We stayed just a few blocks from the start so the logistics were nice and simple. No bus to catch at 4am, just a short 10 minute walk in the dark. The race started at 6am on the dot. We ran the initial 3 miles through downtown and then hit the first big hill between Miles 3 and 4.
Once we hit Mile 5, the scenery began to change into the beautiful wine country of the Edna Valley. The course was green with a number of vineyards on the way out to Mile 13. There were a lot of rolling hills, some fairly steep.
After a brief out and back for Miles 12 and 13, we headed West and then back towards town. The hills didn't let up! By Mile 20, my calves were screaming and my quads were hoping the rollers were coming to an end.
At Mile 23, we re-entered town and had a net downhill to the finish. There were a few uphills, especially having to climb up to a footbridge to go over the railyard and a sadistic last hill at Mile 25.8 (who does that?!?) The last half mile was all down hill and made for a very fast finish.Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:
Organization – Well organized, marked course. The expected inagural challenges were nowhere to be found. Grade: A
Course - Scenic Edna Valley. Big hills in multiple spots. Grade: B+
Aid-stations - Frequent aid-stations with water that wasn't from a garden hose. No Gatorade. Plenty of volunteers. Grade: B
Swag – Nice medal and dri-fit long sleeve shirt. Grade: B+