HotShot Trail Half

The inaugural Hot Shot Half Marathon was held on the beautiful Bullards Bar Reservoir Trail in Dobbins, Ca.

This race was in memory of Mike Kelly, a Tahoe HotShot. When he passed away, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation was incredibly supportive of his family. All the proceeds of the race were donated to this worthy foundation in his name.

I can't say enough amazing things about this race! In true hotshot fashion, always going the extra mile, the course was actually 14.5 miles instead of 13.1. The trail was absolutely beautiful and freshly swept of needles and weeds. Stumps and roots in the trail were painted bright red and the hand made mileage signs and course markings were clear and everywhere! There was no way you could get lost on this course for at every intersection was stationed volunteers and cheer support. Honestly, I have never received so many cheers and seen so many spectators on a small trail race course before, and I absolutely loved it as the positive energy was just amazing!
The only picture I took out on the trail
Just us chicks!
Joel and UMM
Leading up to the race, I confess, my trail running had lacked as did my long distance training. The trail was just so breath taking however, that I immediately felt that runners high. I ran strong for the first seven miles enjoying the rolling hills, gorgeous views of the reservoir, and the conversations I was having with new friends I met out on the trail. It was around mile seven or eight that I switched from running to power hiking. Up and up I went. Of course, what goes up, does eventually go down. My favorite part of trail racing--running downhill! At each aid station I made sure to fuel properly with oranges, bananas, and the electrolyte drink that they offered. Sadly though, it wasn't enough as I skipped breakfast. I do this often. I just can't get myself to eat so early in morning and then I pay for it later while running. I definitely felt my energy levels dropping, but I was having so much fun that I just ignored that blah feeling. And then, at mile 11, I tripped, and took a brutal fall. It was at this time that my calf seized up and I was in serious pain. I lost my runners high after that and I lost my beautiful trail stride. I limped a bit after that switching to a wog (walk/jog) and finished the race in 3:09. It certainly was not the time I was expecting, but I was just happy to have finished.To have run on a beautiful new trail. To be apart of this inaugural event!
Mike Kelly Senior coming into the finish with his entourage
Penny the Poser
UMM was there to greet me at the finish line where he finished in 1:49. We received finisher pint glasses, never ending portions of chili, baked potato, fixings, and a large assortment of drinks. A great finish line party! Did I mention, the race also included free camping? We camped at Hornswoggle where after the race festivities, we fished (yes, I fish!) and then celebrated with an after party.
My lil rock climbin' dog

No fish were caught by us! :(
Why, yes that is a banana slug on my cup
Overall, I give this race a five star rating! For an inaugural event, I was very impressed by all the attention to detail that other race organizers tend to miss their first time around. It truly was an amazing race to be a part of and I can't wait to do it again next year!

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