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@CSohaskey

Long Beach, CA Raving since 2014 Boston Marathon finisher active 1 month ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    AREC, Team Runners High

  • Rave race:

    Death Valley Trail Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Running with the Devil

  • I run because:

My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (5)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon San Jose, CA 1997 3:07:39
30K Silverado, CA Jul 30, 2016 4:09:58
Half Marathon Santa Ynez, CA May 9, 2015 1:49:42
15K Los Angeles, CA Oct 29, 2017 1:14:24
10K Thousand Oaks, CA Dec 4, 2016 1:46:00

Future Races (1)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Dallas, TX TBD

Past Races (22)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon White Sands, NM Mar 25, 2018 5:28:45
15K Los Angeles, CA Oct 29, 2017 1:14:24
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 8, 2017 3:51:43
50K Fish Camp, CA Jun 3, 2017 6:40:23
10K Thousand Oaks, CA Dec 4, 2016 1:46:00
Half Marathon Dallas, TX Aug 14, 2016 2:08:36
30K Silverado, CA Jul 30, 2016 4:09:58
Half Marathon Santa Ynez, CA May 9, 2015 1:49:42
Marathon Mountain Center, CA Mar 28, 2015 5:25:33
Marathon Manitou Springs, CO 2013
7 Miler Mt Baldy, CA 2013
Marathon Death Valley, CA 2013
Marathon Long Beach, CA 2013
50K Brentwood, CA 2012
Marathon Piney Point, MD 2011
Half Marathon Brea, CA 2011
Marathon Rachel, NV 2009
Marathon Lahaina, HI 2006 3:31:13
Marathon Hopkinton, MA 2001 3:18:47
Marathon Hopkinton, MA 1998 3:14:05
Marathon San Jose, CA 1998 3:12:58
Marathon San Jose, CA 1997 3:07:39

My Raves

Bataan Memorial Death March

Bataan Memorial Death March

This race is not as difficult as the name makes it sound. The “Death March” part of it is in reference to the Bataan Death March from World War II … MORE

This race is not as difficult as the name makes it sound. The “Death March” part of it is in reference to the Bataan Death March from World War II that this race is a memorial to. The actual marathon course in the White Sand Missile Range is tough, but no death march.
One of the cool things about the race is the history involved. The few remaining survivors from the Bataan death march give talks at packet pickup, and are present before the race at the opening ceremony, and then after the race. Many of the people who do this race/march carrying a 35 lb pack the whole way.
The race course is roughly a figure eight with the 14 mile march consisting of the bottom loop and the marathon continuing on to do the top loop also. The race starts on a paved road and there are several miles in the middle that are paved, but most of it is on a dirt fire road. The road is not rocky but there was long stretches of soft sand which certainly slows one down. In fact around mile 20 there is a stretch of about half a mile of soft sand and pebbles. I didn’t have gators so I had to stop and dump all the rocks out of my shoes.
There is only one hill that really matters. It starts on one of the paved section and then continues when you get back on the dirt road. It peaks around mile 14. There is a decline after that but also some bumps here and there.
This year there was some confusion of the location of the actual starting line, and some minor direction issues and we ran an extra 1.5 miles at the start.
. But other than that it was a well organized race. The support stations had either water or Gatorade as well as fruit. If you want spectators this is probably not the race for you. But if you like the desert you will love this race.
The T shirt was a nice cotton shirt which only said “Bataan” on it. I would have liked to see at least ‘marathon’ on there too. The medal was a dog tag they give you before the run which is also nondescript. Being able to talk to the survivors at the finish line was awesome. And the race provided a very good lunch also.

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LA Cancer Challenge

LA Cancer Challenge

This is a very good race. Normally I don’t like races that consist of laps (the 10K is 2 laps of the same course, the 15 is 3), but I … MORE

This is a very good race. Normally I don’t like races that consist of laps (the 10K is 2 laps of the same course, the 15 is 3), but I like this course. It is hilly with lots of turns and is not likely to give you a PR. But it runs through the UCLA campus and is just an overall fun and scenic course. Although the hill that leads up to the finish line is particularly cruel. And since they run you right past the finish line once (for the 10K) or twice (for the 15K) you will get to know it well. The finish line and goody bag was very nice. Free donuts at the finish line and a very nice water bottle in the bag. Plus lots of free samples and such.
Overall this was a very well organized race. They have a gear check which is always a great think. Lots of bathrooms also.

DIFFICULTY
4
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Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

This is one of the best marathons in the country. Most of it is run very close to the water so it is very scenic. It is a fast course … MORE

This is one of the best marathons in the country. Most of it is run very close to the water so it is very scenic. It is a fast course with few hills. There are support stations all over and lots of spectators. It has an early start (the half marathoner starts later). And the last 0.2 miles are downhill. The finish line is well organized with a beer garden. This year the shirt was great and the medal is one of the coolest I have. I highly recommend this race.

DIFFICULTY
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Shadow of the Giants

Shadow of the Giants

I’ve run a lot of races and this has to be the most beautiful course I have ever run. It was run through the pine forest of Fish Camp right … MORE

I’ve run a lot of races and this has to be the most beautiful course I have ever run. It was run through the pine forest of Fish Camp right outside of Yosemite. I stayed in the onsite dorm room type lodging in a room full of bunk beds. That had both good and bad points. Snoring was an issue, but I was just meters away from the starting line in a room full of other runners.

The race features about 5 hills of various lengths but none too long or too steep. The course elevation ranged from the 5,037 ft at the starting line, up to 6,286 at the top of the second hill. There were only a few technical spots on the course; most of it was wide fire road. There was one water crossing which was a lot of fun. It was icy cold water almost up to my shorts which left my feet numb by the time I got the other side.

After a steep but short rocky single track the course leveled off for a bit. This was one of those magical trails with the smell of pine everywhere and the most amazing sights at every step. Around 15 miles I started seeing the giant redwood trees. I noticed the first one when I went around a corner and a runner that I had been chasing was just standing there staring at it. I had to stop also.

Finally I got to the Shadow of the Giants 1 mile loop. This goes through Mariposa Grove, the site of many giant sequoia trees. I admit I walked this loop to get a good look at them.

This could be a fast course but I was continually distracted by the scenery. My fault, but I am not complaining.

There were not many support stations, but with the weather we had they were more than adequate. And they were well stocked. The race was very well organized. A nice bonus was the onsite showers for after the race.

The swag was nice. I got a great shirt and a wooden medal. At the finish line they handed out cold towels. Mostly I got amazing memories of a stunning course (also a lot of pictures). I highly recommend this course.

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Toughest 10K in the USA

Toughest 10K in the USA

This race was brutal and fully lived up to its name. Expect your finishing time to be at least double what you would do on a flat road 10K. The … MORE

This race was brutal and fully lived up to its name. Expect your finishing time to be at least double what you would do on a flat road 10K.

The Toughest 10K in the USA features 6 hills. None are that long, but all are very steep. Very steep. In many cases you go up the hill just to turn around and head back down it. I was not only unable to run up most of the hills, they were also too steep to run down. I spent a lot of time inching sideways down the hills.

But I would highly recommend this race. If you are looking for a extremely tough 10K you will not be disappointed. If you sign up for this race thinking the name is an exaggeration, and you don’t really need to train for it, well you will have lots of time to think about your stupidity.

The organization was pretty much perfect. The course was well marked so there was absolutely no chance for a wrong turn. There were numerous water stops which I very much appreciated as my race time got longer and longer. Despite it being a small race of probably less than 150 people there was a good assortment of goodies at the finish line. The race shirt was very nice and they provide all finishers with a very impressive medal.

DIFFICULTY
5
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Hottest Half

Hottest Half

The day before the race the temperature peaked at 107F. But then it cooled off so the high on race day was only 92F. This sounds hot but the average … MORE

The day before the race the temperature peaked at 107F. But then it cooled off so the high on race day was only 92F. This sounds hot but the average for this day is 96F. So this year we got lucky. But I have to say it was still a big challenge.
The race was run along both sides of the Trinity River. The course was mostly paved with a short section that was a rocky dirt road. As soon as you drop down to the river, below the street level, right before mile 2 you lose any wind that might cool you off. But there were water stops every mile with Gatorade, water and in places, ice cold towels.
I really enjoyed the course. There were cement cows, and bridge graffiti art and we got to run under the fancy Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (shade!). There was a minor hill (down on the way out, up on the way back) but mostly the course was flat. There was no crowding even thought it was out and back on the same trail.
When I crossed the finish line the volunteers handed me a cold bottle of water and an icy cold towel. The medal was amazing, one of the best I’ve seen. The shirt was even better with great art work. And the beer at the finish was the best I had while I was in Dallas.

DIFFICULTY
5
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Harding Hustle

Harding Hustle

The 30K is a difficult race. It is almost always hot – if not at the start then it gets that way pretty quickly. And the trail is exposed for … MORE

The 30K is a difficult race. It is almost always hot – if not at the start then it gets that way pretty quickly. And the trail is exposed for most of the way with little shade. The course is out and back with three Support Stations. The major difficulty of the race is not the heat, but the fact that the first 9 miles are mostly uphill which is followed by 9 miles of (obviously) downhill. The course is all fire road which can be rocky in places but never technical. The course is beautiful and the views are spectacular. There were very few bikers and hikers so we had the mountain mostly to ourselves.

The Support Stations were well stocked with ice and cold water. Dirty Feet Productions always puts on a great race. The finishing medal was nice and the shirt is high quality. My only complaint is the shirt graphic. What is that thing?

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Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon

Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon

Make no mistake, this is a serious race. Do not be fooled by the amazing post race party. The course is not flat, there is a good hill just past … MORE

Make no mistake, this is a serious race. Do not be fooled by the amazing post race party. The course is not flat, there is a good hill just past the half way point. And one right before mile 12. The first half of the course is overall uphill, and the second half, down. It starts in the tiny town of Santa Ynez and runs through scenic vineyards to finish in the tiny town Solvang. There was plenty of support along the course (even a wine stop) and lots of beautiful views. I even saw a bison just off the road.
The shirt was a very nice non-tech shirt. And the medal was unique – a corkscrew, bottle sealing combination heavy kinda thing.
The race finishes right near all the wonderful Danish bakeries and Scandinavian stores that Solvang is known for. But the race is best known for the wine tasting. For an additional charge you get a nice wine glass and entry into the park. There the local wineries have samples of their wines for the runners.
This is a very well organized race, with a great course and after race party. I would highly recommend it.

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3
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5
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Beyond Limits Ultra

Beyond Limits Ultra

The Beyond Limits Ultra is a series of races at the Pathfinder Ranch in the mountains near Idyllwild. The longest distance is the 100 miler and the shortest is the … MORE

The Beyond Limits Ultra is a series of races at the Pathfinder Ranch in the mountains near Idyllwild. The longest distance is the 100 miler and the shortest is the marathon. The course consists of a 2 mile loop that is repeated until you achieve your distance.
The loop was actually quite nice with different terrain. There was a section around the pond, a sandy section, a paved section (or dirt shoulder if you want), and a very pretty forest section. The course was flat but overall it was at 4,500 ft so elevation was an issue for some people. There were bathrooms and showers all over the course which is always a good thing. There was one aid station that was well stocked and manned. Plus lots of spots to set up your own table which many runners did.
Many people spent the night in the cabins at the Ranch. Breakfast was provided in the dining hall so you could gather with the other runners before the race. Food was available during the race along with water and sports drink. They even had an ice bucket to dip your hats and bandanas into.
This was a very well run race. The race directors clearly are runners themselves and know how to organize a race like this. The looped course might seem boring but it gives you a chance to see other runners many times. You can support them, and get support in turn from them.

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Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent

Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent

This race is brutal. No matter what your pace this race is tough. The starting line is at already 6,345 and I live at sea level so I was already … MORE

This race is brutal. No matter what your pace this race is tough. The starting line is at already 6,345 and I live at sea level so I was already a little winded before the race started. The halfway point is at the summit of Pike Peak at 14,115 ft where there is 43% less oxygen than sea level. The average grade is 11%.
That said this is an amazing race. It starts in Manitou Springs Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The views are spectacular and this race is one you will not forget or stop talking about. Instead of the Star Spangled Banner at the starting line they placed America the Beautiful since Pike’s Peak was the inspiration for the purple mountains majesty.
The first decision is what to carry. It can get cold and windy near the top so you want to dress warmly. But the weather can be warmer at the lower levels (88F on my race day). I wanted to carry enough to be prepared but at the same time, the first 13 miles are uphill and I didn’t want to carry any extra weight.
The trail is in good condition up to the tree line at 12,000 ft. After that it gets a bit rocky. The last half mile to the top consists of the infamous 16 Golden Steps which is actually 32 switchback that involve stepping up onto large boulders. Then you turn around and do the whole thing again.
The race was well run. The support stations were well run and although they were close in distance they were far apart time-wise because of my slow pace. On the negative side the shirt was low quality and is already falling apart. But this is still an amazing experience.

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5
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4
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5
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Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

I have run this Long Beach race a lot, both as the half and full marathon. It is a great course, mostly flat although there is one hill in the … MORE

I have run this Long Beach race a lot, both as the half and full marathon. It is a great course, mostly flat although there is one hill in the later part of the middle section. It is not bad, just in a bad location. The start is in waves which reduces the crowding along the narrow beach path. There are numerous pace groups which is always helpful. And numerous fully stocked aid stations.

The course is one of the best I have run. Much of it is run within sight of the ocean which is great. There are lots of nice distractions like the Queen Mary and the Boats with the fire hoses going. And there are a lot of spectators along the course, not just for the half marathon. It can get a little crowded along the beach path but I would rather run there next to the Pacific Ocean than up on the road.

The finish line is well organized also with a beer garden and lots of space to just hang out and recover.

After years of ugly shirts they final have very nice high quality tech shirts. And the medals are usually pretty nice also (with a space on the back for engraving). This is one of my favorite races.

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Death Valley Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

Death Valley Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

This is a review for the Death Valley trail marathon. (There is also a street marathon. And if the weather is bad sometimes this race is run on the road. … MORE

This is a review for the Death Valley trail marathon. (There is also a street marathon. And if the weather is bad sometimes this race is run on the road. ) This is a beautiful marathon if you like the desert which I do. We were bussed out to the Nevada starting line and from there it was one road back to California. But between you and the finish line is a row of hills.

The first part of the race is 5 miles of flat dirt road. This begins to climb up to the White Pass where the 30K starts. Then there is a downhill and you start back up the next hill to the Red Pass. You reach that after a 1,800 ft climb (relative to the starting line). From here it is 13 miles and 5,000 ft of downhill.

You run by the ghost town of Leadfield. You run by ancient petroglyphs. And then you get to Titus Canyon. Some years this is closed because of rain, snow or rock slides. It is a narrow winding dirt road down a slot canyon. There are cliffs probably a couple of hundred feet high in places. The rocks were all different colors, the cliffs were dramatic, and everything was just great. When you come out from the canyon you can see the finish line 3 miles away.

Most people worry about the weather but it is run in the winter and the weather for my race was perfect. There are aid stations every 5 miles also. I admit the race shirt and medal could be better. But the awards ceremony is in the one bar in Furnace Creek which was very nice. I would highly recommend this race.

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Mt. Baldy Run-to-the-Top

Mt. Baldy Run-to-the-Top

This race is run every year on Labor Day (Sept 1). It starts in the parking lot next to a ski lift at 6,200 ft and when you are done … MORE

This race is run every year on Labor Day (Sept 1). It starts in the parking lot next to a ski lift at 6,200 ft and when you are done you are at 10,064 on the tallest point in the San Gabriel mountains. The distance to the top of Mt Baldy (officially Mt San Antonio but called Baldy because it is above the tree line) is about 7 miles.

When you start you are surrounded by mountains and you can just feel this is going to be a wonderful experience. The first half of the race is on a wide fire road with a steady incline. In the first mile you will pass a beautiful waterfall. At mile 3.5 you come to the Notch a nice little restaurant and where the ski lift drops off spectators.

The second half of the race is steeper and single track. The Devil’s Backbone is where the trail clings to the side of the mountain with a scary drop on one side. The final mile is pretty rocky and technical in places but the last 100 ft are great. You hit the finish line and after catching your breath which takes longer than usual you have a chance to look around with a 360 panoramic view. To get this view you have to climb the mountain, there is no road access. After that you walk or jog back to the Notch and catch the ski lift down.

This is an old established race and they know how to do it right. There are 3 aid stations along the course and be sure and drink more than usual because altitude dries you out (I found this out the hard way). All the supplies at the finish line have to be hand carried up and down so don’t expect anything spectacular other than the experience.

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Brazen Diablo Trails Challenge

Brazen Diablo Trails Challenge

This is a real cool race put on by a great running company. There are 4 – 6 hills depending on how you count (7,142 ft of overall climbing). But … MORE

This is a real cool race put on by a great running company. There are 4 – 6 hills depending on how you count (7,142 ft of overall climbing). But the first 3 miles are relatively flat and that gives you a good warm up. And that first hill is pretty steep.
Part of the course is run through cow pastures with the trail barely visible. But it was well marked so this was not a problem. There were cows in parts but they generally moved off the trail when I got close. We went through many gates and each one seemed to have a different locking mechanism. Some took a second to figure out and I saw one runner just climb over the gate.
The trail was never very technical. It went from narrow single track to wide fire road. In the last couple of miles there were about 10 water crossings some over my ankle.
It was a hot day eventually getting over 90F. But the aid stations always had plenty of water and even ice sponges. There were only 4 stations and they were about 8 miles apart. The shirt and medal were both very nice. And they even had free engraving for the medals at the finish line. There was a photographer on course and all pictures were posted for free.
This is the only Brazen race I have done but they know how to put on a race.

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Chino Hills Trail Run Series – 10K & Half Marathon

Chino Hills Trail Run Series – 10K & Half Marathon

I ran the half marathon but all of the races here are tough. It is usually hot and most of the course is exposed with no shade. The hills are … MORE

I ran the half marathon but all of the races here are tough. It is usually hot and most of the course is exposed with no shade. The hills are relentless and unforgiving. For the 50K and marathon some of the worst ones are in the last part of the race. But overall the course is pretty and is worth it.

There were some problems with organization. The start was delayed for an hour (according to rumor the guy in charge of unlocking the gate overslept). And later in the race they ran out of ice at some of the aid stations (it got up over 90F). But the medal was nice and the shirt was a nice long sleeve tech shirt.

The course is very pretty and alternates between wide fire roads and narrow trails. But it is never technical. There do tend to be a lot of snakes and you see the occasional coyote. It is hard to believe that you are so close to the big city.

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Lower Potomac River Marathon

Lower Potomac River Marathon

This race is only a 1.5 hour drive from D.C. but it seemed like a different world. I stayed nearby, had trouble finding an open restaurant and there were deer … MORE

This race is only a 1.5 hour drive from D.C. but it seemed like a different world. I stayed nearby, had trouble finding an open restaurant and there were deer in my front yard. The starting line is at a seamanship school and they are nice enough to open up the building for the runners to use the bathrooms. The starting line is near the giant anchor in the parking lot.
The first half of the race is along Saint George’s Island and is beautiful with a great view of the Potomac River. It goes along a narrow tree lined one lane street for an out and back by a light house. The next part is an out and back along highway 265 which is not as nice. This is a two lane road with a shoulder but there is no traffic control. The finish line was unimpressive with only small glasses of water. But afterwards there was a free lunch in the school which was great.
Overall the course was flat and fast. Both the shirt and medal were nice also. The lunch was a very nice treat.

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ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon, Half, 10K & 51K

ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon, Half, 10K & 51K

This is a very different race. It runs next to the notorious Area 51 on the Extraterrestrial highway and starts at midnight under a full moon. Most people stay in … MORE

This is a very different race. It runs next to the notorious Area 51 on the Extraterrestrial highway and starts at midnight under a full moon. Most people stay in Las Vegas and take the 2.5 hr race shuttle to the start. When you get off the bus you are given glow necklaces and it is strange to see them moving around in the dark.
You are required to have a headlamp but I turned mine off after a few minutes because the moon was so bright I did not need it. The course is really pretty (as you will see on the ride back) but in the middle of the night you can’t see anything. Except falling stars.
The finish was at the Little Ale’Inn in the city of Rachel (population 80). They provided breakfast and every kind of alien souvenir you could ever want to buy.
My only complaint about this race was the two cattle crossings. These should be illuminated or at the very least there should be some warning. I almost tripped on one. But the race was well run with lots of aid stations. The shirt and glow-in-the-dark medal are probable the best I have ever seen.

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