Got off to an early start on the Backbone Trail on Saturday December 12th (6:30 a.m.) Ran the first section with local Aubrey Myjer through the first 17 miles (The Hub) where I continued on with Cody Logan until Piuma Rd Crossing Aid at Mile 24. I came into the aid 10 minutes ahead of course record pace. I have to say I got a big lucky with some good cloud coverage throughout most of the morning hours. From Piuma aid to Encinal Canyon Rd (Mile 38) I ran with Ben Atkins as well as previous record holder Jeff Stern. From Encinal Canyon Rd I picked up Cody Logan and Chris Andrews as my pacers. This portion of the course was quite enjoyable as the gradient was always 5% or below whether descening or ascending. In addition a nice cool breeze picked up the last 3 miles into the aid station allowing me to recoup and prepare for my last strong push into the finish. Mishe Makwa TH (Mile 49) to the finish were without a doubt mile best miles on the course. There are two major descents on these final 17 miles and I took full advantage emptying my gas tank. San Diego local, Jesse Haynes and I had an absolute blast pushing some sub 7 minute miles en route to the finish and I can thank him enough for all the words of encouragement. Jesse seemed to know all the right things to say to keep me moving as fast as I could. Pacer of the year goes to Jesse! All in all I am pretty excited with my final time of 10:19:31 as my goal was 10:30:00 for the route.
I have to extend a huge thanks to all of the So Cal locals who helped me with this endeavor. I already know large portions of the trail, however, there are quite a few tricky intersection along this trail that could easily end in a disastrous long wrong turn. I have my pacers to thank for being able to run this thing stress free and being able to simply focus on pace and not specifically on my location on the trail.