Congrats Joe on surviving the elements and finishing well at Red Rock 50!! Red Rock is a difficult out-and-back 50 mile race with a large but unknown amount of elevation gain (~16,000ft +/-), long stretches with no aid, and technical trails. The race begins in the Santa Barbara backcountry at the first crossing parking lot and follows Arroyo Burro fireroad to Mathias trail. Matias dead ends on a paved road and the first aid station. The road leads to Red Red day use area and a gently sloping fireroad. The fireroad winds around to Gibraltar Dam and turns into single-track as it approaches the old mercury mine. More beautiful single-track trail flows through trees, meadows, and rocks with many stunning vistas. Eventually the real climbing cross the water-filled grotto and then it’s up, up, up to Camino Cielo where a welcoming aid station awaits. Then 4.5 miles of steep, technical downhill on San Ysidro ends at Heidi’s Ultra Cafe, a happy refuge before runners turn around and return along the same route.
Red Rock is a local trail event run by the famous Luis Escobar. Always providing better aid and trail markings than advertised. This race was no exception. The volunteers were amazing, including our own Heidi and Karen at the San Ysidro aid station. Many other local runners also participated in the 50 miler, marathon, and half-marathon.
Weather and trail conditions were not on the side of the runners. The day began chilly with several early, deep water crossings. Temperatures warmed only a little and then the rain began. Torrential downpours. Santa Barbara is rarely treated to rainfall. The trails became slippery rivers of runoff water. The cold rain caused temperatures to drop even lower. Ken and I succumbed to hypothermia and were forced to end our races early. Joe pushed on through the rain & cold and survived washed-out Mathias to finish 4th overall! Congrats Joe!!
Joe DeVreese: 4th overall and 4th GP, 9:48:14