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Malibu Creek 25k Race Report

So I preface this report with the fact that I’ve run trails once before. I really enjoyed that trail run and felt really good after it. That was a 10 mile out and back. The Malibu Creek Trail run was one giant loop. I don’t really do to well on looped runs but I figured what the heck, and I got conned into the race by Billy. I was lucky enough to be able to stay with Sara, and we went out dinner with some friends before the race at C & O Cocina, and they had amazing food!


At dinner, remind me never to wear that vest again. Thanks.


Here’s the elevation chart. Yea, possibly should have looked at this before the race.

Onto the race. Sara and I woke up early and ready to go. I just didn’t have the worlds best feeling about my knee but I knew I would hopefully be able to tough it out. I liked the last trail run. I was excited to run 15 miles, a new race distance pr for me. We drove to Malibu Creek and it was freezing. We had checked the weather beforehand and it said it would be 45 degrees. When we got there it was 33. That’s a pretty big difference! I actually walked over to the race check in wearing my blanket that I slept with the night before wrapped around me. I got a few funny looks but I’m not a cold weather lover unless I’m prepared for it.


Hi, I’d like to check in to get annihilated now. Thanks.

Then I went back to the car to put down my blanket and get my bottle and everything, and yup, as I’m walking back I totally missed the start. Cool. I would have normally FLIPPED out, but I was like whatever, I’m going to take my time and make sure I’m prepared and then take off. I finally left the starting area around 5 minutes later. I quickly caught up to the last of the packs and I was SUPER annoyed. There were random people yehawing? I was already dead at mile 3 and I had 12 more to go. My love for trail running was slowly dying. I climbed a few hills and on the first downhills my knee immediately was killing me. I knew it wasn’t smart to push myself and just figured I would run when I could and walk/jog when I couldn’t.


This was the start. I missed it. See that mountain in the background? Pretty sure we climbed it.

It was then when I met up with Yolanda, which I will go into more tomorrow, she was so inspiring and I can’t wait to tell you all about her!!


It was pretty, but I don’t know about worth it.


Another totally funny part of the race. We were running along and some guy told us to follow up to the road. Now this was a busy road and we had to hike up a little mini hill to get to the top and travel down the road, I felt like the race directors wouldn’t have us run down this road, but I followed him because he seemed to know what he was doing and I didn’t know the route. WELL I MISSED THIS RIVER because of him! How funny and GREAT… I would have flipped. So yup, this race I technically cheated as well. Well again I was told that this was the path but seriously, how funny.


The hills, yup, no joke here. This one wasn’t even that bad at all.

So I slugged along, the hills were BRUTAL. I have NEVER experienced something like this before. They kept coming and coming and coming I would think that the next one would be the last, but no it wasn’t. It was like you got to the top and then you could see the next path you were about to travel. Hard-freaking-core. Then as it always happens, what goes up must come down. Yikes. So the downhills were pretty hard for the knee but it held up, but the toes are a little hurt from being squashed into the front of my shoes, especially with two already beat up toenails. I hopefully salvaged them last night and this morning and they are looking okay. I’m in a wedding this weekend and my feet look like those of an ogre. Cool fashion statement.

Back to the race. I continued to slug along. I asked someone how much farther and they said about 3.5 more miles according to their garmin. I realized that my nike plus just stinks it’s pretty much worthless. After I found out how much farther I thought okay, YOU CAN DO THIS. My whole body was aching. My quads were killing me from so much hill work, my toes and feet hurt and I was positive that I was getting a huge blister on my heel, but I thought it’s only a 5k more. We were running on a pretty flat surface and I was fighting to finish the race, when I fell. I just twisted my ankle and went down. It was a straight down awkward slow motion fall. I think a weird incomprehensible sound flew out of my mouth and I oddly heard the thud as I fell. I just was like wow, this was just the icing on the cake. The women in front of me and the guy behind me were immediately asking if I was okay and I totally was, I walked off my ankle and almost started laugh crying. It was a weird, weird feeling. I tried my hardest to slow jog the remaining 3 miles and re-met up with Sara and she encouraged me, it was nice to see a friendly face. Then FINALLY after three hours and forty minutes of running, hiking, jogging and PURE TORTURE I finished.

Things I learned from this race:
1. I need to stop listening to Billy and allowing him to con me into races
2. I NEED hill work
3. It’s okay to be slow. It’s more than okay to walk.
4. Clip your toenails SUPER short before any type of running activity
5. An elevation change of almost 3,000 feet may not be the best idea to climb
6. It’s okay to get your BUTT KICKED every now and then
7. Sometimes, it’s okay to be happy with just finishing the race

I did enjoy the race, I learned a lot about a totally different type of running and I have SO much respect for trail runners now. It was a trying experience to say the least. Today my butt is KILLING ME, and so is my lower back. Tonight I’ll be doing some hardcore stretching while relaxing since it’s thankfully a rest day for me.

I think that this post goes to show that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Thank you Malibu Creek 25k for bringing me out of my comfort zone and just kicking me when I’m down.


PS: Thanks to Billy who ran with a camera and stole all his pictures from his site. :)

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  • Reply chia

    Wow you’re amazing.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:21 am
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Hwy Danica. That is quite the elevation profile! I’m tired just reading about your adventure this past weekend! Great job and sounds like a great experience!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:42 am
  • Reply Toni

    Wow that sounds tough! Great job finishing!

    March 10, 2009 at 6:39 am
  • Reply The Happy Runner

    Nice job on the tough course! Trail races are tough. Way to go!

    March 10, 2009 at 6:50 am
  • Reply Marlene

    Oh my goodness! Sounds like quite the experience. My first trail race was a similar experience, but it was only a 10K and I thought I was going to cry or die or both. Congratulations on finishing!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 7:47 am
  • Reply LyndsAU

    you go girl for finishing that. i would have died. hills are brutal!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 8:04 am
  • Reply Shannon

    I gave you an award! Check my post!

    March 10, 2009 at 8:15 am
  • Reply Brooke

    I’m officially impressed. If you ever need a trail running buddy, I’m down! But the furthest I can run right now is about 6 miles… you’re definitely outta my league :)

    Ever run at El Moro park, in Newport/Laguna? That’s where we always ran hills in high school. A challenge, but not quite as bad as Malibu Creek!


    March 10, 2009 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Donald

    Congrats on your first trail race! Trail running is a whole different world, that’s for sure. Much more laid back, but at the same time, a lot more challenging than road racing in many ways. Maybe you’ll get hooked like I did several years ago.

    Great pics and great report.

    March 10, 2009 at 9:11 am
  • Reply Amber

    Good for you for finishing after all that!

    March 10, 2009 at 9:12 am
  • Reply Bootchez

    Congratulations for such a brutal run! It’ll be great for you to be able to look back and say, “Wow! Look what I did!” sometime when you really need the inspiration. Way to have a great attitude when presented with a difficult challenge!

    March 10, 2009 at 9:33 am
  • Reply Jamie

    LOL… all of the sudden I feel better about my muscle soreness. I am thinking your’s is much worse! It’s good for ya =) LOL

    March 10, 2009 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Bama Belle...

    you are my running rockstar! i wish i could do 1/2 the races you do. i will become a runner…one day!

    March 10, 2009 at 10:12 am
  • Reply Borsch

    Well done! You are a rockstar! And 33 degrees…shouldn’t you have been in shorts and a t-shirt. JK.

    March 10, 2009 at 10:17 am
  • Reply Steve Stenzel

    1: What’s wrong with that vest? It’s cute.

    2: Holy fuck. That’s one mother of an elevation chart.

    3: Missed the start? Crap…

    4: Those photos are NUTS! What a race!!!

    5: WAY TO GO!! Congrats!!!

    March 10, 2009 at 11:30 am
  • Reply Lindsey

    WOW! Hats off to you, I am so impressed! Great job!!

    March 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply audgepodge

    Geesh… you are a rockstar! And hardcore, holy hills!

    And to echo everyone else… GARMIN! GARMIN! GARMIN!


    March 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm
  • Reply Laurel

    Wow. It may not have been fun or pretty, but you are a total badass for doing this race. Great job!

    March 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    WOW thats nuts.. i probably would have stopped half way and cried. It looks like the most beautiful run but in the same sense, HARD! Awesome job keeping such a great attitude!

    March 10, 2009 at 6:08 pm
  • Reply lindsay

    lol you actually make this race sound awesome, somehow. :) congrats on toughing it out and doing a great job! those hills look nasty but the pics are gorgeous! love how you had the ‘in’ on getting around the river. run a bunch of miles in the dirt with soaking wet shoes? no thanks! great race girl, congrats!

    March 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm
  • Reply Run For Life

    I think looking at that elevation profile raised my blood pressure! Great job on finishing, you should definitely be proud. :)

    March 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  • Reply Ms.Droark

    Ever been to Alaska? We have a run that Billy might like!
    Google Mountain Marathon.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply PCTR Malibu Creek Volunteering | Chic Runner

    […] I ran last year and they have a 50k option, a 25k option (which is what I did and my race report is here) and then a 10k option. I think that trail running is a little out of my league right now but I do […]

    March 9, 2010 at 10:52 am
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