Posted by: pointlenana | May 30, 2016

San Diego 100 And The Start of The California Triple Crown Stage Race

If you want just the facts:

If you want to read more:

Next Friday  I’ll start the San Diego 100 race.  This is the first race in the 3-part “California Triple Crown” (CTC) ultra stage race – San Diego 100 (early June), Santa Barbara 100 (early July), Angeles Crest 100 (early August).  Three 100 mile races in about 9 weeks.

Not to diminish it, but the CTC is in a way a marketing thing that the SB100 race director Jakob Herrmann came up with.  Angeles Crest is one of the first 100 mile races in the country.  San Diego is not quite as old but has a great reputation.  Santa Barbara is only a few years old, the entrants list is pretty small, and it’s a hard event (24,000 feet of climbing, in July heat).  CTC is enticement for anyone doing San Diego and Angeles Crest to throw in Santa Barbara also, although I imagine CTC will eventually be A Thing on its own.  Jakob’s idea appears to be working – last year there were 24 finishers in the SB100 and this year 71 people have signed up including 20 of us who are doing the CTC.  Nice job coming up with a clever approach that helps SB100 and creates this other thing.

In my case, I managed to get into AC100 during the 73 second signup window.  Then I signed up for SD100 because Janet and I met the race director Scott Mills at UTMB, he’s legendary in the ultra community, and SD100 seemed like great training for AC100.  Then I sat for a while, well aware that if I signed up for SB100 also I could be part of this CTC thing and get a special t-shirt.  I’ve said before that I’m a sucker for a special t-shirt, so after waiting a couple months to make sure my various injuries last fall were healed, I took the SB100/CTC plunge.

This is the elevation chart for the races

CTC profiles

Blue is AC100 – altitude, climbing, heat and distance.  Green is SD100 – heat, altitude, and distance.  Orange is SB100 – heat, climbing and distance.

Because I have this overall 3-race goal – and have no idea how well I’ll recover in the month between each race – I can’t really go crazy in any one race.  That said, I do have goals for CTC and SD100 (I’ll figure out the goals for SB100 and AC100 later on, when I need to and after I’ve seen how SD100 goes.)

My goals for CTC, in order of likelihood:

  1. Become the oldest finisher.  This is one and the same as finishing the three races, because I’m the oldest person signed up and the only person to complete it last year (the first year of CTC) was 37.
  2. Post an oldest finisher time that hangs around for more than one year – no idea what that will take but it would be nice to have an oldest time that’s decent vs. by default.
  3. Finish in the top 5.  There are only 20 of us entered in all 3 races, so it’s not a big pool.  Looking at the other entrants, I think I can be competitive for a top 5 spot.
  4. Finish in the top 3.  I’d be pretty happy about this.  There are about 8 other people who could easily go a little bit or a lot faster than me.  (There’s also 1 guy – Ray Sanchez – who has finished Badwater several times and has a very impressive running resume.  He’s the favorite to win CTC in my opinion but he has 0 votes on the CTC site because he signed up last minute and the ~50 people who cared – meaning the other racers and their families- had already voted.).

A lot can go wrong in a single long race, and there’s that whole recovery issue between races.  In a way, having any goal other than finishing one race, let alone three, is ambitious.

My goals for San Diego:

  1. Finish healthy, so I can continue CTC.
  2. Finish in under 24 hours.  This might be my best chance to complete a 100 mile trail race under 24 hours – there is about 13000 feet of climbing, less than my other 100’s.  That said, finish times at San Diego are usually similar to Western States, so the course is somehow harder than it looks on paper.  Heat perhaps.


I’ll carry a laminated version of this – it shows the aid stations, where my drop bags are, what kind of climbing fun I have to look forward to, etc.. The numbers at the top are miles, the numbers at the bottom is my ETA/time of day. The red boxes are drop bags where I have to collect stuff (e.g. an extra water bottle if it’s hot, my lights for the night).


The forecast for Fri and Fri night is pretty warm – highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid/high 60s.  I’ve been heat-training though and my big lesson at Western States was to take it easy during the 8-10 hours when it’s really hot so I can move along after that.  If I need to, I’ll let the race pull away from me some Friday afternoon in the hopes that I’ll be in good shape when it cools.  Finally, I’ll do all the active cooling stuff – ice in my backpack, under my hat, and in a bandana around my neck, plus an extra water bottle to dowse myself.  It’s tricky though – I thought I was ok at Western States but it went bad pretty quickly.  Hopefully I’m a little more aware and cautious this time.

Update: As of Wed afternoon, the forecasts are into the 90s and for “record heat”.  At this point I’m thinking “finish alive” is an excellent goal.

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