This morning was my first run back in the ‘hood — that meant heading to Del Cerro Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, a 5 minute drive from my house where I moved back to on Wednesday. I hadn’t been there in at least 2 years, and last I remember, it was pretty barren from the wildfire that scorched a lot of that area. Ever since I’ve lived in the South Bay (1986), I’ve been training there, from the days I was racing mountain bikes in the early 90’s, until I moved away over 2 years ago when I started getting into trail running. There is a relatively large network of trails there, and it’s popular within the mountain biking community as well. The area is directly adjacent to Palos Verdes Dr, and thus, you will have a magnificent view of the ocean almost anywhere along those trails. It’s also pretty easy to find and get to — just make your way to Crenshaw Blvd (for most, that’s off the 405, north of the 110), and head south until the road ends right at the trailhead.
So I started my run like I’ve normally done, and even when I was still biking — a steep single track that starts on the west side of Crenshaw, just north of the parking lot entrance. It looks like there was very little regrowth from the fire, and the drought that we’ve been hit with hasn’t helped. Usually around this time of year, the brush is pretty high and thick, but there was hardly anything green this time. What makes these trails so nice is the proximity to the ocean, so you get the cool breeze (which was much appreciated today in the 80+ degree heat), not to mention an almost 180 degree view of the Pacific the entire time, very much like the Santa Monicas.
The single-track trails criss-cross the main fireroad that cuts through the middle, all the way down to PV Drive. It’s mostly runnable, and fairly non-technical, with a couple very steep but short sections. I took my usual route, then veered off onto a couple newly cut sections, which were nicely groomed. I continued heading south towards the Ladera Linda Community Center where I would be filling up with water. On the way, I noticed a couple new signs, indicating that I was entering the Forrestal Nature Preserve — this was put up within the last couple years. They had cut some switchbacks up to a mesa, and also adjacent to the quarry. All the trails had names now, and indicated the distance and elevation gain. Look here for some photos of the area. Eventually, I made it out to the community center, filled up my bottle, then headed back. On the return, I took some other trails that I was familiar with, and eventually made it back to my car — 2 hours and 3000′ later. I don’t know the total mileage, but guessing it was around 10-12.
So the whole time I kept thinking how it’d be nice to introduce other runners to the area, and decided that I’d put together a fun run on Memorial Day. I’m still tossing around some ideas, but it would definitely involve a picnic/BBQ at the park, which overlooks the ocean. I’ve been in touch with the Dept of Park & Rec at RPV, and they seem to be ok with the idea. They want some more detail, so I’ll be sending it to them shortly. In the meantime, mark your calendars — Monday May 28th. I’m headed out with Carmella next Sunday to scout some more trails, so if anyone else is interested in a preview, come on down.
Ok…time to go to bed so I can get up for the OCTR run in the morning. I still need to decide what to wear…hope there’s no dress code. 🙂