Saturday, February 02, 2008

Clam Beach Run

I ran the shortest race Ive ever signed up for today. But it was the longest 8.75 miles I've ever run. And the most beautiful.

It was 43 degrees and raining. The first six miles was mostly uphill and the downhill and then uphill and down... you get the idea. It wound through Redwood and Spruce forests, the little town of Trinidad, Ca, and then down to Clam Beach.

At mile six, the course emerged from the woods and wound up on the beach. But that trail to the beach was blocked by the Little River. This winter has been unseasonably cold and the foothills nearby have a nice blanket of snow. Of course, the Little River is partly supplied by the runoff of melting snow and icy rain. If there was ever a day for God to do a repeat of the Red Sea Crossing, today was the day.

The water was about chest high and the current was running quick. A rope was strung across the river and I needed both hands to hang on. The water was chest high and COLD. I'm pretty sure it was colder than the air. I'm definitely sure it was the coldest water I've EVER been in. It was painfully cold. What happened to certain parts of my male anatomy brings an episode of Seinfeld to mind.

The final two miles were totally flat, but on the beach with a twenty mile an hour liquid wind blowing in my face. My shoes weighed a good five pounds more courtesy of the Little River. My shorts were soaked. My shirt was cold and wet and robbing my body of any heat I could manufacture. BTU's were exiting my body through my skull even though it was covered with a stocking cap. Of course, it was thoroughly soaked, too. I could see the horizon and even the finish line almost the whole time I ran on the beach, but it seemed like a mirage, a trick of the eyes, because it never got closer.

I finished the race, unofficially, in about an hour and twenty-five minutes. But I started my personal timer a little late so we'll have to check the stats in a couple of days. There should be a link here.
My Official Time: 1:25:16

Eureka Reporter Article
Times-Standard Artcle


Anonymous said...

Did you mention up hill in both directions in 10 feet of snow ? :) Congrats!!! I love hearing about other peoples adversity :)

Mike West said...

Sounds fun.

Chris Goeppner said...

dang dude. your a glutton for punishment. that sounds like one of those survivor man episodes or somethin'. did you finally warm up? i know when ive been in cold water it takes like3 days to warm the bones.

Bryonm said...

billy: i almost called you when i was done. can you tell i hate hills?

chris: it took me several hours before i was warm again. here's the crazy thing: i can't wait til next year.

Anonymous said...

I bow to you in total awe!

Anonymous said...

Why would someone do that? That does not sound fun. And why is the route through a river? Is that purposeful?

Bryonm said...


It was a blast! Going through the river is part of the course. This year, it was just barely passable. You can plan a race in advance, but you can't plan the weather. That's part of the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the run! Wow, we get cold when the water is in the 70's! How deep was the river?

Bob and Dorinda

Bryonm said...

we crossed at low tide (it empties into the ocean there) so it was only up to my belly button. but the current was fast and i would have been knocked off my feet if i didn't have that guide line. burrrrr!