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  • Cinderella Trail Run (Half Marathon) 2014 Write-up

    Posted on August 16th, 2014 Michele Sun No comments

    This must be the fastest race write up I have ever done 🙂

    Sat Aug 16th, I was standing at the start of Cinderella Trail Run at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, and at 7:30am I was completely feeling mesmerizing. The drive to here was a bit difficult for me because
    it’s so foggy and I could barely see anything when getting closer to Skyline. After picking up my race bib, I stood there silently appreciated those tall redwoods circling and hugging the open green and thinking we got perfect running weather today! After my 7 days mourning period for my grandpa, today I came and to run in memory of him. When grandpa was younger, he liked to hike in the woods with his dog chasing rabbits or play Japanese Gate-ball with his friends; he lived an active ad healthy life.


    And this day I am also running to celebrate Max’s birthday, Cinderella has always been The Birthday Run for us and I had the joy to run with him the last two years. It’s very personal and special to me! However I barely remember anything from last year, and my doctor called it “a miracle” that I didn’t pass out there and needing a helicopter ride; it took me 4hr and 40min to finish that Half. This year I am back to where I left, and I wanted to do it right and finish before Max (Full) :-p


    At the start I saw Penny standing not far from me, and that’s a special treat because I haven’t seen her for a long time since her injury. We hugged and took our selfie, and she told me she has been following my tough journey on FB. Runners are like family, and trail runners especially so I think. Knowing that I would be sharing this beautiful trail with her makes me smile because I always love how witty she is, and I am so glad to see her coming back running, and I bet winning, races.

    The 50K, Full and Half started at 8:00am and it felt funny that I don’t remember the course at all, but I know for sure it’s going to be very beautiful. I also don’t remember how or what I did last year except I was very dizzy and were about to faint couple times. Oh, and I DO remember seeing Joseph at the aid-station; his face was my last and probably only memory of Cinderella 2013. Today I realized that I actually came across aid-stations more than once, and I didn’t linger on (or feel the need to )for too long. There were some muddy areas but nothing too serious, and I felt light drizzle coming down but it never actually turned into rain. First three miles were uphills, but I wasn’t intimidated by those hills and I walked up or little jogged those hills with purposeful strides. The downhill portions were more technical and I had to watch my foot-landing very carefully.


    Some runners tried to pass me at the flat part, but always ended up got passed by when uphills came. I haven’t done much hill training, but I think a lot have to do with mental and I am stronger in that category now. After getting poked by countless needles and injected by all those treatment, one got super strong!! A guy running behind me works for Cliff BAR and I asked him what other products he likes, and I better not to get him into trouble by sharing his answers here: -p. My run today is fueled by GU Roctane Lemonade :-p After the aid-station at turn around point and seeing that horse again, I came to the most challenging part of today’s course.


    From mile 8.5 to about mile 9, we had to climb up 500 feet, and that’s not the end!! From there onward we continued to climb for another 600 feet in just one mile distance. That was brutal because it’s getting hot and we were exposed. Inching forward to the top of the hills, I had to put my hands on my quads to help myself walking up, and I almost laughed that “I am running with my hands.” This is a loop course so I knew I would not ( and not supposed to) see Max running pass me, but I thought about him with his magic beard and I charged up on that tough hills. At this point I remembered that surprising look on his face last year when he saw me combating the hills; it took me longer time to finish an Half than his Full. That’s how sick and weak I was.

    I didn’t know how far I was to the finish when the last aid-station came, and one of the volunteers told me that I only had two miles to go. It’s like finally waking up from a magical spell, “I am going to make it; my come back run is about to finish.” Inside of me was about to explode by the sudden emotional rush and excitement, and I thanked the volunteers for being out here today, and started running and passing couple runners till I crossed the finish line. I finished at 3:18 🙂


    At the finish I had an orange soda, changed to dry clothing and flip flop, and I waited for Max to come back. Just like the previous two years, I went to request the RD Wendell that “I wanna sing Happy Birthday for Max, and this is our 3rd year running this Birthday Run.” That wish got granted of course and we sang for him when they announced that he placed 3rd place overall. I also made a promise that I will stay strong, be well, and come to run this birthday run again next year!

    While sitting and chilling on a tree trunk after I finished my race, I thought about how life blends all the events together for me. It’s a day for remembrance, a day for celebration, and a day for me to pick up where I left. A benchmark of my recovery. I also thought about how precious love and friendship are, and how much I treasure each and every special person in my life. Throughout the course of life, we met and make many friends, but the lucky ones get to have “same friends” during different stage of life. I don’t need that many friends, but I make an effort to keep the important & special ones.

    No matter it’s a month, two months, or years, as long as I am around, I thank you for being in my life.


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