Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mt Baldy - Run to the Top 2015

Mt Baldy - Run to the Top
Claremont, California
Mileage - 7 (one way, up)
AEG - 3,825 ft
Time - 1:17:26
Place - 6th Overall

The name says it all, run to the top. This is a no frills, bottom to top race to the summit of Mt Baldy (aka Mt San Antonio). The first four miles of the race are on fire roads and the final three traverse the narrow ridge line known as the "Devil's Backbone Trail." If that doesn't sound hardcore enough, the trail finishes above 10,000ft with nearly four thousand feet of vertical gain!

This is a big race that typically sells out every year at 650 runners. 2015 was the 50th anniversary of the event and once again drew large numbers and spectators. Following a summer of strength and hill work, Brian, Christian and I decided to see how we measured up on the mountain. Early on I found myself squaring off against some solid cross country runners out of SoCal. As we climbed higher the numbers dwindled, by the time we hit single track I was in a group of 4-5 guys fighting for position on a steep ridge. There was quite a bit of exposure and a few major drop offs into the scree fields below. I felt as though I was racing a 10K on a mountain top and as we drew closer to the peak the cheering became louder and the race more intense. The finish was so tight just a matter of seconds decided 5th from 6th to 7th. It was an all around great day and an experience I'll never forget. Thanks to those who made this race happen and the participants showing great sportsmanship and courtesy on the trail.

Baldy is the third tallest peak in Southern California next to San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, both of which I have successfully climbed. Reaching the top would mean completing the trifecta of prominent peaks in this part of the country. I'll soon be entering marathon season so the high altitude adventures may be sparse until next summer.

Go race to the top!

Boone, Brian, Harold and Christian post race.

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