Posted in Running

Reviewing 2021 One Race at a Time – Black Mountain 25k

In my last post, I discussed training for the Big Sur Marathon in April 2022, but let’s rewind a little bit. A lot happened in the latter half of 2021 that I just forgot to blog about so let’s back track a bit.

In June 2021, I raced my first trail race at the Black Mountain 25k and survived with no rattlesnake bites. LOL. This was a huge accomplishment in my book because if you know me personally, you’ll know that I absolutely fear rattlesnakes. I’ve run through trails before and if I hear a sound or any type of rustling, regardless of whether it’s something harmless or dangerous, I will scream and if you’re unfortunately running near me, well sorry friend. LOL. Summer time is prime time rattlesnake season and even before the summer, we’ve rattle snakes have been seen throughout the year so I actually refused to really train on trails without anyone else and with COVID19 running rampant, I trained on road and hoped that it would be enough to finish the 25k.

Initially, I had signed up for the 50k in June 2020, but that race got deferred and I ended up downgrading to the 25k due to lack of trail training and again, my fear of rattlesnakes. I know. I know. If you don’t get near them or agitate them, they won’t go near you, but I’m clumsy AND I don’t pay close attention to the road/trail because I have most definitely almost stepped on a rattlesnake in 2019 and it rattled at me. The experience scarred me for life.

The Black Mountain 25k is not an easy one and after speaking to several people and racing it myself, I definitely did not choose an easy trail race to start with. The terrain itself is rather technical and as someone who didn’t really train on the course, it’s a miracle I didn’t fall flat on my face. Elevation gain was 2785 ft over about 16.3 miles and there were some steep hills.

In the end, I can say that I’m glad I did it. It was the first in person race I did since the lock down and it was really nice to see everyone and since it was a local trail race, the crowds weren’t as large. Also, I didn’t see a single rattlesnake (phew), but I think I did hear one and ran out as quickly as I could.

Would I consider running another trail race again? Absolutely. Will I consider running a trail race where there are signs to watch out for rattlesnakes? Absolutely not. I already have my eye on the Rainshadow Running series, but unfortunately the Sun Mountain race is too close to my other races so I’ll have to consider it for 2023. Thanks Jeannine for the recommendation!

Are there any really cool trail races that you’d recommend? I’d consider a 50k, but I’m more comfortable with the 25k to marathon distance at the moment. 🙂 Please and thank you!

Author:

My name is Mai and I am a recent PhD graduate. :) When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland. Come join me on my journey and help me navigate this world. :)

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