Fair Oaks Sun Run Recap…

The Fair Oaks Sun Run…how do I recap this miserable, hilly, god-awful, wonderful race?

Fair Oaks Sun Run 1

Going into this race I knew that it was hilly but honestly I had no idea how hilly it really was.  Even the down hills were pretty intense.  I ran all the hills both up and down for the first half but the second half I ended up having to walk several of the hills at least partially.  But with this race the hills were only half of it.  The middle section of this race was down in the bottom of the American River on dirt track.  This wasn’t just dirt track.   It was rocks and gravel too.

I was so happy to get off the rocks and onto the pavement again I almost wept.  And then I saw The Beast.  We’d come down it to the river bottom and while running down I was praying we weren’t going to be going back up it.  My prayers didn’t help.  We had to run back up it.  I made it about 2/3’s of the way up before I had to walk.  It was just so steep I was barely moving forward while running.

Fair Oaks Sun Run Finish

Thank goodness the last tenth of a mile was down hill to flat because I was done!  I’m just happy I was upright when I finished.  My hubby said that right before I finished an older gentleman fell right before the finish and then got up and finished.  When I rounded the corner, they were loading him into the ambulance.  It’s not something you want to see at all and the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that at a race.  Hubby thought the guy was just banged up with some road rash and wasn’t anything serious but still.  Scary.

Fair Oaks Sun Run Results 1

This course was very challenging and I’m thrilled with my time.  I finished a much more challenging course in just a couple of minutes less than my last 5 mile race and I’m thrilled with the results.  Part of the challenge this year in addition to running injury free & embracing the suck is to get my brain to understand that not every race has to be a PR.  Just finishing and finishing strong is what counts.

Fair Oaks Sun Run Medal

After the race we had pizza for dinner.  We never do that and let me tell you it was the greatest pizza I’ve ever had.

Race pros and cons:


  • if you’re looking for a challenge, this race is it
  • variety of terrain – pavement, dirt, rocks, gravel
  • Hills, lots of hills
  • car show & activities for the family afterward
  • cool medal with a chicken on it


  • Hills
  • Variety of terrain
  • The first aid station was a bit far out

I would totally do this one again next year.  It was a huge challenge for me and I loved it.  But next year I’m going to carry some water with me.  I would totally recommend this race if you’re looking for a challenge.  Flat and fast is fun but this was super fun.

Did you race last weekend?

How’d it go?


2 thoughts on “Fair Oaks Sun Run Recap…

  1. Oof! Your American River-adjacent race sounds way rougher than mine! It was hot but at least there were no major hills! Congrats on a great performance. 🙂

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