Written by DBR Core Team Member Pamela Broudy
“I don’t train, I just register.”
I cannot tell you how many times friends and family have heard that statement come out of my mouth (between kids and seasonal contract work, training can sometimes be tricky, am I right!?).
In 2017 I ran a lot of races. Most likely too many, but if variety is the spice of life, it quickly showed me what I like: I discovered that I really enjoyed the trail races over road races. At the same time, I also discovered that there were certain trail races I liked more than others (although, if you dirtbags can keep a secret, there is one road race in San Diego that still holds my heart… Shhhh!).
Here are the ones that stood out (click the titles to visit the race websites):
Location: Los Olivos, CA
Distance Run: 10M
Other distances available: 0.0M, 30M, 60M, 100M, 200M, and 4 day
When: Mid May
Why Run It: Born to Run is the ultimate dirtbag event. Camping, running, live music, and the highest concentration of dirtbags I’ve ever seen in one place – do I need to list another reason!?
The race has developed a reputation in the trail running scene and so can also bring in some big names: When I attended in 2018, I met Scott Jurek, Jen Shelton, and Arnuflo! I also caught a glimpse of Jeepsy and Running Bum. Keep your eye out for some celebrity sightings.
Extra Incentive: Born to Run is the birthplace of Dirtbag Runners.
Location: El Moro, CA
Distance Run: 10 km
Other distances available: 5 km, 25 km, 50 km
Why run it: The awesome course and beautiful scenery are reason enough to register (the trails go ocean-side and the views go on for MILES!). Since it’s a longer race, the aid stations were well stocked with plenty of treats!
This race was extra special for me as I was lucky enough to see Sally McRae (needs no introduction) and Mickey Graglia (1st place at 2018 Badwater) come in on the 50 km.
Extra Incentive: The weather can make the course all the more interesting (especially if it rains!).
Location: San Diego, CA
Distance Run: 10k in 2017 and half marathon in 2018
Other distances available: 5 km and 21 km
When: late November
Why Run It: It’s a challenging course and will make you wonder why you signed up for such shenanigans, but the feeling of accomplishment when its over is unbeatable.
This was the first race course that ever caused me to fall and yet, I still felt compelled to return the following year to complete the half marathon.
Extra Incentive: When you’re all done, there’s a barbeque and beer waiting for you at the finish line.