge trails. Our total distance on this trip was 11 miles, and the run/walk was a challenge as the second half started at 512 feet and ends at over 2,000 feet of altitude.