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This Saturday, Jesse and I will run the exceedingly popular Chesebro Half Marathon, the trail race which always sells out at the Great Race of Agoura. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this race, which is highly acclaimed in Runner’s World and active.com.

My strategy for this racing season (February through July) is to use an early race as a practice for a later race. The Montara Mountain Half was a practice race – the steep elevation made it impossible to PR but the course served as a good tuin. I’ll be using Wildflower Olympic as a training race for Vineman. Although Vineman is longer, Wildflower’s elevation looks more grueling, and I’ll also need to test out my fueling and pacing strategies at Wildflower in May.


The Great Race, however, has a much more attractive elevation profile.

From the race website.

From the race website.

The first eight miles will not be a walk in the park – eight miles and 900 feet of elevation gain is no joke. I do have a feeling, however, that Jesse is going to kill this race: gradual uphill is his forte. My previous trail race PR is 2:19 or 2:20, so I’m gunning for a 2:15 or faster finish, which I think is doable on this made-for-negative-splits course.

I’ve wanted to race the Great Race for years, having gone to college in the vicinity, and can’t wait to explore a new trail. To top it off, the race occurs on a Saturday, highly preferable to most Sunday races where you spend the weekend waiting for the race to happen, and we’ll be spending a mini-vacation soaking up the SoCal sun (with plenty of SPF50 for me) after the race. Is it Saturday yet?