On September 29th, I participated in the Quicksilver 1/2 Marathon. The Quicksilver 1/2 Marathon was hosted by the Quicksilver Running Club, and is located in the hills of New Almaden (a old quicksilver mining town), south of San Jose. This race was a fun change of pace from the ultras I am used to running, and a good chance to recover from the Sierra Nevada Endurance Run. My wife Heidi, sister in law Kati, friends Tom, Takeshi, and Kim all were participating in the 1/2 marathon, and it was Heidi, Kati, Takeshi, and Kim's first trail race!! The plan was to run the race, and then return to our apartment to drink beer and eat pizza poolside!
(Earlier picture of Heidi and me at Quicksilver)Pulling into the Hacienda parking lot coincidentally I parked next to Dave Long who is an SJSU Judo Alumni (1975 World Team Member, and 1992 Olympic Team Manager). Dave was crewing for his wife Valerie, who had was running this race for the 10th consecutive year! There was a large turnout for the race, over 100 runners for the 1/2 Marathon, and a surprisingly large number of young runners (under 29 age group). With so many people at the race and a large group of people in my age category this was bound to be an exciting and competitive race.
At 8:00am the race started and I sprinted up Hacienda trail with a group of 5 racers. Tom and I stayed together until mile 1, where I picked up the speed and tried to pull in the lead. At mile 4, I was in second place and the first place runner was no where in sight. I turned down mine hill trying to gain as much speed as possible to hold on to second place. I finished Mine Hill and turned on to the Randoll trail still in second place, and continued to push my pace.
(View of Mt. Umunpaum)
I was able to continue in 2nd place until mile 10, where I got passed by a couple of runners. At this point I was in 4th place, and had one last hill to go (Mine Hill again). At this point my hip flexor started acting up and it was a struggle to get up the hill. After topping Mine Hill, it was again downhill to the finish. Looking back I saw Tom and a group of 3 runners close on my heels. This is the fun part of a short run, a fast sprint to the finish!! In the end I got edged out by 1 sec. to finish 5th place, 2nd in 20-29 age group (1:40 finishing time). Tom finished 7th at 1:41, Kati took 2nd in the 20-29 age category, Kim took 3rd in the 20-29, and Heidi and Takeshi both had strong finishes!