My Profile

@jcostello

Burbank, CA Raving since 2017 Age of Ultra active 11 months, 2 weeks ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Team In Training

  • Rave race:

    Jack & Jill's Downhill Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Sean O'Brien 50M

  • I run because:

    Most people can’t catch me.

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

Future Races

Personal Bests (4)

Race Distance Location Date Result
50 Miler Big Bear Lake, CA Aug 16, 2019 15:02:31
50K Santa Clarita, CA Mar 25, 2017 6:23:40
Half Marathon Los Angeles, CA Oct 29, 2017 1:57:00
10K Glendale, CA May 6, 2018 1:02:22

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (7)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
50 Miler Big Bear Lake, CA Aug 16, 2019 15:02:31
10K Glendale, CA May 6, 2018 1:02:22
Half Marathon Santa Clarita, CA Mar 31, 2018 2:21:00
50K Malibu, CA Dec 2, 2017
Half Marathon Los Angeles, CA Oct 29, 2017 1:57:00
Half Marathon Agua Dulce, CA Oct 15, 2017 4:18:00
50K Santa Clarita, CA Mar 25, 2017 6:23:40

My Raves

I'm very happy to share a glowingly positive review of the Kodiak 50-miler here, mostly because the few reviews I've found of earlier iterations of this race reflect runner frustration … MORE

I’m very happy to share a glowingly positive review of the Kodiak 50-miler here, mostly because the few reviews I’ve found of earlier iterations of this race reflect runner frustration with sub-par course markings. Now, I can’t speak to the first 50 miles of the 100-mile course, but as a 50-miler I found the course consistently well-marked (even for the first 90 minutes or so in the dark) and never lacking in volunteers to point us in the right direction whenever there might be confusion. I never once got lost or found myself unsure on the route, with the possibility of the final approach to Skyfern aid station, which comes at the end of a 1.5 mile run over asphalt through a mostly residential section of Big Bear. (I did find it, though, so no complaints.)

What really sets this race apart for me is the volunteers. Every single aid station was packed with eager, enthusiastic race supporters manning the stations and tons of food, drinks, cold sponges, sunscreen, you name it. Big shout-out goes to the Sugarloaf aid station, which everybody hits at least once (twice for 100 and 50-milers and once for 50K’ers). That place is Grand Central Station for the race — big, busy and bustling. It’s easy to move in and out if that’s what you need and it’s also *very* easy to spend a little too long prepping for (or resting and recovering from) the Sugarloaf Mountain climb and descent.

As for the 50-miler, go in expecting thin air, long, tough climbs and breathtaking scenery. I’m a trail runner based in Burbank, but I did make time to join one of the many training runs hosted by the Kodiak folks in the lead-up to the race. If you’ve never run in Big Bear or at altitude in general (average altitude of the race is 7000 feet), I would *highly* recommend making time to join up for the Sugarloaf climb (to 10K) and a trek out to Dead Man’s Ridge. Having scaled Sugarloaf going into Kodiak made a huge difference in my confidence on race day. I would also recommend trying to get out for the Seven Oaks climb out of Siberia Canyon if you can swing it, although nothing can really prepare you for that climb at mile 44. All I can say is, it does eventually end.

Stay hydrated, stay cool, stay consistent and stay positive. Go in prepared and you’ll love this race! I did!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I run a lot of trails around LA and I've avoided the Verdugo 10K for a while, for whatever reason. I'm a "tough" ultra runner so maybe a 10K seemed … MORE

I run a lot of trails around LA and I’ve avoided the Verdugo 10K for a while, for whatever reason. I’m a “tough” ultra runner so maybe a 10K seemed beneath me, but also, it’s like $35 bucks, so I finally bit the bullet this year.

Strategy-wise, this race was all about the climb. 1500 feet from bottom to top, then you turn around and run back down the mountain as fast as you can without flying off a cliff and turning into a big flesh bag full of broken bones.

For my inaugural effort, I felt pretty good about my performance, but I’m sure I could’ve shown up to the start line as a much better hill climber if I had gone to more of the free group training sessions they offer for two months or so leading up to the race. There’s a lot of support for these runners!

After the race, I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a finisher medal (I have enough, it’s fine), but they did have a free, glorious pancake breakfast with all the trimmings along with coffee or juice as well as a large post-race expo in the beautiful Brand Park where you’re invited to grab a table, eat your pancakes, enjoy some free coffee and imagine what it would be like to nonchalantly stroll up to take your age group medal at the podium next year.

They also had a live raffle with tons of prizes, and as the winner of one of the grand prizes (a Garmin Forerunner 125), I was quite pleased with the outcome. Awesome prize notwithstanding, I was really impressed by the support for this race and community that showed up to run and encourage the runners. Overall, it was a really great morning and I look forward to doing it again in 2019!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is my second go-around at Valencia; in 2017 I did the 50K, which was a fun course but I opted for the half-marathon this year on account of a … MORE

This is my second go-around at Valencia; in 2017 I did the 50K, which was a fun course but I opted for the half-marathon this year on account of a lazy training schedule. To be honest, you see the best parts of the course doing the half while the 50K allows you to stretch your legs a little bit more and test your endurance. Still a good time doing the half and I wasn’t mad to make the last turn home after only 12 miles. 🙂

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I've run this half four or five times now. This year (2017), they changed the course to go out toward K-Town where it used to go out to Boyle Heights. … MORE

I’ve run this half four or five times now. This year (2017), they changed the course to go out toward K-Town where it used to go out to Boyle Heights. Feels like it got a little more hilly, a little more challenging, but the change of scenery was welcome. Even though this race is a big to-do, it feels like a hometown race. Very few other races give you a chance to tour DTLA this way, and it’s always a very fun and festive vibe with a huge costumed presence among runners. Register early and you can usually get in for $50 or $60!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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It's easy to kind of phone this race in if you're only doing the 5K or 10K, but if you're a novice trail runner, don't expect an easy transition up … MORE

It’s easy to kind of phone this race in if you’re only doing the 5K or 10K, but if you’re a novice trail runner, don’t expect an easy transition up from the shorter distance to the half-marathon — that back half is monstrous! In a good way, of course, especially if you’re the kind of trail runner who gets off on a little bit of pain for bragging rights. Count on a slow trudge up three massive hills (with the ensuing downhills and views to provide some salve), but if you’re prepared, (which I wasn’t, really), you’ll be fine. I’ve run enough long trail races that I depended on muscle memory to power me through, but next time, I’ll respect the course.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

While I may have some niggling complaints (race t-shirt inventory issues, one of the aid stations ran out of water pretty early in the race), my overall impression of this … MORE

While I may have some niggling complaints (race t-shirt inventory issues, one of the aid stations ran out of water pretty early in the race), my overall impression of this race in its second year is overwhelmingly positive. It was very well organized and the volunteers were all super helpful and friendly. The 50K course is awesome and the hills are no joke — don’t say you weren’t warned. However, once you get to mile 23, you’re largely in the clear and have an overall downhill trip to the finish.

My only other complaint might be that snacks were a little limited for the 50K finishers, and I came in pretty early. 10Kers and half-marathoners clearly have their pick early on, although there was plenty of (free!) beer still available by the time I finished.

Again, overall I really loved this race. The course was challenging and beautiful, especially with crazy wildflowers blooming all over the course. Not much cover, though, so I’d order up at least a partly cloudy day, if you have the means.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?