Posted by: jawsome | January 18, 2009

Rio Bravo Race Report

Whew! Just got back from Rio Bravo – a good time was had by all, with slight mishaps as are to be expected.

We woke up at the crack of dawn two hours before the crack of dawn and headed down to Bakersfield. I had a somewhat restless night after my day of GI complaints yesterday (sorry for the TMI, it seems to come with the territory…). I woke up with pretty bad heartburn, but some Alka-Seltzer helped and we were on our way. We drove through Santa Paula, and over the Grapevine into the wonderful smog-bowl of Bakersfield. Fortuntately for us, the race was up in the foothills out of the muck. It was an absolutely beautiful day, with temps hovering right around 55 at the start of the race. It was a mass start with timer chips, so I have no idea how close or far I was from the actual start line. I hit start on the Garmin when he said, “go!”

This is my pre-race smile

This is my pre-race smile

The course meandered around a large organge orchard for the first 2.5 miles, and I was still trying to shake my internals into an acceptable groove. I went out pretty fast (8:56 for mile 1) but it seems really hard not to. I started off in the back 1/3 of the pack, and didn’t pass many people (and was only passed by a few). This picture captures the general feeling of the first 2.5 miles:

Ah, so scenic and mellow...

Ah, so scenic and mellow...

At about 2.8 miles, we turned and headed up a really steep hill. Before the start the announcer had joked that most people would be walking. I thought he was joking, but no.  It was steep. I got about 1/4 of the way up, and walked. Along with everyone else. To give you an idea, my HR was 185 walking (not powerwalking, not even hiking, walking). This is what it felt like:

*Not the actual hill

*Not the actual hill

I didn’t get a pic of the actual hill, because I was running. This is from nearby, and I think does a good job of evoking what it felt like. Once you reached the “top” there was an aid station with water, and then I thought all the pain was behind me. Only to realize that there were two or three more steep pitches to follow (not nearly as bad, but I was TIRED!)  By mile four, I had passed the steep parts and was cooking along. There were some lovely grassy flat parts on the crest of the hill, and I flapped my “wings” like the delirious eagle I must have looked like. Wish someone had gotten a pic of that…

The last mile saw a sneak attack by some orchard equipment (giant tree tractor thing headed this way, look out!) and some groovy flats. I was moving along fairly fast to make up for my wretched pace mile 4, and hit a peak of 7:03! My iPod (carried for reassurance due to my yucky sick feeling) hit on “Eye of the Tiger” at just the appropriate moment as I cruised toward the finish line/transition area to give the chip to Matt. Note the announcers at these things can NEVER get my name right – I got called, “um, can’t see the name, but here comes someone from team Perry!” I forgot to stop the Garmin right away, but the woman right in front of me crossed in 1:00:38. I’m sure I was pretty close to 1:01:00. That’s 9 minutes faster than expected, with a killer hill AND feeling like crap. Sweet.

Looking grim at the finish

Looking grim at the finish

I handed the chip to Matt, who took off, and I tried not to vomit on the side of the road. Finally I walked it off, grabbed some water and oranges (fresh from the orchard) and settled down to wait for Matt to finish. See for a race report from Matt (should be up some time tonight). Matt hustled in for a team time of 2:07, which is about 13 minutes faster than we expected, and earned us 5th place!…..out of 12 mixed teams under 89 yrs of age.  🙂

Here we are happy and relaxed:

Yay, go team Perry!

Yay, go team Perry!



  1. Wooo great job!!

  2. I set up “Auto Lap” on the Garmin to get mile splits. Do you have a 305? I go in to the menu Training -> Training Options -> Auto Lap. Not sure how to do it on the other models. 🙂

  3. Nice work Jos! Now when are we going to get you on the bike?

  4. We’ll get me on a bike when we get you running on the trail! 🙂

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