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The Bandit is RETIRED – Happy Trails to all

October 5, 2016

If you didn't see our story in Ultra Running Magazine we have retired the Bandit despite many pleas to stay open.

We are passionate trail runners and really want to get out and run on this planet!  Our hope to is run with all of you one day.

P.S. I have old Bandit shirts for a sweet deal if you'd like one just send me a message to:  http://shoe1214@me.com

Happy Trails

Randy & Sarita and the rest of the Bandit Crew

2016 Bandit 50k reviews

2016 Bandit 50K race reviews

We asked the following 6 questions:

1) Full Name, Race you participated in, Year you participated, City/State/Country represented

2) What brought you to The Bandit trail run?

3) What was the toughest part of the race (please describe a bit) and why?

4) What did you not like about the race?

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

6) Feedback about the treats (at early bib pick up) if you got to taste them would also be appreciated!

 

1. Rob Winterburn. 50K 2015 & 2016. Simi Valley, CA.

2. I wanted to step up to a new distance in 2015 (had run two trail marathons previously) and was familiar with the trails that the race is held on.

3. The descent from the Rocky Peak Trail back to Corriganville is hard when tired and this year I lost my footing and kissed the dirt. But I think the hardest part is the climb out of Las Llajas Cyn - that hill goes on forever!

4. Nothing. You guys do an awesome job. 10 out of 10.

5. It's time to face your inner doubts and prove yourself.

6. The treat from the freezer was excellent. Nice work Sarita

I'll see you and Randy at a future event.

 

1) Jose Hernandez, 2012, from Los Angeles California

2) 2011 in Ridgecrest California was my first ultra. You were my second which it really kick my butt. I wanted a challenge.

3) The toughest part was the incline the 2 loop around. Man did I want d to give up there yes I did. But I finished it .

4) I like everything and everyone who was there to support all of us.

5) Your race is pretty awesome.

6) I don't know I picked up my bib the day of the race.

 

1) David Brennan, 50K, 2014, Simi Valley, CA, USA

2) I'd been wanting to do an ultra. I saw an article in the Acorn for the 2013 race. I liked the idea that it would be a local race.

3) In 2014 it was hot for the race. There was one uphill section on the way "out". It was very steep, but for some reason I kept "running" instead of switching to walking. I noticed my HR had climbed to 188. I think from that point on, my race kind of fell apart. I was really hating life on the way from the turn around back to the next aid station (Marr land?) I was seriously considering dropping out at that aid station. But a couple of Canadians decided they were going to finish. So I hung out with them to the end, and we all finished together in just under 9 hours.

4) My preparation. I decided to do a "minimal marathon" training plan, but increased all of the mileage by 20%. It was not enough. Everything about the race as provided by "you guys" was great. The popsicles at the penultimate aid station were the best thing ever.

5) Don't underestimate the race. It's not easy. But it's a great event. It was my first ultra (and so far, still my only). I'll probably do another at some point in time. But that can wait until later.

David

 

1) Kenneth Ringled, 50K, 2014-2016, Simi Valley CA. USA

2) The Bandit is located in the beautiful hills of Simi Valley, my hometown and training grounds. I have run several 50K before but the Bandit 50K keeps drawing me back year after year. The fantastic volunteers, the amazing RDs, the beautiful weather and views is what I look forward to every year. The mix of technical single track, rocky fire roads, flowing downhills and unrelentless climbs is what keeps me coming back! The lore of the Bandit is strong, no matter how hard I train unique challenges always present themselves, its a true test of grit and determination. I am in a secret love affair with the Simi hills even though she continues to break my heart..

3) The toughest part of the race for me comes at mile 2 and mile 29, its the same damn hill but presents a challenge in both directions. Up: at mile 2 of the race you climb, climb and climb some more, its a steep, rock strewn ascent up to Rocky Peak. If your feeling good you can run parts of it, but not for long because it will break you down and wear you out way too early in the race. Down: Mile 29, your legs hurt, your quads are trashed, your mind is screaming that you want to be done, you know there is a beer waiting for you in 2 miles. But none of that matters, you need to clear your head and concentrate on the task that lies ahead, one lapse in concentration and you can twist an ankle, skin your knees or even break your nose, the descent down to the wildlife corridor is tough, technical and will reduce you to turtles pace. Its a true late race love/hate reminder of the difficulty that is the Bandit!

4) See 3...

I call it the curse of the Bandit, I look forward to the race every year, I train often and I train hard, but something always defeats me! Did I piss of the resting spirits of the Chumash that once inhabited these hills? After two 3rd place finishes, I felt like 2016 was my year to win, I felt it in my heart, I felt it in my brain. Yes I PR'd this year and came in second and yes I am happy with my finish, but I still feel like I have unfinished business on this course.. I will be back next year to take care of business!

5) This course is tough! Its a true test of all skill sets, you need to be a strong climber, good at downhills, a technical runner and have Iron quads. You will receive expert care at every aid station, amazing views in all directions and a great after party when you finish. It will throw a little of everything out at you, so if your looking for a true challenge with great rewards this is the race for you!

6) Coconut heaven!

PS.. Thank you for emailing pictures of me!

Kenneth Ringled’s “short version”  when asked about the front runners jockeying for top 3 positions…

The "gun" went off ran really comfortable with Michael Eastburn where I took the lead an 1/8th of a mile out from the starting line, led all the way through the parade lap. I was thinking as I passed through a cheering crowd at Corganville if this was the best race strategy? I have never been known to lead a race from the start, I like to lay back behind the leaders are strike later in the race, clean up the carnage! But the answer was yes, this is what I wanted, this is what I trained so hard for, the Bandit was mine this year. As we ascended up the Wildlife corridor climb at mile 2 I was in the lead, by how much I was not sure, I never really looked back at all going up this climb, I just put my head down and pushed. A mix of power hiking and running, next thing you know I am at Rocky Peak, that wasn't too bad. As I make my way past Amanda's bench I hear someone ask if I had ran this race before, it was Felix (the eventual winner), from this point forward it was Felix and I running together. A good part of the time we ran side by side and I would pull away from him a several points, usually on the bigger climbs, but he was always there never too far behind like a stalker, a hunter. Was I being hunted? Felix and Michael where always the there right behind me, its too early in the race still to be running scared. Maybe I was too focused on a mission at the Chumash aid station but I could have sworn Felix continued right through the aid station and down Chumash without stopping while Michael and I refilled and fueled up. Oh well down my favorite descent of the race - Chumash! I could surely catch up to Felix here, down a flew at a fast clip down Chumash, I was in a serious flow state ripping down the trail, I felt good, I felt happy! The Chumash zen experience was short lived because next thing you know I am running down the only street section of the race head toward Marrland, wait what? its Felix pulling up beside me, he compliments my downhill running and I ask how he got behind me? Turns out he did stop at Chumash and I was in front of him the whole time, we run into Marrland "Starwars land" together with Michael not far behind. Its me leading up the charge ascending Hotdog hill, Felix right behind almost the entire way up we made a little space on Michael at this point. I pull away from Felix again as I bomb down another amazing descent that is Chivo Canyon, again short lived because as soon as I hit the bottom in Tapo Open Spaces Felix is right behind me again, I cannot shake this kid! We run together all the way through Tapo where we roll into the half way point together at the Nancys Tapo Canyon aid station. We spend a couple minutes getting ourselves together before we head out for the second half of the race, this is where things took a turn. Headed back through Tapo Open Spaces either Felix found an extra gear or I lost a gear, but he took the lead from me for the first time in the race. Thoughts racing through my head slightly demoralized all I could think is he was going to burn himself out and I would pass him back up, so I just kept pushing forward. As hard as I tried to keep him in my sight the last I saw of him was going back up Hotdog Hill, that was it.. I wouldn't see him again till the end of the race! With everyone reassuring me he was only 2 minutes ahead, and cheering me on to catch him, I pushed really hard, I left everything I had out on the course. But I just wasn't enough...

Sorry that's all I got so far Sarita, its still a work in progress and riddled with errors. Feel free to use whatever you like and edit as you please, hope this little bit helps! I will be sure to send you my full race report when its finished in couple of days...

 

1) Tae Kim, 50K, 2016, Brea, CA, USA! USA!

2) I wanted to complete a 3rd 50K (bonked and dropped to 30K on my last attempt in November), the Bandit was a local race of that distance at a good time of year.

3) Elevation. Some grueling climbs, but that's also what made it fun!

4) Ran out of pizza (I got the very last slice) at the finish village, but that was my fault for taking forever to finish.

5) Tremendous fun and well worth doing. Some people describe it as perhaps not the best first ultra because of the difficulty level, but having done two others to compare it to, my opinion is that it's so well-supported and the experience is so positive that it's definitely worth attempting.

6) The homemade treats were delicious! I'm not vegan (or vegetarian) but I love plant-based foods; treats/desserts are tough to do vegan but they were great.

I sent Randy a link to my blog about the race; I'd read on Reddit that there aren't many race reports about the Bandit online, so if you'd find it helpful please feel free to share mine:

http://positivelysplit.blogspot.com/2016/01/another-cramptastic-but-completed.html

Thank you for a fantastic experience!

Tae

 

Bryan Lutz, Porter Ranch, CA, 50k 2016 (30k '15, 50k '14, 30k '13)

This was my fourth year in a row participating in the Bandit.  The race is less than 3 miles from where I live (which as noted above happens to be Porter Ranch).  I love running the race because it reminds me about all the natural beauty we live near and often take for granted - especially given the recent gas leak it's a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the incredible vistas across the valley.

The Corriganville wall is an absolute killer on the descent.  This technical piece of the course turns hamburger meat quads into pure sludge.  (This is both the most challenging and my least favorite!)

This year it felt like there were as many volunteers as there were runners - it was incredible.  Cresting to the top of Shells and having a Sheriff standing there saying dryly, "Welcome to the top of Shells", it felt like you had just conquered the likes of Everest.

Good luck!

 

Bryan Jolly , Bandit 50K 2016, 3rd Place Overall

I had heard about the Bandit 50k from Chris Price a few years back but at the time I didn’t know anything about the Santa Susana Mountains.  Since then, I’ve gotten married and I have begun to spend a decent amount of time out in Chatsworth at my in-laws house.  At first I thought this sounded terrible.  Then I realized that the summit of Rocky Peak was only a five-mile run from their doorstep.  Then I discovered the Chumash Trail.  Then my wife started thinking we were spending too much time at her parent’s house.

Bottom line: I fell in love with the Santa Susana Mountains (I summited Rocky Peak 26 times in 2015), so I knew I had to try the Bandit 50k, and it did not disappoint.  I thought the Race Director was crazy for giving his address to all the runners who signed up for the race, inviting them over for early registration… but then I realized that these are just good people.  It made so much sense.  Leaving the Shoemaker residence on Friday night, I had a very good feeling about the event and the people running it. I was excited.

I pulled into the parking lot at Corriganville Park at 6:30am on the dot.  Perfect timing.  I had plenty of time to get dressed, warm up, use the facilities and make it to the start line to hear Randy give the pre-race briefing.  I took a sip of coffee and reached into the backseat for my shoes.  No shoes.  My hand frantically searched every inch of the backseat in the dark.  Nothing.  Fuck.

Seconds later I was flying back out of the park against the heavy flow of traffic pouring in.  Luckily, my in-laws house is only seven minutes away. One exit on the freeway. Two blown red lights and a few miles on the 118 and I was back— with my shoes— and ten minutes to spare.  Fortunately for me, this time I got to park about 3/4 of a mile away from the park, the distance lending itself to a nice little warm-up.  Not exactly the relaxing, auspicious start I was hoping for, but hey, I wasn’t starting late and trying to pass 100 people.

Without much time to think about anything, we were off, flying around the park in a loop before starting the climbing up toward Rocky Peak.  I don't know if it was the stressful shoe situation, my restless sleep the night before or my coffee fiasco (I won’t even go into the details here) but I felt like absolute shit the for the first six miles of the race.  We left the park and headed up under the 118 freeway, Kenny Ringled and Felix Lawson out front, Michael Eastburn (fresh off a 2nd place finish at the Ray Miller 50k) running in a close third… and then me, desperately trying and failing to keep up as we marched up the steep, technical sandstone toward the Rocky Peak Fire Road.

I was barely able to keep the lead group in sight as they crossed the small valley and headed up the climb.  I kept going over the checklist in my head, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  I shouldn’t have been feeling this bad this early.  I had done anything yet. I ripped off my shirt. I was sweating too much too soon. The weather was too good for this to be happening. It was 57 degrees.

I tried to shift my focus away from how I was feeling and focus on the looming climb.  It was time to settle in and grind it out.  It would be over soon enough and I’d be floating down the Chumash trail (currently one of my favorite trails in Southern California— especially when you're going down).  Just the thought of that was enough to put a smile on my face and lift my spirits a bit.  I got a little Vitamin D on my chest, put my head down and fell into a rhythmic breathing/stride up toward my current peak of choice: Rocky.  Honestly, if it didn’t take so damn long, I would have tried to sneak a summit into the race.  But that would have cost me 15 minutes easy and added a couple hundred feet of vert.  I was still trying to win this race.

I was starting to feel a bit better as I cruised into the Chumash aid station.  Lead group nowhere in sight.  There seem to be far less restrictions in Ventura County about what can go on at the aid stations and as such, this race was AWESOME! It was like a party at the stations.  Volunteers were offering me beer.  During the race.  There was music blasting, people dressed in costumes dancing, drinking and generally having a great time.  It was hard to leave not feeling great.  A handful of pretzels, a swig of coke and three S! Caps later, I was flying down the Chumash Trail, enjoying the dramatic views and buttery single track.

I finally started to feel like I was emerging from the fog.  It was time to start running.  I hung two sub-seven minute miles down the Chumash Trail and pulled into the Marr Land Aid in what seemed like no time at all.  This aid station seemed to have a prevailing Star Wars theme and there were little Yoda and Boba Fett signs encouraging me as I left.  Still feeling and anxious to try to close the distance between myself and the leaders, I drank a couple dixie cups full of coke and was gone (I only spent a cumulative seven minutes in Aid Stations during the Bandit 50k, down from 13 minutes at Mt. Disappointment 50k in July. Getting better).  I knew I had an out-and-back section coming up so I would get to see exactly where I stood.

The section after the Marr Land aid station was the only part of the course I was unfamiliar with, so I was excited to get to see a new section of the mountains.  There wasn’t a ton of climbing in this section— really only one—but it was gorgeous, cut along a nice ridge and the mountains seemed to have changed topography, losing the ubiquitous peppering of sandstone boulders for a little limestone and some trees.

I was cruising along through this mostly flat section, keeping my pace comfortably below eight minutes a mile.  My only concern was the slightly rising temperatures.  It seemed significantly warmer the farther west we traveled (it was after 9am now) and the cloud cover had thinned out quite a bit.  I wanted to get back to higher elevations and cooler temperatures as quickly as possible and made a mental note to spend some time drinking water at the next aid station.

Depressingly, still almost a half a mile from the turn around, I caught a glimpse of Felix’s face rounding a corner.  We nodded and muttered words of encouragement.  Ten seconds later, Kenny came whipping by, looking fresh, with a nice high cadence that makes us tall guys jealous.  It was about two minutes before the third place runner, Michael Eastburn, appeared around a bend.  He didn’t look as fresh as the other two but he was still moving at a nice pace and I made another mental note that I had my fucking work cut out for me going forward.

I pounded five dixie cups full of water, took four salt caps, ate two Oreos and I was gone.  The chase was on.  I had to catch at least one of these guys.  The podium was in reach and I had to go for it.  Win or blow up trying.  I dropped my pace and hung a couple seven minute miles back out of the turnaround (where I picked up my conveniently placed t-shirt, at least I didn’t have to hold it in my hand the ENTIRE race. At some point I’m going to learn to just leave them in the car) and started climbing back toward the aid station.

The legs and the wind were feeling solid on this climb and toward the top I passed a fellow 50k racer coming down the climb who shouted, “Bro, you look great!! Go for it! You can catch those guys!!” and I can’t even tell you what a burst of energy it gave me.  I don’t know who that guy was, but because of him I ran that next mile and finished that climb at least two minutes faster.  My spirits boosted and my confidence restored, I found myself back at the Marr Land Aid Station at 2:51 elapsed time.

Randy was there to give me some words of encouragement and I felt great leaving the aid station with a fat Red Vine sticking out of my mouth and approximately 12 pretzels in the pockets of my Patagonia shorts.  This time, we headed up through Las Llajas Canyon to make the ridge and the Rocky Peak Fire Road (another great quality of the Bandit: it could have been an out and back but they offer two separate loops to switch up the course and the terrain).  I was still feeling good as we started the climb— and at this point I’m passing 25k racers every few minutes, what went from such solitude the for the first three hours has suddenly became a traffic jam— so I kept pounding, maintaining what I felt was a good pace, waiting to see that Chumash Aid Station and the end of all the real climbing.  After that, it was a couple rollers along the fire road and about 1500’ of descent back into Corriganville Park.

I rounded a bend in the steep fire road, still maintaining a decent running stride when I was distracted by a large group of 25k runners (yellow bibs) sitting on the side of the trail.  As I came around the corner they all started to get up, obstructing my view of the trail ahead.  I had to veer to the far left side to pass them and as I did, I was surprised (and elated) to see a hunched, hiking Michael Eastburn.  I pulled along side of him and asked him how he was doing.  All he could muster was a muffled, “I feel like shit.”  I tried to offer some encouraging words but, having been in that place before, knew it probably didn’t do much good. I knew he didn’t want to waste his energy talking to me so I pushed on. The podium was now in my sights.  Third place was mine to lose.

My arrival into the Chumash Aid Station was bittersweet.  This aid station was particularly awesome, I was almost talked into a beer there and the volunteers gave me a tremendous boost. Plus the climbing was over.  But I felt like I hadn't pushed hard enough coming into that aid.  I know that trail too well.  I should have hit a couple of those last climbs harder and tried close the gap.  As it was, I was 12 minutes back of Felix and 10 mins behind Kenny.  Almost an impossible distance to make up in less than six miles, all downhill, with those guys running out in front.  They’re fast.

I resigned to cruise in, relax and enjoy the finish.  The fourth place runner wasn’t in sight as I left the aid station so I knew I didn’t need to push too hard.  During my last few races, I have become much more conscious in the moment during my finishes.  In the past, I had always been so happy to be done or so emotional or simply too overwhelmed at the finish of a race to fully appreciate the moment. Then I look back on it later and realize how incredible it actually was and what an amazing feeling of accomplishment it really is to finish a race like this…

So this time I consciously let it all soak in.  I just wish I could bottle it up.  It’s my drug. I love it.  It feels special to finish well at a race in (what feels like) my backyard.  I love these mountains. I’ll be back.

This was a great race put on by amazing people with a competitive field of runners (the swag was dope too).  I can’t wait to come back next year and spend (hopefully) around four hours running through the Santa Susanas again.

 

2016 Bandit 30k reviews

2016 Bandit 30K

We asked the following 6 questions:

1) Full Name, Race you participated in, Year you participated, City/State/Country represented

2) What brought you to The Bandit trail run?

3) What was the toughest part of the race (please describe a bit) and why?

4) What did you not like about the race?

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

6) Feedback about the treats (at early bib pick up) if you got to taste them would also be appreciated!

 

1)Teresa Herrera, Bandit Trail Run 30k 2016, Woodland Hills, CA

2) I am a trail runner and heard or saw on Facebook there would be a training run(this was back in 2015) I went to the training but I was recuperating from my knee so I did not get to finish the training run and got stuck on the road before you continue to the trails, there was a gentleman who I believe is one of the race directors and him and his wife where kind enough to give me a ride back to my car, thought I’d check it out plus it’s fun doing group trainings!! I went to another training run this year, a runner buddy of mine (Danny Schurr) where having a convo on FB messenger and he had just signed up, so I decided to do it also :), it seemed like a pretty challenging trail and I had no knee issues.

3)The toughest part is the first mile and half hill that just beats you up and I loved it!!! the whole trail was challenging and well! the views where well worth it…

4)I have no complains about the race, I am looking forward to doing it again next year 🙂

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

challenging, amazing views, great race planning, amazing directors, great quality shirt, cool finishing medals, and of course the most important people (the volunteers) they just kept me going, I love that a lot of them where dressed up in costumes , so random in the middle of a trail! very good energy out there when very much needed.

6) Treats where yummy, I stopped and ate in every station and stuffed my face. everything was just PERFECT

 

1)T Albert, 15k 2016, Los Angeles CA

2)Trickery

My triathlon group (Fortius ) runs it every year, and I've been tricked into this awesome and difficult run 3x now.

The first two times I did the 30k.

3)The starting line.

Because you know that hill from hell awaits you.  I mean you can see it from the start, rising up in to the clouds. Taunting you.  Teasing you. Like a giant evil older sibling (I'm the youngest of 4)

4) I forgot deodorant.  So. That's on me.

5) It's a beautiful trail.  Like Land of the Lost scenic.  Hard. Real hard (like you might vomit). But absolutely worth it.  The pizza after is great too.

 

 

  1. Andrew Darrow, Bandit 30K, Calabasas, CA

 

2)I was seeking a challenge of physical endurance, a variety of trail features and natural beauty.  The Bandit has a great reputation for a well-organized and professionally run event with all of these features.

3)The toughest parts of the race were the start and finish.  The start is several miles of steep technical climb before your muscles have really had a chance to warm up.  The focus is on footing and endurance.  Similarly, the final 2 miles are technical downhill with tired muscles.  In the absence of good concentration, it is easy to misstep or turn an ankle.

4)There is a fair amount of downhill bedrock trail which starts to take its toll on one’s knees.

5)Ideal for an experienced runner seeking a series of extremes in a mountain trail ultra.  There are very few moderate points in this race.  The conditions are intense and constantly changing.  For those of us seeking a challenging course and a well-run event, this was an excellent experience.EndFragment

6) Unfortunately, I could not do early bib pickup so I missed your famous treats  ;  (

 

Hi,

My name is Nicky McClintock, from Calabasas CA.  I first ran Bandit in 2012 - the 30K.  This year, in 2016, my youngest son, Casey, wanted to do his first trail race.  My husband and I ran with him for the 6K, and he really LOVED it!  I took him back to Bandit because it is a great, small, family-run race, and the people are always extremely supportive.  It was very touching for the crowd to cheer for him, as he sprinted across the finish line.  He was the youngest runner, age 8, to participate.  I think the race is challenging, and technically difficult on the way up, and definitely on parts of the descent.  The hardest part of the race is the first 2 miles, which is straight up and is very rocky.

Thank you for a fun race!  One of your colleagues, took a picture of the three of us at the finish on the hay bales.  If possible, could you please email me that picture?  I would appreciate it!

Thanks,

Nicky

 

1)Martine Sesma, 30K distance, 2016, Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

2) I first heard about The Bandit from my friend and first running coach, Trey Barnes. He playfully told me I would probably suck at it – and he was right! I love a course that delivers a solid beating, and The Bandit was no disappointment there!

 

3) I ran the 30K distance, doctor’s orders to save my legs for Sean O’Brien 50-mile the following weekend. I found that the FLATTEST MILES, ironically, were the hardest! The ground is rugged and hard packed up in those hills, and I caved to the temptation to fly a little on those flat sections. I feel like bombing down Chumash Trail hurt less than those brief flat sections between miles 10-14!

4) The aid stations. They were awful. JUST KIDDING. You all were wonderful from start to finish!

5)   I’m a mid-pack runner who sometimes manages to pull a hat trick and finish Top 10 Female on races here and there. For my fellow mid-pack runners, this race is a challenging slice of SoCal trail heaven. You will take a beating. You will feel like quitting more than once. You will hurt…and you will love it! You will be in awe of the misty peaks that swell up around you as you climb that first hill, your feet may slip a little as you dash down Chumash, and your quads will start to burn. But you will shake off the pain, and you will want to come back again next year the second you’ve crossed the finish line!

Warmly,

Martine Sesma | Lic #0H12615

 

1) Christopher Kachline, 30k 2016  Im from Burbank Ca. USA

2) Heard about this run from a couple friends in my running group who had already signed up for this race.

3) The toughest part of this race was the running on the rack surface, i wore really low pro shoes that did not provide cushion from hard rock surface that made up the first part of the course. A very close second was the very beginning of the race, that up hill to hummingbird was very intense and took a lot out of me before the race really even got going. it was a huge blow to my ego and very humbling.

4) The only thing i really didn't like about this race was the road transition portion, i know there is no way around this but its the only thing that really stands out that i can say i didnt like.

5) I would say that this is a very tough but amazing race, that should be placed on everyone's calendar. it will test your endurance and pain tolerance while providing a wonderful and encouraging atmosphere by the amazing set of race staff and volunteers.

 

1) Cindy Parker, Bandit 30k 2016 (and 2015), Los Angeles, CA

2) Heard about it from a fellow trail runner, location and 30k distance sounded perfect!

3) Just after the aid station where the 30k and 50k split (mile 8.9 ish?) when you run the section of the fire road for~3mi.  It is a deceiving false incline and is not as beautiful as the rest of the course so it challenges you both mentally and physicially.

4) I can't really say I disliked any part of the race as it's truly a beautiful course and a well-organized and supported race.  That's why I returned for a 2nd year and will most likely return next year!

5) Fun, beautiful, challenging, well-organized, well-supported (LOVE the freezie pops at the mile 13.5ish?; pizza at the finish line was sooooo good!) - AWESOME!

 

Hi Sarita -

I would love to let you know how great it was.

Lori Nellis, 30k 2016, San Marcos, CA

My girlfriends had participated in this race the year before and it looked and sounded wonderful! Filled with mountain climbs and descents, beautiful views and pretty fun terrain.

The toughest part of the race in my opinion was the skinny, cha-cha inducing initial descent to the finish line! I don't remember going up that, but it sure left a fond memory. What a thrill, jumping down the rocks, traversing through some pretty tight spots!

Can't say I didn't like anything! It was beautiful So Cal day. Perfectly orchestrated for a long, fun, dirty run.

Awesome race! Minimal crowds giving it a hometown-these-are-my-people kinda feel. The views and terrain are incredible, with magical trees, thoughts of old Western Films and an expanse of mountains as far as the eye can see! Do it!!!

Looking forward to another year 😊

S~miles,Lori

 

1) Mallory Ham, 30K, 2016, Newbury Park, CA

2) I know the area and love these trails!

3)Toughest part is either the long hill up to sea shell beds or the steep and rugged downhill to the wildlife tunnel.  The last climb up to the sea shell beds is tough because it is at the end of a few miles of sustained climbing.  The downhill to the wildlife tunnel is tough because it is near the end of the race and legs are fatigued.  If not careful, one could take a tumble there.

4)  Nothing – this is a great race – challenging and scenic!

5) Challenging and scenic.  It is not just the climbing and descents that make it challenging but the rocks and ruts require one to pay attention to nearly every step.  Which is a little sad sometimes because you don’t dare to look up too much unless you stop…

6) Did not make the early bib pickup.

Thanks for putting on a great race.  One of my favorites after this race is simply enjoying some pizza and coke and hanging out while others finish!

Best Mallory

 

1) Judith Akida, Bandit 30k trail

2) I used to work at Simi Valley Hospital and that area was just beautiful

3) I fell. I chose a very very tough trail especially being the first time I ran one. Trail runs are so much more mentally intuned. It was at very beautiful slope and I looked away to steal that gorgeous moment and tripped on a rock. Thankfully a wonderful volunteer running the course was right behind me. 4 other runners stopped helped me up ensured I was ok and I just hopped along. I was sore but that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Will definitely be coming back to rerun the course.

4) Wow surprisingly enough absolutely nothing!!

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

The most beautiful scenery, very well organized, an easy find, lots of support and encouragement and of course get ready to be sore.

Thanks!

 

1) Lucy Leyda Bandit 2016 30K Simi Valley CA USA

2) Simi' beautiful hills and 805 Bootcamp

3) Coming back down Corringville technical, Rocky and legs shaking after 18+ miles

4) Nothing!! Great course, AWESOME people

5) The most fun, beautiful, difficult course. Anyone that has not run Bandit is missing out on a Great experience

6) Tiny bite of Heaven

2016 Bandit 50k review – Kenneth Ringled

2016 Bandit 50k review - Kenneth Ringled

The Bandit is located in the beautiful hills of Simi Valley, my hometown and training grounds. I have run several 50K before but the Bandit 50K keeps drawing me back year after year. The fantastic volunteers, the amazing RDs, the beautiful weather and views is what I look forward to every year. The mix of technical single track, rocky fire roads, flowing downhill's and unrelentless climbs is what keeps me coming back!

The lore of the Bandit is strong, no matter how hard I train unique challenges always present themselves, its a true test of grit and determination. I am in a secret love affair with the Simi hills even though she continues to break my heart..

This course is tough! Its a true test of all skill sets, you need to be a strong climber, good at downhill's, a technical runner and have Iron quads. You will receive expert care at every aid station, amazing views in all directions and a great after party when you finish. It will throw a little of everything out at you, so if your looking for a true challenge with great rewards this is the race for you!...

2015 Bandit 50k review – Kenneth Ringled

2015 Bandit 50k review - Kenneth Ringled

The Bandit 50K is and will always be (as long as Randy and Sarita keep it going) one of the highlight races I train for and look forward to every year. This race really holds a special place in my soul, maybe because it takes place on my hometown trails that I train on and love, or running with the hometown community of great people that show up every year. I will try and give my best recap for this race, I know I am not the best writer out there but I am going to give it my best shot...

2016 Bandit 15k reviews

2016 Bandit 15K

We asked the following 6 questions:

 

1) Full Name, Race you participated in, Year you participated, City/State/Country represented

2) What brought you to The Bandit trail run?

3) What was the toughest part of the race (please describe a bit) and why?

4) What did you not like about the race?

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

6) Feedback about the treats (at early bib pick up) if you got to taste them would also be appreciated!

 

  1. Bob Frein, 15K, 2016, Porter Ranch, Ca
  2. Always heard about it, never ran it. Had a group of us from Fleet Feet Burbank run it
  3. From the back of Corriganville Park to Rocky Peak fire road....very steep, not really runable
  4. The first 1.5 miles of the race (See above). Having run every section of the 50k course, I would like to see a race that starts at the Las Llajas trailhead up to Rocky Peak fire road and then back to Corriganville...probably 10-12 mile race
  5. Well put together, race staff was on top of things, volunteers were great, course is tough

 

 

 

  1. T Albert, 15k 2016, Los Angeles CA
  2. Trickery My triathlon group (Fortius ) runs it every year, and I've been tricked into this awesome and difficult run 3x now. The first two times I did the 30k.
  3. The starting line.  Because you know that hill from hell awaits you.  I mean you can see it from the start, rising up in to the clouds. Taunting you.  Teasing you. Like a giant evil older sibling (I'm the youngest of 4)
  4. I forgot deodorant.  So. That's on me.
  5. It's a beautiful trail.  Like Land of the Lost scenic.  Hard. Real hard (like you might vomit). But absolutely worth it.  The pizza after is great too.

 

 

  1. David R. Hokanson, 15K, 2016, Arcadia, CA
  2. Simon Cooper, Invictus Running Academy, San Gabriel Valley, California
  3. First, I want to say Thank You to all involved in organizing and volunteering.  Mile 0.5 to 1.5 up (and whatever mile this was down) was TOUGH, possibly the toughest part of a race course I have ever run.  1000 feet of elevation gain / drop in 1 mile.  Tough, technical terrain with lots of rock formations.  There was an additional 650 feet of elevation gain through about mile 3.5 to make it even more challenging though this part was MUCH easier than mile 0.5 to 1.5.  Still, the race was tremendously FUN for me to complete this race with the challenges, it gave me a great feeling of accomplishment as a person who has done few trail races (<5).
  4. What did you not like about the race?Lack of water stations.  It would have been nice to have one around mile 2 (or a little farther at half way) on the 15K (just after the 1000 ft gain on mile 0.5 to 1.5).  This was not a hot day so less critical but on a hot day, this would be important to avoid heat stroke.  But I had my own water so this is solvable.  I understand how hard it is to find enough volunteers to do this and that it costs money to do this.  So I APPRECIATE THE WORK OF ALL VOLUNTEERS.  I would NOT say anything at all about this or anything negative except that I was asked what I did not like about the race.

THIS WAS A GREAT RACE PUT ON BY RACE DIRECTORS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.  I WAS MORE THAN IMPRESSED.  OVERALL, I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS AND JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN ORGANIZING IT AND VOLUNTEERING.  THANK YOU.

 

5.  How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

My calibre is not particularly strong.  I am not fast.  I run for fun.  It required substantial walking on mile 0.5 to 1.5.  But I do train on hills enough that I was able to run much of it even though my time was slow.  My comment to runners of my calibre would be to train on hills regularly and be prepared for a difficult course.  Also train on walking steep trails faster than I did (this is a weakness for me right now).  This might be the hardest race I’ve ever done and I’ve done the Mount Wilson Trail Race (close in difficulty, I like Bandit course better as wider and less steep drops off the sides), and the San Francisco Marathon.  Great race.  Thank you again.

 

 

  1. Mitzi Takeuchi, Bandit 15 K, 2015, Pasadena, California
  2. A friend of mine was running the 50K, and when he told us late last year, I thought for sure that I'd be able to handle a 6K for my first event back. I've run 5 marathons and probably a dozen half marathons, but I had broken my ankle back in June and a 6K "trail run" sounded fun for my comeback run. I had  even run a couple trail runs before and remembered the pleasant views and easy trails. THIS WAS FAR FROM EASY!! I hadn't really read up on the event, so naturally I was completely shocked with the level of difficulty. Making things even more challenging, on the morning of the race, I switched from the 6K to the 15K. I figured my friend was running the 50K, so I had plenty of time to spare! Had I realized how challenging the run would be, I'm not sure I'd have made the same choice! Then again, as challenging as it was, I was amazed at how supportive everyone on the course was! Everyone who ran by me, either on the way to the half way marker or on the way back, was so encouraging and kind, they all lifted my spirits and gave me the energy to continue on with a smile! Of course, I also loved the snack table at the half way marker. Never have I seen such a selection during the race! Furthermore, I commend the organizers and all the volunteers. Even though the race is on the smaller side, in comparison to other races I've participated in, this was definitely well organized and efficient. Everything from the registration and start time, to the booths at the end, was executed with precision. Even when I changed my run from the 6 to the 15K, the people at the booth knew exactly what I needed to do.
  3. I totally underestimated the ROCK CLIMBING!!!
  4. Before all the 50K'ers finished, the people at the booths started packing up. I felt sorry for my friend, competing in his first 50K, that he wouldn't get the same post-race experience as I did. Luckily, the pizza booth was still there!
  5. The 15K is not for the faint of heart or weak ankles! Very challenging and yet rewarding. I'd definitely recommend trail shoes! As a novice trail runner, I am thankful I went out and bought trail shoes!! The previous trail runs I had run before didn't require trail shoes.  I wouldn't have survived without them!

Thank you again to all the volunteers!  This was definitely a race to remember.

2016 Bandit 6k reviews

2016 Bandit 6K

We asked the following 6 questions:

1) Full Name, Race you participated in, Year you participated, City/State/Country represented

Peter Lime, 6k 2016, North Hollywood CA 

2) What brought you to The Bandit trail run?

A coworker that had run before told me about the race and asked if I wanted to give it a try. She knew I ran trails in Griffith Park, but I had never run a race before. I had not run a race since High School (1982 to be exact) but it sounded like it could be fun.

3) What was the toughest part of the race (please describe a bit) and why?

The first climb was steeper than expected and was a challenge to keep going, but I kept to my pace and met the challenge.

4) What did you not like about the race?

Honestly nothing comes to mind. Perfect weather, a fun and challenging course and great people.

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre?

Even though the 6k race is not that long, the steep hills and single track trails makes it a good challenge. Perfect for those new to trail running. It was a friendly group of runners and the organizers did a good job. Enough runners to feel excited and such, but not so big to overwhelm you. I plan to run again next year, either doing the 6k again or moving up to the 15k.

 

 

 

1) Full Name, Race you participated in, Year you participated, City/State/Country represented -- Joe Kleinrichert, 6K, 2016 (1st year participating), Thousand Oaks, CA

2) What brought you to The Bandit trail run? -- I moved to Southern Cal. in 2015 and just started participating in a few trail races for the first time. The Bandit is near my home in Thousand Oaks and looked like a well-organized and fun event.

3) What was the toughest part of the race (please describe a bit) and why? -- Comparing to the handful of other trail races I've done, the ascent was at least, if not more challenging than the Xterra races I did, but the real kicker was the downhill, which was more technical and required great concentration and use of new muscles!

4) What did you not like about the race? -- The trail, though well-marked, allowed runners to cut corners too much, and some did.

5) How would you describe our race to another athlete of your calibre? -- Challenging and quad-busting.

2016 50k Bandit Race Review – Dr. Tae

2016 50k Bandit Race Review

Sitting on my ass in the dust at mile 17.6, on the way back from the halfway point for the 50K distance of the 2016 Bandit trail run, my right quads, the vastus medialis in particular, were spasmed, in what in medicine might be called tetany - that is, like you're making a muscle to show off, only it's not on purpose, it's a muscle you wouldn't normally be able to make in order to show off, and it hurts like you wouldn't believe, a charlie horse in a different place....

Directions to 30k and 50k aid stations

Directions to our 2 aid stations if you are visiting the 30k and 50k runners. ***Please jump in and help if you have time

Marrland:
118 fwy exit Yosemite and head North
Right on Evening Sky Drive
Trail head 1/2 mile on left

Open Space:
118 fwy exit Tapo Canyon Rd and head North
approx 1.6 miles the trail head is on the right hand side
If you get to Lost Canyons Dr. you just passed it