Although I love running the trails in Castro Valley ( East Bay Municipal Utility District Chabot to Garin Trail, Five Canyons, among others), it's refreshing to get out and hit other areas in my training.
One of my favorite places to run — to which I have to drive — is Mount Diablo. The southern end of the Summit Trail is less than a half hour from my house.
This month, I've decided to run the Diablo Trails Challenge 50k, put on by Brazen Racing. This race, along with the three shorter distances of 5k, 10k and 13.1 miles, will support the nonprofit Save Mount Diablo, which for over four decades has tirelessly worked to preserve and increase the open space on and around Mount Diablo.
You don't have to live in the I-680 corridor or Delta communities to enjoy these lands. The five-something hours it will take me to run this course are nothing compared to 40 years. Runs like these would not have been possible without the efforts of this organization.
I ran this race in its inaugural year three years ago, and happened to win it. (It was actually 5 kilometers over 50k — the course has been modified since then.)
Due to other things going on in my life and process of aging, I'm a little bit slower now, and the competition will likely be a lot thicker. But I doubt this will in any way detract my enjoyment of running this gorgeous point-to-point run, of which there are only two others of the same length in the Bay Area.
The other two are Pacific Coast Trail Run's Skyline to the Sea, which I've run twice, and Ohlone Wilderness, which I've run eight times. The views on the Diablo Trails Challenge are truly amazing (click the link two paragraphs above for some photos).
I highly recommend anyone who loves to run trails, as well as any unconverted road runners who want to step up to a more exalting and joint-friendly experience, to consider signing up for one of these four races, to be held Saturday, April 21, starting and finishing at Castle Rock Park in Walnut Creek. The 50k actually only finishes there; buses leave from there to the start at Round Valley Regional Park.
For more details, visit the Diablo Trails Challenge website.