2010 El Prieto Handicap, this year without the El Prieto part :-(

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Race Director Chuck

Chuck’s annual race, the El Prieto Handicap, happened this past Saturday. He’s been running this race (as in, he’s the race director and official handicapper) for nearly 20 years (this was year 17). The course varies from year to year: one year it’s uphill, the next downhill. It runs along the the Arroyo near the Jet Propulsion Labratory then up into the San Gabriel Mountains up (or down, depending on the year) a well known trail called El Prieto. Nothing too surprising there, but this year it was a very different race than last year’s. See, there was this little event called the Station Fire this past November that rampaged through the area where the race ran and completely wiped it out. Here are pics from last year’s race, and here’s the area now. Here are some more pics of the devastation.

So this year, we moved the course to the south Arroyo area not too far from the Rose Bowl. Since it was a downhill year, the course was cumulatively downhill, but it wasn’t nearly as life-threatening challenging. The trail was in good shape, there were terrifying drop-offs along the trail, stuff like that. Chuck is hoping next year the El Prieto trail area will be open (in some form, although the topography will no doubt be dramatically changed). The rest of us who ran it this year, sort of hope it will still be closed and we’ll have another year of a shiny happy 4.1 mile race. No pics yet, as I didn’t carry a camera this year, and we haven’t gotten images from the folks who did.

Sunday we participated for the second year in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Memorial Torch Relay honoring fallen officers. We used it to kick off our triathlon training since due to the Station Fire, they had to change the course this year and incorporated bicycle legs. So we biked ten miles then ran 5 miles. It was really fun as we had a police (well sheriff, actually) escort the entire way who stopped traffic whenever necessary and provided water as needed. Sweet!

By Sunday night I was ready to a)get a massage and/or b)soak in a hot tub. We ended up just watching part of the series finale of Lost and falling asleep.

Good times!