I knew I wanted to go back and run in that area again, so when I found out about the Humbolt Redwoods Marathon I immediately started trying to talk my friends into running it with me.
Mostly I just talked them into running the Half Marathon, but that was good enough for some carpooling and hotel sharing:)
Dennis, Katie, Katie's cousin, Michele and Melissa and I were all amped to run through those amazingly beautiful trees!
Dennis's wife Linda was game for the drive despite the high winds and driving rain. I am SO GLAD I wasn't driving. The drive was horrible and took about three more hours than it should have. She is a rock star. Katie's cousin, Michele and Melissa decided to stay home since (for some reason) they didn't want to drive for 10+ hours only to be pelted in the rain for hours on race day.
The course is entirely paved, although the quality of the road changes dramatically as soon as you break off from the half course. There are a LOT of pot holes and the tree routes have pushed the asphalt up to create an uneven running surface.
And of course if miles 14 though 20 are uphill that means miles 21 though 26 are downhill and that's pretty awesome!
It rained on me for the entire second half of the race. And when I say "rained" I mean it poured. In the last 4 miles of the race I was so wet my ear buds kept slipping out until I got so fed up I just pulled them out and decided I would just run in silence. I seriously don't know how people deal with those little devils. (I normally don't run with music.) I spent more time messing with my ear buds and playlist than I care to admit.
Tip: Double check your play list before you start. You might have accidently added three religious lectures that would randomly start multiple times during the race. Their voices are SO super relaxing and is the last thing I want to listen to during the last miles of a marathon. I need something to pump me up, NOT relax me.
One of the fun things about hanging back with Dennis for the first half of the race as well as the fact that it's an "out and back" course, is that I got to pass a bunch of people, as well as see the front runners tearing past. Humbolt has a bunch of running groups/teams that were well represented.
Overall I really liked the race, but I probably wouldn't drive 10 hours each way to run it again. The trees in Cresent City are WAY better!