San Diego Trail Half Marathons

Running Trail Half Marathons


With the explosion of the running “boom” racing is becoming more popular than ever.  Never before have I seen so many options at so many locations for so many runners.  When I started running long distance in 2002 you could walk up to the registration table at any race and sign up the same day.  If you felt like running the Carlsbad Half Marathon that morning you simply got in your car, drove up to Carlsbad, singed up and ran the half.  These days there is a web page devoted to eager runners who will purchase your bib from you at any time and any place you choose.  I recently heard a story about a runner who met someone selling a Carlsbad Half bib in a deserted parking lot at 9:30 in the evening on a rainy night offering triple the price of the already expensive $95 bib!  Selling race bibs has become more profitable than scalping concert tickets!

With the ever increasing popularity of local Half Marathons even more Half Marathons are being introduced to the local San Diego market.  In the past two years we have seen the launch of the San Diego Half Marathon in March and the Wild Animal Park Half Marathon in May.  While these races have been well received by the San Diego running community they are still recreations of other road half marathon events and really do not offer any set of unique challenges to San Diego runners.

Many years ago there was a race at Camp Pendleton that I had heard about called the Mud Run.  Runners lined up at the start and ran essentially 6 miles while along the way traversing obstacles along the Marine Corps base.  You even had to wade chest high through a river.  While this was more entertainment than an actual running race it was fun.  It has become so popular they now do multiple days and dates in order to accommodate the hoards of runners who want to get dirty!  In fact, they stumbled onto something that touched the masses in a way that traditional road races do not.  They provided entertainment.  Their concept has since been copied and you can find a Mud Run in multiple cities at multiple dates and times.

The concept of providing entertainment was not lost on the marketing gurus out in the world.  They have since began offering the San Diego running community many types of “races” that have more to do with entertainment than with running an actual race.  The “80’s run”, the “color run”, the “zombie run”, Warrior dash”, Spartan run and many more.  Some of these “races” are more like obstacle courses while some will even provide you with a severe electrical shock for you money.  These types of events are selling out within days!

Dirt Devil Racing now provides San Diego runners with a great option for running.  Four trail half marathons are offered as options to the traditional road half marathons.  Offered opposite the Carlsbad Half Marathon on January 27th is the Wildhorse trail Half Marathon.  This challenging and fun trail half begins at the Otay Lakes Boat Launch and offers runners beautiful trail around both the lower and the upper lakes.  Runners enjoy amazing view of the lake and actually run through the Olympic Training Center Boat Launch.  In addition to running the half marathon runners are automatically entered into the “Best hand wins” poker portion of the run.  At each aid station runners are given a card.  When they cross the finish line their card hand will be recorded.  At the post race party and awards ceremony the best hand will be awarded a $100 cash prize.  All runners will receive a long sleeve technical shirt in addition to a truly unique finisher’s medal.  The medal itself is unique but what makes it really special is it is a piece of the larger “Supermedal”.  Runners that run the Wildhorse Trail Half Marathon, Foxy Trail Half Marathon, Cougar Trail Half Marathon and the Raptor Ridge Trail Half Marathon will be rewarded with not only four special and unique finisher’s medals but the Supermedal.  Their four medals will have the ability to fit together and form a giant Supermedal.

There are many reasons to try running a trail half marathon.

  1. How many times do you want to run the same old road race?
  2. Trail half marathons offer different challenges than road races
  3. You can actually see wildlife
  4. There are only 400 runners in the race
  5. You park and end at the same place.  No buses!
  6. No long port-o-pottie line
  7. Post race parties at local San Diego Breweries
  8. Better swag
  9. Entertainment value
  10. Supermedal
  11. Because it is there and you have not done it yet
  12. You like to hike and you like to run.  Why not run a trail?

If you have not run a trail race or trail half marathon you definitely need to try one.  Dirt Devil Racing provides yearlong trail events ranging from 5K to Marathon distance.  Dirt Devil Races also give unique, quality race swag and offer terrific post race parties at local brew pubs, taverns and microbreweries.  Dirt devil trail races are not only fun and challenging but strive to bring the a little entertainment value as well.  Check it out!

2013 Dirt Devil Races – Dates Announced!


By | 2012-12-19T14:17:21+00:00 December 19th, 2012|San Diego Road Races, San Diego Trail Races|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Runco is a U.S. Navy and Gulf War Veteran. He began private practice in 2000 primarily treating and fixing running injuries. He has been a professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics at various colleges and continues to teach continuing education in the fields of rehabilitation, custom orthotics and athletic taping. He is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has completed over 15 Marathons in 15 states and has run 11 50 mile Ultramarathons.

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