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6/12/2024 Training Runs with Trail Sisters East Bay and Beer Bucket Run. Here we go! It’s training run time. We have 4 runs for setup, starting Saturday, June 15 in Reinhartd Redwood. Consult our running group on Strava for routes, etc. These runs focus on the parts of Skyline that overlap with the Firetrails course so if you’re not running Skyline (you should), you can still get a taste for the trails with these runs.

Here’s the whole schedule

Saturday, June 15, 8am – Reinhard Redwood with Trail Sisters. Starts at Skyline Gate
Sunday, June 16, 8:30am – Lake Chabot with Beer Bucket Run. Starts at Lake Chabot Marina
Saturday, July 6, 8am – Lake Chabot with Trail Sisters. Starts at Lake Chabot Marina
Sunday, July 7, 8:30am – Reinhard Redwood with Trail Sisters. Start at Skyline Gate

3/29/24 BIG NEWS! In my last post from Christmastime I wondered aloud whether we could be able to adopt the old course. The answer is ‘no.’ The section of Bay Area Ridge Trail between Sibley and Steam Trains is closed and there’s no opening time.

With that in mind, we have researched and created a new course. We will now add an out-and-back off the East Ridge Trail in Reinhard Redwood Regional Park to Rancho Laguna. I feel really strongly about this new course addition. In the same way that Firetails took so many of you to Dinosaur Ridge for the first time, the race will now take you out to Moraga through a gate we have all run by a million times and thought ‘I wonder where that goes?’

This adds more variety to the course and more places where you crew can access you conveniently that ever before. As a result of this addition, we can bring back returning through the West Shore of Lake Chabot, bringing back the Clyde Woolridge Aid Station. This returns the classic rhythm of the finishing few miles where once you get to the top of MacDonald Grade, you’re basically rolling down the Chabot watershed to the finish.

Check out the Firetails page and click on Course at the top to see each of the new courses. There are interactive maps from Strava along with all the information about where you can get crew, pacers. There are GPX files. The whole schlimazel.

12/26/2023 We are working to get versions of the 2024 courses online. Today, I published the 100k course for people to start planning. The aim is to use the classic Firetrails course as much as possible. Traditionally, the race ran to Lone Oak in Tilden Regional Park and back. This was part of the ‘original’ Skyline 50k course and when Dick Collins and a bunch of runners ran the course for the first time, they called it the Skyline 100k! The one accommodation I’m making for the 100k is to keep the portion of the race that goes to Dinosaur Ridge. It’s such a unique piece of trail that I think Dick would approve. Go to the Firetrails website and click on course to see course specific.

Again, all the course info has a bit of an asterisk next to it until we get through the winter storms. As of this writing the Skyline/Bay Area Ridge Trail isn’t open between Sibley Regional Park and Fish Ranch Road.

12/5 Ticking over to 2024. I’m going to keep the same blog and just add to it for this year’s race. Seems like it just makes sense to have one blog, not a bunch of annual ones.

– – 2023 Race is below —

10/2 What a race! Here’s the post race email I sent yesterday for all to see.

Hi Everyone,

Congratulations on a great race Saturday! We were treated to unusually cool temperatures and even a little rain which made for great racing. There are stories from the front to the back of the pack in each race. I’ve been getting pictures, notes, social posts since Saturday. You are all truly inspiring runners!

Here are the preliminary results.  Congratulations to our 50 mile Champions Zach Speno and Katherine Song, our marathon Champs, Ryan Neely and the ever-mysterious Unknown Unknown (I know who you are), and Dinosaur Ridge’s overall champion Jon Bretan. An equal congratulations though to everyone who raced. I wish we had a podium big enough for all of you. Way to go Zoe and Julie Ray! I can’t fully say how proud I am of you. Not here anyway.

If you are missing from the results or believe your time is incorrect, feel free to email me and we will take care of it. Once I feel the results are largely clean, I will upload them to Ultrasignup and then to UTMB a bit after that, likely next week.

A few of you have asked about pictures. Those will be ready later in the week and I’ll email when I have them. In the meantime, I’ve setup this album with the first event shots from Esther Searcy. Because most of the best pictures come from YOU, this is setup so you can upload your shots. Please do. 

I have promised at least one post-race meetup. Please join me this coming Saturday, October 7 at Humble Sea Brewing in Alameda (2350 Saratoga, directions.) We are going to gather with the East Bay Beer Runners at 10:30 for a run around Alameda Point. Then there will be relaxing after 11am, when the brewery is officially open. Please come for either part. If you left your drop bag, this is a great place to pick it up. I’ll bring all that stuff with me. I’ll also have things like leftover shirts and hoodies if you want to swap our yours or just didn’t get one.

Many thanks to the extended Dick Collins Firetrails family. It should be clear to you all who raced how many people there are for me to thank. Dick Collins Firetrails is blessed with so many volunteers, I can’t list them all. Special thanks to all the teams who lead aid stations, like Peach, Char and all of Pamakids, Leng from Coastal Trail Runs. How about Crispin and LMJS with their Candy Island Aid Station at Skyline Gate? I hope none of you cramped climbing onto the inflatable unicorn there.

Thanks to the teams at Redwood Road led by Karina Powell and Alisha Semplar, at Bellhurst Lane led by Brian Taylor, and at Sibley led by Michelle Lomelli. I always carve our a special thanks for Stan Jensen at Marciel Road, who this year was joined by Jim Richards. Thank you to these leaders and their teams.

Our course team was spectacular again marking, prerunning, sweeping and monitoring the course. Thanks to Jennifer and Chris O’Connor, Annemiek Hamelinck, Suzy Kisylia, Michael Li, George Manning, Tom Keenan, Arvind Venugopal, Mei, Yu-Yen Mo, and I-Tao Tsai and his children (who will soon forget the hats covered in pink ribbons!)

Thanks to the race team: Mark Hauber, Todd Glieden, Erxiong, Kendall Waddle, Chris Rogers, Norm La, Lisa Derby, Christine Chapon, Betsy Everett, Amy Wong, Vicki Lombardo, Edgar Maldonado, Michael Li (again), Karina Powell (again), Larry Loomer and his ham radio team, John Rabold and the Volunteer Safety Patrol. And all of the folks I’m forgetting.

No race is perfect and certainly there will small challenges here and there, but all those mistakes are mine. Our team is responsible for everything else.

And that’s it for today. I’ll email later in the week with the pictures and hopefully see a few of you at Humble Sea on Saturday. I hope your post race recovery is going well and that the alpenglow of your race has not yet dimmed.

9/28 Here’s the link to the Webcast! All races will be presented LIVE.

9/27 Pacer Bib Pickup. Pacers, you can get your bibs at Packet Pickup (Sports Basement Berkeley – 2727 Milvia Street, Berkeley between 2pm and 5pm) or at the Start on race day (Lake Chabot Marina). If you’re coming on race day, you can come at any time and we’ll help you. Just a thought:youru runner can pick up your bib for you and give it to you at any time. They can even carry it with them during the race. Lots of options!

9/25 Thanks to all who joined the digital briefing last night. Here’s the edited version:

9/12 The wine glasses are back! After a year of hiatus producing them and after consulting with some of the legendary local ultrarunners like Mike Palmer and Carol LaPlant, we’ve brought back the finisher’s wine glasses for all events. The clincher was Carol talking about how Dick Collins himself would welcome home every runner and give them their glass personally. Hopefully, I can do this as well!

8/31 Digital Race Briefing and Packet Pickup location: The digital race briefing will take place on Sunday, September 24 a6 pmpm. We’ll send you the links. Don’t worry if you can’t make it. The recorded version will be here on the blog the next day.

Bib pickup will be at Sports Basement Berkeley (2424 Milvia) from 2-5 pm on Friday, September 29. You can get great discounts when you show your bib. Stock up on last-minute needs. Bring your credit card!

8/30 NEW! Announcing Scena Sessions! These are 20-minute, quick online bytes on key training subjects. Join us live on Zoom or watch live on Facebook. We’ll be covering topics like shoes with San Francisco Running Company, Nutrition with Dr. Izzie Brown, Bags and race prep with Victor Ballesteros, and Gear with Bryan Weathers of Sports Basement. Sign up now in the Scena Training Hub!

8/22 ICYMI: Did you know that this is the 44th running of Dick Collins Firetrails? Thanks to Julie Fingar from NorCal Ultras for sharing all the past results with us. It’s truly amazing to look at all the history. You can find that on Ultrasignup.

8/16 Introducing the Dinosaur Ridge 30k! We have had a lot of requests from runners who want to experience this part of the race. Et voila, here’s the chance. All course data is available under the Course section of the website.

8/15/2023 A small update on the big change to the course this year (running from Lake Chabot). We aim to add an out-and-back to Sibley Staging Area, instead of running to the bottom of Cull Canyon. Here is a Strava that reflects those changes. Turn-by-turns and maps are coming up!

6/22/2023 Greetings Everyone! News on the course. Due to trail closures in the East Bay Regional Parks, we are working on a revised course for 2023. This race will start at the Classic start area in Lake Chabot. Here’s a link to the proposed course with turn-by-turn instructions.

Also for those of you in the Golden Hills Marathon, the course will be an out-and-back, so no reason to take the bus (barf!). You’ll get the same sweet and delicious taste of Dinosaur Ridge that the 50 milers enjoy. Here’s a version on Strava.

The website currently reflects the 2022 course. Once the Parks greenlight the new course, I’ll update all the info there but I want to wait until they get their licks in.