Race: Mendocino Coast 50K
Runner: Danielle D
Race Date: 04/20/2019
Location: Mendocino, Ca
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
The best things about the Mendocino Coast 50K was the stunning views, the mostly even running trail, and getting that high-five from the race director as I crossed the finish line.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Mosquitoes!!! The first 5 miles or so I had a group of mosquitoes cheering me on. Made it almost impossible to fix my shoe when I wanted to tie one. Bring the bug spray!! (Luckily I only ended up with a couple of bites)
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
Their was nothing I recall being weird about the race.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
It was my very first 50k so I had no high expectations for my finish time, I just knew I wanted to finish feeling strong. The big climbs don’t start until about 10 miles in so I played it safe and ran the flat 10 miles easy and conserving my energy. I enjoyed the most beautiful views and sounds. This was my first race to ditch the headphones and take in every moment.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Bring socks in your drop bag! There’s a creek crossing at mile 15ish and the drop bags are around mile 16. So glad I was able to change my wet socks out.
Pace yourself for the first 10 miles to save the energy for the big climbs.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
I could have pushed myself a lot more, I was playing it safe so I would finish in time but I know I could have easily cut an hour or two off my time had a I not been so scared to push myself.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Definitely pace yourself for the big climbs, there are three doozies. The first 10 was flat. The first hill the largest and steepest going back down. The second hill was a good climb, but going down was much easier then the first as it was a long subtle decline. Then the third hill was a steep mile climb where you get to hold on to the excitement of the downhill ride for the last 10ish miles. Lastly, be prepared at mile 28 where you have to lower yourself down a steep embankment with a rope.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
The most beautiful views I have ever seen. Ocean, redwoods, river, and a waterfall!
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
5,000 feet elevation gain. I thought it was a pretty tough course, but the track was even, a soft landing from the redwood trees, and not as rocky as I’m used to.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Absolutely organized well! This was the 4th year of the Mendocino Coast 50K and you would have thought Sid the director has been running it much longer.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
I’m definitely a back of the packer but I think the competition up above was strong.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
The first few days of November the registration begins, be ready as there’s really no warning. They have started the first Saturday in November at 8am Pacific time for the last 4 years. This last year sold out in less than 2 hours!!
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
The locals favorite was the glass coke bottles at each aid station. I’m not a soda drinker, but I did appreciate a small cup full during the run. The food is vegan and they have plenty of PB&Js and bananas on course.
Weather and typical race conditions
Uh-maz-ing!!! It was a very windy day, but deep in the woods kept the strong winds away (listen to the wind in the trees though!), it was about 45 degrees at start and 65 degrees at the end. The wind it a bit rough in the last 3 miles while running along the ocean on a large cliff.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Socks for the drop bag!
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Nope. It’s one large loop. But the volunteers are amazing at every aid station.
How’s the Swag?
Best SWAG bag I’ve ever gotten! Hat, ceramic tumbler with logo, sweat wrist band, collapsible cup with logo (Cupless event), the shirt was great quality and nice looking.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
10! I can’t wait to do it again!