Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Westridge Run

Now that my father in law is a little better and lucent, I was able to break away from the house Saturday morning for a decent run. I had no plan, just one water bottle and a desire to revist some childhood landmarks.

I also decided early into the run that I wanted to see how far up the mountain I could run today. Check out this wiki map link, I wanted to make it to the the Nike Radar at the top of mount San Vicente. My run started at the bottom of the screen, south of the Riviera Country Club, and went up the ridge to the right of Topanga State Park.

I first ran by the house I grew up in on San Vicente blvd. This is one of the hot spots for road running in Santa Monica. It has a parkway with magnolia trees down the middle, and not much cross traffic. On a rare occaision, we would see Carl Lewis running here. Never knew who he was, just wondered "who is that fast guy?" The 1984 Olympic marathon ran down this street.

Once I was about 2 miles out, I hit the spot where I would turn around as a kid, but not today. I looked up toward the SM mountains and wodered "how far could I get up those".

I worked my way over to the the start of Westridge drive, at 300 ft. above sea level. For the next 5 miles, i would climb about 1400 ft. It took FOREVER to get to the trail head. You have to have some serious $$$ to live on this road. As I ascented the mountain, the sun was coming up, and it was spectacular. I could see the entire LA basin, as the recent rains had cleared the air.

I finally got to the trail head, about an hour had elapsed. Heck, I'm this far, might as well keep going. This is where the mountain bikers start. I ran their trails, goin up, up, up. I was on top of the world. Not even tired.

10 years ago I road this on my mountain bike, and thought it was extremely hard on a bike. I was now doing it on foot.

I finally made it to where I could see the Nike radar station. This is a cold war relic. It was designed to protect LA from Russian Bombers flying over LA and dropping nukes on us. These were peppered across the entire west coast. This is one of the few remaining. You can see it on the Wiki map as LA-96C.

I hit the lap button and turned around for a bomb down 1300 feet.

It was a blast. The recent rains made the views spectacular.

I am trying to find a way to run a good portion of the backbone trail this week, but it might be a tough one to pull off. Nobody wants to drive up the coast to pick me up.

Every run here brings back memories. This place has changed a lot, and has been overcome by the "pretty people".

It's ironic that nobody who grows up in Santa Monica can ever afford to live in Santa Monica.

I might go for a 20-30 on the backbone if they let me out today.

Happy New Year to all.


Runnin-from-the-Law said...

Glad the father-in-law is doing better.

Your run there sounds fabulous! Hope they let you out for another one while you are there. Enjoy the California weather. The clock on the bank out my window right now says -13.

Happy New Year!

SteveQ said...

Great way to end the year. See ya on trails soon.