Jeff and I drove together for the Twin Peaks 50 training run in OC Saturday — a 14 mile loop (although it was argued to be a tad longer) starting from Trabuco Creek Rd off the 241 toll road in Rancho Santa Margarita. The trailhead is about 4.5 miles east of here on dirt road, accessible by high clearance vehicles, although Kyle managed to (barely) make it in his car.
When we drove up to the parking area, there was a bunch (20+?) of people there for the run, but didn’t really recognize anyone other than Xy and Hwa Ja. After we parked (note — the forest service requires an Adventure Pass), I introduced myself to Jessica, waited for the run to start, and for Kyle to arrive. After a brief announcement, primarily directions for the route, we were off.
Jessica was pretty clear as to which way to turn at the junctions, but people still did end up getting lost unfortunately — I know at least one person who turned the wrong way on Main Divide, and according to some bikers we ran into, there were several more he had to give directions to.
We were basically going in a clockwise loop starting up Holy Jim, then east on the Main Divide, and finally down West Horsethief back to the trailhead — some may be familiar with parts of the area from doing the Saddleback Marathon and the WTRS starting out in Blue Jay. I was with Jeff and Kyle at first, then after Kyle went ahead, I ran with Jeff and a friend of his, Jonathan, plus a few others we leap frogged with up to the fireroad. The weather was cloudy and cold, then as we neared the top of the ridge, it became foggy and windy. It never really warmed up, and started to rain off and on — always enough to get wet, but not soaked. I had two layers on, plus a light shell, but wish I took my gloves with me too. I also took a 50oz bladder and an additional 20oz bottle, which was just enough for the 3+ hours we were out there, and I think we managed to do about 3000′ of climbing during that time.
Here’s a short mountain bike video going down Holy Jim.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find trails like that in OC, but with the San Gabriels in my backyard, it’s hard to justify driving 4 hours for a 3 hour run, although it was nice to have a lot of company, and Jeff to drive the rest of the way from his house.