Rick and Rick Storm Santa Rosalia Mountain

So at our Friday swim workout, Ferrell hatches this plan ... I drive up Eureka Canyon Rd, to the top, park near Ormsby Cutoff, and run the 16 miles up Santa Rosalia Mountain, down "the Wall" to Sand Pt, to the trail camp and West Ridge trail, and eventually down to the Steel Bridge and out to the Park entrance. Meanwhile, he'll park at the entrance and run up the same route I'm coming down. We meet halfway, I give him the key to my car, and soon after I arrive at the entrance, he'll show up in my car for some high five's and "job well done!"'s. Initially skeptical.... Rosalia is 2500 ft higher than the Park entrance, and I didn't really believe the 14.2 miles shown on the regulation park map, I thought it was more.... but imagining it all, it intrigued me, and I thought that since I'd be doing more downhill than uphill, my weak left hip psoas trouble spot might not give too much trouble and I just might be OK. It certainly sounded like a beautiful run, as long as I didn't suffer too much, that is. So, it was a "go!". Rick's training for the Pike's Peak Half Marathon next month, and I haven't totally given up on getting there myself (but I got a ton of work needing doing in a short time now).... and anyway, I just love trail running through the redwoods. We settled on a start location where I'd leave my car - the "Y" intersection at Buzzard Lagoon Rd and Aptos Fire Rd, on the east side below Santa Rosalia Mtn, a mile up from Eureka Canyon and Ormsby Cutoff.

Bummer I couldn't figure out how to turn off the darn auto-flash setting on this new Lumix FH27 camera (Panasonic's replacement for my Lumix F3, which I miss). In fact, it's hard to figure out many things about the camera, and so apologies that the image quality is not up to snuff. Arm's length photos here, for the most part.

I worked at the observatory till late the previous night, and went ahead and slept on the bunk there. 6am: A good run starts with a good breakfast - hard boiled eggs, and oatmeal w/ nuts.

I parked at the beginning of Aptos Fireroad, a mile up from Ormsby on Buzzard Lagoon

The adventure begins. Anyway, I'm off - just me and my Camelbak

Above the marine layer, the forest is mostly beautiful madrone, whose yellowed leaves from last Fall carpet this stretch of the fire road.

Down "the Wall" and arriving at Sand Point, I'm relieved to enter the marine layer, cooler air, and way fewer bugs. What - don't I look relieved?

Now on West Ridge.... trail goes - this way

A rare moment out of the trees. And, I figure I should be seeing Ferrell soon.

Getting pretty close to the Connector trail intersection - Ferrell should be coming along pretty soon.

Yup - next thing I hear is; "Doctor!" and there he is, clearly relieved I've made it this far. Yeah. Not completing the plan would leave us both stranded - not good!

Right on time. We were running a good pace

 

Big smile - What, you thought I'd blow up? But Ferrell, I've got the secret weapon...

5 Hour Energy! Only take the stuff on runs more than 10 miles, or rides longer than 50 miles, just to avoid the Bonk. Sure seemed called for today.

I hand over the car key, and we ponder where to hide it if he gets back to the entrance before I do and needs to leave.

 

After congratulations and encouragements, it's onwards - Ferrell heads up, me down.

 

A couple of hundred yards later, the connector to the Big Stump trail

Hoffmann Connector intersection, about a half mile further.

A refreshing splash at the first water on my run; near the bottom of the West Ridge trail. Just 4 miles to go...

About 15-20 minutes after I jog up to the Nicene Marks entrance on Soquel Drive, Ferrell rolls up in my car. Whaddya know - we pulled it off!

 

I'm logging this as 16.5 miles. Here's my reasoning - I've carefully calibrated my step meter for easy paced, flat running as of a year ago. These days, with fitter glutes and a longer stride, my stepmeter actually reads up to 15% too short since my stride has lengthened. But for easy running it's about right. For running trails, I would give it another 10%, meaning the stepmeter reads 10% too long. But this was mostly downhill, which would mean longer strides other things being equal, so maybe less than 10% too long after all. My step meter said 19.0 miles. I think that's too long, and knocking it down by 10% gives 17.3 miles. However, if you add up the individual segments on the trail map, you get only 14.2 miles (maybe .3 miles more if you include the side trails out to the Steel Bridge, which is what I ran). So thats only 14.5 miles. I just don't believe that either - it's too short, and here's why. I can't believe that they paid someone out for days to go out with a calibrated bicycle wheel to accurately measure the true distance run on all these trails. Instead, what is typically done is to draw in the trails on the map, and then use a pencil wheel to trace over the trail and compare it to the map scale. This will underestimate the true distance run for 3 reasons: (1) the actual trail has more small scale zigs and zags than the smoothed curve on the map (big effect), (2) the runner will add to these zigs and zags by dodging ruts and roots etc (smaller effect, probably), and (3) the flat map doesn't account for the elevation changes, and thus the runner is actually not doing the bases of triangles, but the hypotenuses of triangles. There was over 3000 ft of elevation changes. I figure that these together add a good 13% to the distance run. That takes 14.5 miles to 16.4 miles. And finally, the first segment of the park trails is Buzzard Lagoon to Aptos Fire Road "Y" intersection. It reads "0.9 miles" on the map, while my car's odometer showed it as 1.1 miles. Which says for this segment the stated 0.9 mi is 22% too short, even bigger than the 13% factor I'm estimating. Taken all together, 16.5 miles feels about right.

A great adventure -not the cacamammy scheme I first suspected!

I refueled with a "32g Protein" hidden in my food bag, and proceeded to the post Wharf-to-Wharf 10K Race party at the Delucchi's, where Dave and Diane recounted their Markleville Death Ride ordeal the week prior. Bad time for them both to catch the flu. Di still did 5 passes. Amazing.

Risper Gesabwa of Kenya won the Wharf to Wharf Race women's division.