Bad Bass Half

I've been having a bit of a "dry spell" race wise, but last weekend I barely squeaked out my July half marathon (#7) for the 12 in 2012 Running Challenge! The race in question was the Bad Bass Half in Castro Valley. It was put on by Brazen, which have put on two of the other races I have run this year as well. Remember the Its-Its?

***Before I start, I want you all to know that I went on a commando run yesterday and it was wonderful. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. Thanks for all your words of encouragement. I couldn't have done it without you.***

I thought this was going to be more of a road race. The race started at the Lake Chabot Marina, which I have been to before. You can walk on a wide paved path around most of the lake, which I think is about 9 miles around. So I thought it would be 7 or 8 miles of pavement and 5 miles or so of dirt. I was wrong. The weather was perfect, overcast and about 55 degrees. I didn't have to use my sunglasses the entire time.

The first mile was good. I started off at a pretty good clip. I felt good. I was on pavement. Somewhere during mile two we veered off into the woods, but it was okay because it was still a pretty even up and down, with not too many very steep hills.

Mile 1: 7:37/mi -- Elevation Gain: 140 ft
Mile 2: 8:19/mi -- Elevation Gain: 328 ft
Mile 3: 8:31/mi -- Elevation Gain: 221 ft

And then we got to mile four. Mile four was pretty much all uphill. At one place, according to my Garmin, the grade was 56%!  Mile five was better, but only because it was mostly downhill, although sometimes the downhill feels harder on my body than the uphill! I notice that I was passing a lot of people on the uphills and then they would pass me on the downhills, so I guess downhill is not my strong suit.

Mile 4: 12:26/mi -- Elevation Gain: 585 ft
Mile 5: 8:38/mi -- Elevation Gain: 155 ft (Descent: 300 ft)
Mile 6: 10:29/mi -- Elevation Gain: 444 ft

I have to be honest with you; I have no idea how I kept under a 9 minute pace for mile 7. It was almost 600 ft of ascent and almost 800 ft of descent! Mile 8 was almost 700 more feet of descent. Notice I actually went slower on mile 8 than on mile seven! By this point, all the miles seemed the same. Up, down, up, down, pass some people, get passed, pass them again, get passed by them again...etc.

Mile 7: 8:48/mi-- Elevation Gain: 581 ft
Mile 8: 9:16/mi -- Elevation Gain: 482 ft
Mile 9: 9:27/mi -- Elevation Gain: 538 ft

At mile 10, I stopped at the aid station for a full minute, had a handful of pretzels, some water and a quarter of a chocolate Gu and went on my merry way. I am surprised that this mile was not slower due to that! It was also mostly downhill, with a descent of 350 ft. Mile 11 was also mostly downhill. I think somewhere during mile 12 we got back on the pavement again. I would like to say that meant no more up and downs, but we were still going around the lake and the topography was a bit varied.

Mile 10: 9:02/mi -- Elevation Gain: 109 ft
Mile 11: 8:23/mi -- Elevation Gain: 252 ft
Mile 12: 8:43/mi -- Elevation Gain: 207 ft

I would like to say that the last mile point one was flat, but it wasn't. I ran as fast as I could given the terrain. I was trailed closely by two men, one with no shirt and one with a white shirt. I could hear their footfalls behind me the entire time, so I kept pushing it as much as I could. For the last point one, I sprinted it out, but was passed by a guy in a red shirt that came out of nowhere! The photo below was actually taken at the start of the race, but this is the guy. His name was Chris; I know this because as he was passing me at the end, his friends (or people reading his bib) were calling his name.

photo source

Mile 13: 7:58/mi -- Elevation Gain: 204 ft
Mile 13.1: 6:43/mi

Total Time: 1:58:39 (a new trail PR!)
Total Elevation Gain: 4295 ft
Place Overall: 45/294
Place Age: 5/30

The verdict? I should have had more breakfast. I only ate a bowl of Cheerios. I didn't even add a banana. Bad move. I was sluggish for much of the race and was not caring that people were passing me. I should have looked at the course map, although I don't know what I would have changed really. Maybe I would have had a bigger breakfast?

The course was well marked and once again, the photos are free if you can find yourself (note to self: do NOT wear a black tank and black shorts if you are going to have to try to find yourself in the race photos). I could have used an aid station around mile 7 or 8 rather than at 10; I was so thirsty and totally out of energy by the time I got to 10 miles. There were Its-Its and I didn't even have to wait in line for them. The spread at the end was really good actually, with trail mix, tons of fruit, chips and snacks.

Would I do this race again? Sure! It was fun! Also, part of this race is on the same trails as my 50k, so it was good practice for next weekend! A trail run. I mean trial run.  

Don't forget to head over to Jill's today for some other Fitness posts!! 

Have you ever run a race where you have actually stopped at the aid station for several seconds/minutes? Do you prefer uphills or downhills?


  1. Sounds like a bit of everything in that one. I definitely prefer uphill to downhill. I am a terrible downhill runner but would love to get better at that part!

  2. Wow. That looks like a really difficult race. I am impressed with your mile splits. You are clearly in such good shape if you can maintain those kind of paces in a race w/ so many climbs!

    Yea for going commando! See, it's not so bad or weird at all. Honestly, I don't see the point of wearing underwear when shorts are already lined! I figure that is what they are there for!!

  3. You are sooo speedy!! Congrats on a great race!

    I prefer downhills but they are usually accompanied by uphills which I hate, ha. Uphills wreak havoc on my ankles. I like easy, flat courses. ;)

  4. That picture is great - you look so strong.

    Great job on the race. It makes me tired to imagine those hills. Gnarly. Good job!!

  5. A new trail pr, that's awesome! Whew- what an exhausting race with all that elevation. I'm impressed you survived it on a bowl of cheerios. Another strong race in the books!

  6. Oh, wow! It seems like the race course was really challenging. My mind is struggling with those elevation read outs. You are a rock star for taking them at such a fast clip.

  7. The elevation gain is insane! You totally rocked it! You are doing awesome on your 12 in 2012. I only have 4 in the books, I suck! Not sure if I will get all 12 in, but I am officially signed up for 2 more in the next couple of months.

  8. I like the name of that race! Great job that looks like some tough elevation gains!

  9. Nice job! Congratulations on the new trail PR! I still can't stop laughing about your commando comment at the beginning. Glad you had a nice run!

  10. Yay for commando!

    That race sounds HARD! Good for you for hanging so tough and pushing to the end. Great warm up for your 50k!

  11. The race sounds tough, way to go!

  12. I've been out of the loop, but commando is the only way to go! I'm glad you saw the light. ;^)

    Great job on a tough race--sub-2 on trails is awesome.

  13. That's some serious elevation - great job on the race! And HOORAY for taking the plunge to commando, haha!

  14. Sounds tough, but kind of fun at the same time, and since part of it is in your next race (50k btw...are you insane???) it's kind of like 2 birds, one stone, right? Great job!

  15. I'm pretty sure I've always run commando and really can't imagine running with any additional coverage - so glad you just might be a convert! Oh, and hills? I'm a good Midwestern girl and don't prefer them at all. ha.


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!