Catalina Island Eco Marathon Race Report (2012)

Catalina Island Eco Marathon – (Nov 10, 2012)

Catalina Island, California  – This was one of the most beautiful and challenging marathons I’ve done to date. It’s a bit of a hassle to get to as you have to take a hour long boat ride to get over to the island, but it’s well worth it. Enjoyed meeting Aaron Nowlin on the boat ride and discussing his upcoming 50-Miler. I also enjoyed meeting fellow Run It Fast member Nadia Ruiz Gonzales (RIF #69) before and after the race, Guinness record holder Yolanda Holder, and Maniac Deo Jaravata as well.

The race started with a 1,500 ft climb within the first 3 miles of the race that drained the hammys for the rest of the day. Once ‘atop’ Catalina the view continued to impress more and more as you could see almost the entire island at once.  It was very windy in parts with 40 mph side-ways gusts, but I kind of like that type of extra added challenge that helps separate the field from one another.

I struggled at different points during the day as I felt a bit out of shape from not training much in the past three weeks since the Javelina Jundred. I did have some good stretches at different points though.

Different parts of the race included almost every type of trail imaginable which helped to battle the mental fatigue that can sometimes come from seeing the same thing over and over.  Catalina had some really great running from mile 10 to 19 but then, oh then, mile 19…the Catalina Crush!  The Crush was a straight climb/walk/crawl to heaven as the back of my legs and back ached and caused me to stop and let the throbbing relax before continuing my slow crawl to the top and to the rest of the marathon.

The last 3 miles of the marathon are a twisting trail dump back down 1,500 feet with the last 1.5 miles of those 3 being on asphalt as you re-enter the small town to finish right in front of the beachfront.

This race is not easy and not for everyone based on degree of difficulty but you won’t find a more beautiful trail marathon anywhere.

  • Medal: 9/10 (see here)
  • Course: 9/10
  • Scenery: 10/10
  • Support: 7/10
  • Crowds: 1/10 (would ruin it anyway)
  • Price: 5/10
  • OVERALL: 9.5/10

It’s not in the small print but it’s going to cost you a $79 boat ticket to get to and from the island.

– Joshua Holmes (RIF #1)

You can follow Joshua on Twitter @bayou

Catalina Island Eco Marathon Medal (2012)





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Joshua Holmes has completed 253 marathons/ultramarathons while running 100+ miles 49 including races such as the Badwater 135 (6x), Western States 100, The Last Annual Vol State 500K (3x). He is the founder of Run It Fast, the most driven club on the planet. His favorite races to date are the Vol State 500K, Badwater 135, Barkley Fall Classic, Catalina Eco Marathon, Chimera 100, Across The Years, Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Tunnel Hill 100, RUTS, EC100 and the Flying Monkey Marathon in his home state of Tennessee. Follow @bayou Follow @joshuaholmes on Instagram

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