Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Hills of Sunol

Sunol Regional Wilderness

(Canyon View- McCorkle- Ohlone Wilderness Trail)
(11.2 miles)

Looking at the map for Sunol, I just became sad that I don't live closer to Sunol. We came down here so I could practice running the Ohlone trail for the Ohlone 50K at the end of May, but there are SO MANY other trails in Sunol! Perhaps I shall have to schedule another Sunol outing soon.

As I've said before, Sunol is definitely a spring/fall running locale. The hills get hot, hot, hot in the summer, but our weather on Sunday was pretty much perfect. Amusingly enough, I ran this exact same trail a year ago in preparation for Ohlone. You can read more about the trail in this run, but this time we took Neko (who was absolutely thrilled) and we ended up running shorter because we decided to climb up this hill on the right to see the view. It's kind of a pain to get to-- you can't see the extremely steep down-and-up that leads off the regular trail--but the view from the top was marvelous.

This is not a trail for the faint-hearted. In fact, it's hard to write much of a trail description besides this: It climbs and climbs until you turn around. Then you run downhill. I was pretty pleased though, because I felt pretty good the entire run. I felt like I could have run farther when we turned around, but decided to play it safe because of the 5 1/2 miles of downhill on my knee (which turned out fine). I'm pacing Mike next weekend at Miwok, and I figured that having knee problems as a pacer would be unmannerly. So we kept it shorter-- but still had a great run.

One hilarious thing about this run? The dog ran so much that she made herself really stiff and sore that night-- she was limping when she got out of the car! I spent the evening worrying that I had made my dog injure herself, but then she was fine the next day-- tired, but fine. It's not surprising that she was exhausted-- I'm sure she ran at least twice what we ran, and much of that at a dead sprint (this being her favorite way of moving from place to place). So one thing we know about Ohlone? It can even tire out an Aussie/Border Collie-- and that's saying A LOT.

Clearly, dogs are fine on this trail-- plenty of cows, but dogs can be off-leash. There's some water on the trail now, but we brought water for Neko, too, and if you're going to go on a long run/hike with your dog, especially in the summer, I highly recommend bringing water.


209Mike said...

Oh I love that area. Can't wait for Ohlone (even though I'm not running). I'll be running up to Rose Peak that day to be the hill police.

Victoria said...

Well, running up to Rose Peak and back is not exactly what I would call a short little run. You might as well run the rest!

209Mike said...

I was late to sign up due to uncertain health - next best thing is to be in the middle of the race volunteering (not to mention having a front row seat to watch everyone)

Jo Lynn said...

Ooooh, Sunol! One of Boomer's favorite places. We don't go much during the summer months though because it's just too damn hot and not enough water for the pooch (unless you stay low by the creek and who the heck wants to stay low!!)
I was just looking into possibly doing the Ohlone 50k but, like Mike, I'm too late. Perhaps I should volunteer.

Rick Gaston said...

Like Mike I'll be at Ohlone as a volunteer, at the Backpacker aid station, Ann Trason's aid station. I'll see you before you head up the big climb. Then I'll be at the finish eating carnitas with the homemade sauce as you come through.

Come join us Jo Lynn, fun times and good eats at the finish.

Victoria said...

All I can say Rick, is that you better leave me some carnitas!!

Gambolin' Man said...

Victoria and friends, you know Gambolin' Man just LOVES all things SUNOL!!