Skip to main content

Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon Recap

As I have been progressing in my ultra training, I realized that I had never actually run a trail race.  When Smitha encouraged me to sign up for the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get my feet wet, so to speak. I’ve also heard great things about the races Keira Henninger puts on and I couldn’t wait to find out for myself.  

#FlatJenn ready to hit the trails!
I have run twenty seven road half marathon and was excited about running my first one on the trails—we headed up on race morning and right from the start, the views promised of great things to come.  

This is the most physically challenging half marathon I have ever run and the slowest I have ever run—by over an hour. And yet I loved it!  The experience was awesome and I can’t wait to run my next trail race.  Here’s a breakdown of what I love about this race:

The Course
I’ve mentioned in previous race recaps that I seldom look at course maps or elevation charts.  It’s probably better that I didn't look it up for this race-- oh the hills!  I struggled with the climbs but the views were gorgeous! The weather was perfect and I just couldn’t get enough of the scenery.  It was fun to see views of downtown Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign.  The course was also clearly marked for us, with brightly colors markers and signage to indicate if we were going the wrong way.  At crucial turnaround points, a volunteer was there to direct us which made it even better.  As challenging as the course was for me (I definitely need more hill training) I loved every minute of it.    

Foam rolling was my friend after this race!
The Aid  Stations
I run with my own hydration and fuel—I’ve learned in the past to never depend on a race to have what I need or want.  With running road races, I’m accustomed to water, an electrolyte drink and gels.  Occasionally there are spectators with food and the random mimosa.  What a different experience at this race—every aid station not only have water and electrolytes, but so many snacks.  It was nice to have the options and the Coke I had at the third aide station was probably the most delicious Coke I’ve ever had.  But it didn’t stop at the aid stations—after the race, there were more snacks and Subway sandwiches for us.  

The Other Runners
Though there is often support on road races not only from the runners, but also spectators, I went into this race not knowing what to expect since I knew there would more than likely not be spectators on the course.  “Good job,” “Looking Strong,” “Way to go,” and “You’ve got this” were just a few of the cheers I heard on the course.  It seemed no matter who you passed, someone had something nice or encouraging to say.  It was awesome!  And so much inspiration—from runners who looked tired but weren’t giving up to the runners who were pushing 80 years old and still out there doing their thing.  

So much fun running with Smitha and Valerie
The Volunteers
The volunteers are always one of my favorite things about a race and this race was no different.  Anyone willing to give of their time to come out and support us runners has to be an awesome person!  All the volunteers were so friendly and knew exactly what to say just when we needed it.  A big thank you to anyone who was out there!

The Griffith Observatory 
My first trail race experience was amazing!  I ran with Smitha and Valerie the entire time—we had a blast.  I am grateful to have had friends to share the experience with and it was fun to see other running friends out on the course.  I think I might even come back next year and go up to a higher distance- I really want to see the Hollywood sign closer up!   A big congratulations to everyone who finished the half, marathon and 50K.    

Have you every run a trail race?  Which one?

Until next time, happy running!


Popular posts from this blog

The Lululemon Test Truck Experience

I don’t own any Lululemon, but I’ve been told by my friends who love the brand that once you try it, you won’t want to wear any other brand. Earlier this year, I heard about their #MoreThanMiles tour that took #TheTestTruck to different cities so that people could do just that- test the Lululemon.  I was excited when I learned it would be coming to San Diego and quickly started following their Facebook page so I could stay up to date on the stops they would be making while they were here.

When a group of friends that run early every Monday morning learned that the truck would be near their normal running spot from 6:00am-8:00am, I decided to join them.  We met up at 4:55am for a short run then came over to the Lululemon Test Truck to get in line.

What is the Test Truck?
It’s exactly what it sounds like—it’s a truck where you get to try out a piece of Lululemon gear.  While you're there, you can also test out a pair of APL shoes which I heard were super comfy and light. (I opted out o…

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

It’s the most run-derful time of the year which means it’s time to start your holiday shopping.I usually wait until the last minute, but this year I’ve vowed to start early.To help me do that, I’ve made a gift guide for all the runners in my life (and a list of things I secretly want myself) Hurts So Good Recovery is an important part of running.If you’ve ever had the chance to try Rapid Reboot recovery boots, you know how amazing they can be.The only downside? The cost.But they are definitely worth it. Their Own Personal Cheerleader I don’t mean the kind of cheerleader you’d find on the sidelines of Monday night football- I’m talking about the kind the can take anywhere they go.If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll often see pictures of my Momentum Wrap bracelets—they’re the perfect pep talk during my runs.These were on my list last year and made it again this year because of the new SPARK boxes—with four options to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
Stocking Stuffers Socks

Run Streak: One Year

Last year my friend Jen hosted a Running Streak for the month of June—we were to run a mile everyday and at the end of the month everyone who had completed the month would be entered into a drawing for awesome prizes.  I love prizes and had several other friends signing up, so I thought, “Why not?”  Although it officially started on June 1st, I ran on May 31st-- so began my Run Streak with #StreakingWithTheCoolKids.

When I started the streak, I didn’t know if I’d make it through the entire month.  But after the first week, then the next, I though maybe I really can do this.  And sure enough, I made it through June running at least one mile everyday.  And once the month was over, I didn't want to stop.  So I kept running.  My new goal became 50 days and then 100 days.  Once I reached 100, I knew I had a decision to make.  So I kept running.

If you follow my adventures on Instagram, you know what happened next.  I have officially been streaking for one year and seven days.  From May 3…