Hopefully, many of you have started your training for San Diego 100. With that in mind, we are starting our training runs for the race in a few weeks. If you run all five of these training runs, you will cover about 95 percent of the course. Both of us will be out at all of the runs, with Angela running at a faster pace, and BJ running at a slower pace. If you have any questions about the race, you will have a captive audience to answer any of your concerns, and we would love to meet those of you we don’t know already.
Each of the runs will be between 20 and 25 miles as outlined below. We will have an aid station at some point along the run which we will mark with an orange ribbon in case you miss the bright orange jugs or gallons of water. These aid stations will have water and perhaps Tailwind and gels for you at a minimum. We are very grateful to Tailwind for stepping up to not only sponsor the race but these training runs as well. There will be a small fiesta at the end of each of the runs where we will provide light snacks including adult beverages. Please bring a chair and hang out with us to enjoy the rest of the day.
Each of the runs will start at 7 AM (with one exception noted below) with a little briefing by the RD’s about key turns and what to expect for your day. When the runs finish, of course, is up to you. There may be some minimal marking at important turns, but we will expect you to know the course and be able to navigate without ribbons on the course. We will be present to answer any questions before you get started.
Training Run 1 – Saturday, March 25th
Big Bend to Sunrise – This is a one-way route, and you will need to arrange transportation back to your vehicle, although we will try to find you a ride if you don’t have anyone. We will trace the first 21 miles of the course. We will meet at Big Bend (mile 1.1 of the course), which is a wide turnout with an information board, just past mile marker 10.5 as Highway 79 makes a big bend to the right. If you are coming from the South (I-8), it is just before Lake Cuyamaca. If you are coming from the north (Julian), it is just after Lake Cuyamaca. We will follow the course over Middle Peak, down through Paso Picacho where there is water, over Stonewall Peak, down past Chambers, and then through the meadows and back along Sunrise Highway to the Sunrise Aid Station. There is limited parking at the start, so we recommend parking at Sunrise and carpooling to the start if possible. There is no parking on Highway 79, but there is some overflow parking on the Scout road. We will help find you a spot to park if necessary. There will be light refreshments and an adult beverage or 2 for you at the finish.
Training Run 2 – Sunday, April 2
Pioneer to Pioneer – We will run from Pioneer Mail up and over Champagne Pass, dropping to Pine Creek road (BOO PAVEMENT) and then up Noble Canyon, the Crux of the Race, and then back along the PCT to Pioneer Mail. This combines the section from Pioneer Mail to Penny Pines 1 and crossing Sunrise Highway to Penny Pines 2 to Pioneer Mail, which comes later in the course. This allows us to have a loop and preview 2 portions of the race, if not necessarily in sequential order. We will have aid available at the bottom of Noble Canyon, which is known as Hammer’s Hideaway after long-time captain Steve “Hammer” Cunningham who passed after the 2019 race. Pour a little tailwind out for a great guy when you go through during the race and check out the small sign we’ve put there honoring him. His sister, widow, and best friend will be heading up the station in his honor this year. When you finish, look for some kind of festivities at Pioneer Mail for finishing what many believe to be the hardest section of the race!
Training Run 3 – Sunday, April 23
Red Tail to Red Tail – You will get to cruise through the meadows of Mt. Laguna with aid at Penny Pines during today’s 21-mile run. The run will begin with a run down Thing Valley Road where, at the location of Dale’s Kitchen, we will turn left on the PCT and travel north for 8.5 miles to Penny Pines 2 which would be miles 71.7 to 80.3 of the race. At that point, we will CAREFULLY cross the highway where aid will await at the site of Penny Pines 1 and travel on miles 43.8 to 55 of the course, from Penny back to Red Tail Roost where a picnic sponsored by SURF will be waiting with sandwiches, beverages and a general festive atmosphere.
Training Run 4 – Saturday, May 6
Red Tail Roost to Dale’s Kitchen to Sunrise – We’re a month out. Are you ready? Come find out as we run 21.3 miles from Red Tail Roost on Sunrise Highway over to Dale’s Kitchen where we join the PCT north back to Sunrise. This is a one-way route, and you will need to arrange transportation back to your vehicle, although we will try to find you a ride if you don’t have anyone. We’ll probably place some aid at Penny Pines 2 at 10.1 miles. This section has some of the best views on the course out over the desert, views which many of you faster folks may miss if you are running this section in the dark. This rolling section is a ton of fun on fresh legs. Not so much on 80-mile legs. For those who did Training Runs 2 and 3, there will be some overlap; however, it is important to run this leg as a single push to get a feel for what you may be in for late in the race. Again, we will have refreshments at the finish for you.
New (Kinda) This Year – Training Run 5, Saturday, May 20– NIGHT RUN
By popular demand, this run has become official. Led by Greg Bergeron in the past, this 13-ish mile run will start at 7 PM, not 7 AM, as we traverse the dreaded out and back to Cibbett’s Flat from Red Tail Roost. As many, if not all of you, will run some part of this in the dark, what better way to practice? There will be aid at the halfway mark before you climb back up the PCT in the dark back to Red Tail Roost. It is an out-and-back on a single trail, so the navigation is easy, but prepare to be spooked! Any rumors of a haunted clown hiding in the rocks of Long’s Creek are highly exaggerated. OR ARE THEY???
So, that’s the schedule and the general layout if you want a semi-supported run to see part of the course (or 5 semi-supported runs to see almost all of the course!). Unfortunately, because a few of these are point-to-point runs, you’ll have to connect with some of your fellow runners to arrange transportation and carpools to make sure you have a ride from the finish back to the start. We encourage you to use our Facebook page and/or Twitter and/or Instagram to make arrangements with your fellow runners to figure out how you all get rides from the finish of the run to the start. Our Twitter handle is @The OfficialSan6. Our Facebook page is The Official San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run. Or follow us on Instagram at san_diego_100. We will have a few extra seats in our cars on a first come, first serve basis, but your best bet is to bring a friend or arrange transportation or start some comments on our Facebook which we will post regarding the training runs to find a ride. If you have any questions about where to park or start or finish, you will likely find what you need for driving directions in the racebook, but otherwise please get in touch with us, and we will help you any way we can. We understand some places may charge for parking and/or require an adventure/forest pass. We will try to post the latest information, but please come prepared just in case. Again, we will be on social media with more info and details for each of the runs as we get closer.
Now here comes the legal mumbo jumbo. These are self-supported runs to which you (and anyone who is interested whether in the race or not) are invited. While we will provide limited aid as outlined above (THANK YOU TAILWIND), you must be self-sufficient on these runs and not count on anything we provide. We are not marking the course, or only marking it lightly at best, so you should have a copy of the map and turn-by-turn instructions found in the racebook to assist you. We will have a brief talk before everyone heads out about major turns to look out for, but you are on your own for navigation. If you are nervous about it, try to hook up with someone who has run the course before, or saddle yourself with one of the RD’s who should know how to get there. Theoretically. And please make sure you have arranged some kind of transportation from the finish to the start if it is point to point. We won’t leave anyone stranded, but we don’t have a shuttle or anything either, so please reach out to your fellow runners and don’t be shy.
In other news, Ken Bonus and his Trailfit crew have quite the Spring ahead of them clearing the trails. For those who are local, we encourage you to get your volunteer hours with Trailfit and clear the trails you will be racing on from a hard winter to fulfill your volunteer requirement. Rumor has it Ken provides beer if you work with Trailfit, but no promises.
If you are coming in from out of town, we understand that lodging is getting a little tight out in the mountains, so please make sure you have secured something that fits your needs.
That’s all for now. Please e-mail us if you have any questions or concerns and follow us on social media for race nuggets and additional information. We are here to make sure you have a great race and your best chance to succeed come race day. Our biggest reward is hanging a medal around each of your necks after you finish.
More updates next month or as conditions warrant. Most importantly, keep in mind that we view you as part of our SD 100 family, and you are in our hearts and thoughts. Looking forward to seeing you in June if not before!
Angela and BJ
RD’s, San Diego 100