Road… Road… Trail… Road… Trail… Down… Up… Up… Up… Up… Down… Down… Up… Finish. Sandugo Road to Trail Challenge was a roller coaster ride with climbs and descent in a mix of trails and road routes over the scenic Eastridge Trails.
Sandugo Road To Trail Challenge
Feel good run… nah! Sandugo Road to Trail “Challenge” has challenge on its name for a reason. There was a time challenge but, this one was also a climbfest. More than half of the race is devoted to purely climbing including a steep blackout stretch with about 150 meters climb in less than a kilometer. I ate hills for breakfast and I’m loving every painful step of the climb.
Sandugo Road to Trail Challenge was my race after Translantau 25K and after organizing Speedgoat Challenger so all I want to do is just to have fun. I did the 10 kilometer distance just for a feel-good, site-seeing tour around Eastridge trails from Thunderbird Resorts.
At the start of the race, I went at an easy running pace as I usually get shin splints when I start too fast. The first two kilometers was purely downhill on a mix of wide road and trail stretch heading to the pond. I even had time to stop at the pond for a photo. After this stretch, the trail shifted to a single track and the paced slow down. There was a queue at the mid pack and I was ok with the pace of the group as I was still feeling out the trails.
It was a climb on the single track for about a kilometer before a steep descent on the road heading to the blackout stretch. Seeing the blackout stretch from a far and I realized that it will be challenge with a long and steep uphill stretch. I’m just glad that its on paved roads. I power walked my way into the steep part of the climb and realizing that it’s just a start of a much longer climb.
One climbing stretch led to another and by the time all the climbing on this stretch was out, it was kilometer 8 heading to the antenna. That was about 4 kilometers of pure climbing. The quads were stinging, the lungs were gasping for air and adrenaline was pumping. It was not easy but I’m loving every bit of the challenge.
It was funny that every time I saw someone saying their legs is aching I’d offer them cooling spray I had in my bag. After reaching the antenna, I started to speed up as I saw some people being tentative on the descent. Glad I was so comfortable that my Hoka Speedgoat 3 won’t fail me on the descent.
There was a short climb to the aid station and I was refreshed by the cool soft drinks served at the aid stations. It was mostly downhill on paved roads from here. I run and walked my way on the descent and passed a few more runners on the way back to the race village.
There was one last climb as I made my way from the tunnel to the higher road heading to the finish line. I went at a brisk pace on this stretch and then headed to the finish.
It was a nice feel-good run overall and enjoyed my relaxed but consistent pace. The climbs can be painful though but I’m just glad to be a weekend warrior once again.