Friday, October 18, 2013

Xterra Point Mugu 18k Race Recap

I know I have kept all 2 of my readers waiting a little too long for this race recap. It was a full, fun extended weekend and I'm still trying to recover from all the awesomeness. I was told that the Xterra Point Mugu race was a beautiful course and it certainly didn't disappoint. This is how the weekend and race went for me.


Today was course marking day. I was informed that I would be going alone and that I would be doing the shorter 11k course. This turned out to be better in the end anyways, because I didn't know if the other volunteer would want to run the course as we marked it and the shorter course ended up being the perfect hike. Before starting I met up with Daniel from Generic Events who had the task of trying to explain the route and duties that I had volunteered for. Daniel was awesome, I was totally over thinking everything and he had the patience to answer all my questions and concerns. "Do mile markers need to be spaced every mile?" "What's this unmarked bag of white mystery substance? I'm not being part of some elaborate drug smuggling operation am I?" "What happens if I do a horrible job?" Daniel assured me that I was going to do just fine and that the white stuff was flour to mark lines and arrows. Then he made sure I was supplied with all the water and snacks I wanted and sent me on my way.

It ended up being a very pleasant 3.5 hr hike. Other than answering a few questions from curious hikers and mountain bikers it was fairly uneventful. The views were amazing and I will be making an effort to try to visit the area again.

Didn't know my hat was crooked, I must have looked like a goober all day.


Today was race day. My legs were a little sore from hiking the short course the day before but I was glad that I did it. The beginning and the end of the 18k course shared the same trail so I had a preview of the insane amount of elevation changes I would be up against. According to the official race page elevation profile you start at sea level and climb to the highest point at nearly 1200 feet. Which is higher than the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, U.S. Bank Tower which clocks in at 1,018 feet. The amount of accumulative elevation gain is over 2500 feet. Which is taller than the tallest building in the western hemisphere, the One World Trade Center which clocks in at 1776 feet.

Enough bragging already. My plan was to run conservatively. I knew I hadn't quite prepared myself for this race so I mostly was going to be happy to just finish. Who am I kidding? I always have some goals. My dream goal was to finish in the top 15 of my age group so I get Xterra event points. My other goal was to beat my Brother's last year's time. He totally crashed and burned last year by starting out too fast, not eating any calories before and during, and dehydrating because the first aid station is nearly half way through the course. Last goal was to finish without falling or injuring myself.

 Because the beginning of the race would be single track, the start was split into a couple of waves to spread out the runners. I decided to start at the very back of the first wave so I knew I would finish in front of at least one other runner and so I wouldn't feel pressured into running faster than I should.

Mile 0-3 - 13:27, 12:39, 14:17

I was taking it slow and easy, alternating between walking and jogging. Lots of steep uphill and I knew there were plenty of miles still ahead. Mostly single track through here with some technical parts. Along with some amazingly beautiful ocean views.

Legs were feeling heavy and the constant climb was already taking it's toll.

Mile 4-6 - 10:02, 10:14, 10:37

This section was mostly flat with a slight decline. Trail started to turn inland and go from single track to a fire access road. This was where the first aid station was and I got to say hi to Daniel there.

Was able to start lengthening my stride a little and pick up the pace.

Mile 7 - 13:30

Another uphill section so I just kept trying to keep my legs moving because I knew it would start getting easier from here.
Mile 8-9 - 10:11, 10:43

Mostly flat with some incline and declines. Amazing views of the Boney Mountain range. Almost like being in a painting. Only I was sweating and I was some crazy color of red.

I was feeling exhausted but was still able to keep moving at a decent pace (for me).

Mile 10-11 - 8:40, 8:25

All steep down hill and single track. I was mostly just trying to not fall off the mountain.

Finish - 2:02:30

Compared to the other runners I did bad, 246 out of 332 runners. But I am actually very happy with how I ran and with my time. I felt that I gave it everything I could and I ran a smart race. I hope to come back next year.

Goal 1 - Sadly I got 23rd in my age group. No points for me.
Goal 2 - I did beat my Brother's last year's time, woot!
Goal 3 - I did finish unharmed and uninjured. Which is more than I can say for some runners I saw at the finish line. Quite a few runners with scrapes and bruises from falling on the trail.

I want to say a big thank you to my wonderful Wife and Kids for supporting me and putting up with me. I know it sucks to hang around for a couple hours while I'm running the course but these race weekends would not be as fun without my personal cheering section.


  1. You did great! Didn't do bad at all. Great recap. It looks like a great trail. So wish I could have raced. Again, nice job. So what is next? ;)

    1. Thank you. I'm sorry about your knee prognosis. You are a positive and a good person so I'm sure you will do well in your future endeavors.

      I haven't done a 5k in a long while so I think I will do one to see how/if I have progressed in my fitness.