Yesterday, I ran the 41st Annual Mt Wilson Trail Race for the first time — interestingly enough, it was after I moved away from Sierra Madre where I used to live, which was about a 5 min jog to the start line.Â The race was first held in 1908, only 3 years after the Dipsea (the country’s oldest trail race) was born, but there was a hiatus between 1912 and 1929, then resumed in 1930.Â It was held sporadically until the late 40’s, then abandoned completely, and finally revived in 1965.
The course is 8.6 miles — from downtown Sierra Madre, to Orchard Camp and back — 2100′ of gain in 4.3 miles, which is a 9.2% grade.Â This reminded me a lot of the Mt Baldy Run to the Top, which is the same distance, but instead of an out-and-back, it’s an 8 mile climb to the peak, not to mention a few thousand feet lower in elevation.
The race is well-organized, but it’s just not my kind of event — too short, too fast, and too crowded.Â Baldy would be the same thing if they made everyone race back down to the start — can you imagine how dangerous that’d be?Â I’m actually really surprised that no one gets seriously hurt because the course is primarily singletrack, with very little room for 2-way traffic.
The winner was Kevin Koeper, who has won the race a few times, beating out the second place guy by 3 seconds — wish I could’ve seen that finish.Â The women’s field was dominated by Sharon Pevsner, who I used to see quite often in the neighborhood, since she’s a local resident.Â Their times respectively — 1:00:27 and 1:16:32.Â Full results here.
Well, I did this race for the first time this year, but I also think that it’s going to be my last — just not my kind of event.Â But then again, I said the same thing about Baldy a few years ago too.