What’s billed as a 12 mile race, and may actually be less given that most GPS watches clock it at 10.5 miles, lasts about as long as a marathon. Having previously hiked the race course several times I knew what terrain we would be seeing for the most part. However, hiking a trail, at least in this case, was nothing like attempting to run it. Single-track the whole way with plenty of rocks, roots, leaves and branches greeted us runners this year. Luckily, no mud decided to join in the party of obstacles in our way.
The pre-race mentality was very relaxed, which shocked me a bit given that it’s part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup series and tends to draw several professional runners each year. There were only 2 tents up near registration; La Sportiva’s and the registration/food/recovery one. With about 5 minutes to go the race director asked for us to get into our corrals (5 total), a system that started last year to cut down on congestion throughout the beginning of the race. Lots of joking took place in the first corral which is always nice while waiting to run what is known as one of the most grueling races in the country.
The course had 5 aid stations, two on the way out and back as well as the half way point. Volunteers throughout the course were great, especially given that they had to hike to get to many of the places where they were stationed.
Post-race fare was a good spread. The mentality of all finishers seemed to be that they were happy to have finished/be alive.
All-in-all CRC put up a good fight, with 8 finishers, all well within the top 50% of the total field.