The JPL Running Club held its annual Halloween relay race on Wednesday October 28 at lunch time.
This is a relay race where teams ferry small pumpkins up and down the El Prieto trail. It can be a real pain running with a pumpkin, especially if you drop it on your toe - but it's a lot of fun too. The first team to return an unbroken pumpkin to the finish area wins and gets a plastic pumpkin full of Halloween candy (to share with the losers).
The fastest runner on each team starts off carrying the pumpkin. He/She runs up the El Prieto trail to the Brown Mountain Road then starts back. On the way down, each time the pumpkin carrier encounters a team mate, the pumpkin is passed off, and the new pumpkin carrier turns around and heads back down the trail. This way everyone on the team gets a chance to carry the pumpkin and only the strongest runner has to carry it up hill.
The El Prieto trail is 2 miles long and features about 800 nasty feet of elevation gain. The trail is mostly shaded by dense undergrowth as the trail zig-zags up the canyon past concrete dams and water falls. There are twelve water crossings and the racers do have to keep an eye out for mountain bikers and poison oak.
This year we had twelve competitors for three teams of four runners each. The race was won by the C-team. Everyone came back tired, dirty and happy. The temperature was 73 degrees and smog levels were well below Fedral Alert levels.
|Tony Freeman||50:09||Paul Siqueira||49:28||Bill Read||42:07|
|Robin Bruno||50:15||Sam Dolinar||46:15||John Bennett||41:27|
|Tracey Clark||53:48||Earl Higa||53:36||Al Cangahuala||42:07|
|Akiko Hayashi||53:48||Susan Merrill||46:15||Ken Erickson||42:07|
Thanks to the team captains who volunteered to lug the pumpkins all the way to Brown Mountain Road (the pumpkins weighted about 3.5 lbs). Ice water was provided at the start/finish area by the Running Club and the race was directed by Mark Ryne.