Bandit Trail Run 50K Ultra
Bandit Ultra Race Committee
17 Feb 2013, Sunday
Number of Starters: 146
Number of Finishers: 140
Weather this year was spectacular. Clear skies, 4 mph winds and 46 degrees. Simi Valley is located on the easternmost edge of Ventura County and gets coastal fog and most of its rainfall in January and February which turns into intense green mountains and clear views to the Pacific ocean, about 30 miles south and the Santa Susana Mountain Range north.
A new route was added which eliminated a second loop at Marr Land to Rocky Peak called the Tapo Open Space Trail. This was very well received and added canyon bottom running as well as more climbing and descending fire and mostly single track.
The Bandit 50K new route gives runners four mountains and 5600 feet of elevation change. Aid Stations are strategically placed - physically and mentally - allowing runners to carry bare essentials and work on their times.
Congratulations goes to Chris Price of Pasadena California for a winning time of 4:10:23 and to First Place Women’s Finisher Margaret Nelsen of Del Mar California with a time of 4:53:51. RESPECT!
The Bandit 50K has a 6000+ climb
Margaret Nelsen wrote, “It was very well organized -- congrats and thank you to the event organizers and volunteers -- phenomenal job on the day! Bandit had the most elevation gain of any 50k that I've run; nice trails and views; aid stations were well stocked and volunteers were awesome; check-in was super easy.”
Chris Zurbuch (3rd place) wrote, “Course was top notch! ... In signing up, I always look for a good challenging course (hills of course) but throw in some technical and single track and that is exactly what Bandit is; The start of the race is quick then some nice climbs to get your lungs screaming! After you hit the first climb, you open up a little and then tackle a few more while taking in the Valley views. Over the mountain top you begin a nice decent and can make up some time. This is a great place to where the race begins for me as the field begins to thin and your body starts to adapt. Once you hit the turnaround, you have a good feel for the terrain and begin a nice climb while passing other runners coming into the aid station. The positive vibes are great and really keep you focused and excited for the 2nd half of the race.
Once you hit the first climb after the turnaround then you can haul through some beautiful single track onto mile 20's Aid. Great spot here to re-fuel and get lots of support. Off to the most challenging part of the course, the 8 mile ascent up and up in some nice dry heat as we experienced. You pass and run along side a bunch of 30k runners and again have good positive vibes. Once you hit the last aid, all technical down hill from where you started. Keep your footing and try to finish strong. You hit the bottom, enter a great finish with good folks and congrats all around.”
Maggie Beach wrote, “Bandit is one of my favorites for a number of reasons. (1) The area's topology is unique and intriguing. (2) The locale is close to my home. (3) The race is well-organized, the aid tables are nicely stocked, and the volunteers are enthusiastic. (4) The old course had a loop section that we traversed twice. I generally prefer races that minimize repetition. The new course eliminates that repetition and improves what was already a lovely course. (5) I fell badly in 2011 and had to withdraw. The race directors called me the next day to check on me. How wonderful is that!
Chris Price wrote, “Fun single track! Yeah there is a little mileage on fire roads, but a
lot of the course is going up or down on single track. And most of the fire road isn't super graded road, it's rugged or "double track", fun to run stuff. I also like how the course starts and ends in real rocky terrain where friends of mine have gone out to find fossils.
One friend even has a great white shark tooth he found out there. Then the course turns into Central California coast looking beautiful green rolling hills towards the turn around. I love how most of the time you're either running up or down. There aren't many flat sections of the course.”
Describing the toughest part of the race Chris added, “Probably the 20 miles where I would look back and see James (2nd Place Winner) right behind me! It was pretty tough running up to Rocky Peak in the sun. That's a steep climb and by that time the rocks were baking in the sun. It was probably just in the 70's, but it felt warm.
The course hosts a 6K, 15K and a 30K and the staggered start and over a hundred volunteers made for a smooth and organized event.
Aid Stations were cleverly decorated to keep the mood positive and stocked to the gills with racer favorites.
The two highlights for the race this year was the creation of the MASH sign where every runner HAD to get their photo taken in front of (with the iconic Corriganville Rock in the background) and the 50K race change.
Simon Cooper summed the course up quickly, “My best analogy to describing the course would be to compare it to taking a flight on an airplane.....a flat and quick acceleration quickly followed by an insane take off and climb to what feels like 30,000 ft all the while experiencing bone rattling turbulence! It is a course that will challenge you no matter how well you've prepared for it and you will honestly feel like you've accomplished something great just by making it to the finish line.”