• Madera,
    United States
  • March
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Trail Race

Charlie Oliver

California, United States
0 2
"Two Miles of Bland then Eleven Miles of Beautiful"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Charlie Oliver's thoughts:

This is technically the second year of this race but since the first year had to go virtual due to COVID, this was the first time it had been actually "live." Again, with COVID there's no expo (and no live entertainment, etc.) but the bib pickup and all were very smooth as are all California Classic events in the area--it was a drive through deal over in North Fresno. I wasn't crazy about the tech shirt because they went with a white color and the design is a little meh for me. The hat, on the other hand, is awesome!

The next day was the actual race and due to a bit of rain the parking lots they had set aside were muddy and unavailable for us to park in. Instead we had to park in the neighborhood of the nearby housing development which was about a ten minute walk over to the start line--not a big deal.

The course itself started a little rough because it felt like I was running through someone's vineyards on narrow paths, trying to get past groups of walkers while dodging large mud puddles. By the end of the second mile I was beginning to think this would be a one time race for me and then, just around mile 2.5 the views began. It was remarkable watching people see it and I noted that I was not the only person who stopped and took a photo. Once you've left the vineyard area you're into some beautiful rolling hills and wetlands area with verdant green all around you. It was genuinely lovely--like GOLF COURSE LOVELY--and everything clicked into place. At that point I knew I was down with this race every time they wanted to put it on.

The aid stations and porta-potties felt like they were every two miles or so and they were always stocked with Gatorade, water, and most had some Gu gels as well. All the volunteers were enthusiastic and supportive yellers which is always nice. Recommended!

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