On December 18, 2005, five of us touched the ocean at El Moro, then turned around to run 32 to the top of Saddleback Mountain (5,687 feet high at Santiago Peak). This was our second annual "pilgrimage" from the lowest to the highest point in Orange County. The sanctioned route, scouted and rescouted by the two founders, begins seaside at the mouth of El Moro Canyon in Crystal Cove. From here we run a long way! By the end of Santiago trail at Old Camp we've run approx. 28 miles, which is just the "warm up" for Joplin Trail, an 1,800' ascent up a 1.5 mile single track of loose rocks, boulders and shrub. This part really sucks, but in a way this "climb" is the right of passage for this journey. At the top of Joplin Trail, we proceed along the main divide to the top of Santiago Peak, OC's most majestic landmark.
Saltwater 5000 is a run, not a race. But its more than just a run. There something cool about being able to touch the ocean, run and climb 32 miles to the top of Santiago peak, then look down and see how far you've come. Also, at 5,687 feet, you can see the finish line at every turn! "There it is baby!" Once bagged, the peak offers an incredible vista for the yearning soul. Catalina Island, Mts. San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Baldy, Palomar and everything in between.
Take a look at some special moments we captured on this day. Four of the five runners are over 50 years of age, with youngest at 42 and the oldest at 64. Yes, 64! That rocks!