More than 600 racers step up for Double Peak Challlenge 10K
More than 600 participants turned out Saturday, Sept. 30, for the second annual San Marcos Double Peak Challenge, a visually exhilarating course that takes runners on a 6.2-mile route that reaches the summit of Double Peak, the highest point in north San Diego County.
The event sponsored by the City of San Marcos is both an arduous 10K run along a scenic ridgeline trail and a community gathering that also features a 5K run and a trail trot for kids.
The sun broke through overcast skies just as the race began at 7:30 am at the San Elijo Hills Neighborhood Park, and overall winner Leonardo Maciel of Brazil said that “Double Peak was soaring above the clouds” as he reached the summit.
It was the second year for the Double Peak Challenge, which benefits two important community initiatives. The event supports the San Marcos Community Services Department and its scholarship program through the non-profit Friends of San Marcos Parks & Recreation. It also partners with the San Marcos Unified School District and The San Marcos Promise, which provides scholarship aid and a college-level pathway for San Marcos students.
“It’s such a worthy cause for extended education for kids graduating out of San Marcos Unified District schools,” said Buck Martin, community services director. “And it’s an opportunity for scholarships for educational programs” offered through parks and recreation.
Martin, who had just completed the run, said he talked to many of runners who had returned for the second year for both the challenge of the uphill run, which is the first half of the course, and for “some of the most amazing panoramic views.”
That experience was shared by participants who ranged in age from under 10 to over 70 and who came from the San Elijo Hills neighborhood, the City of San Marcos, north San Diego County and even Brazil.
Maciel, a 36-year-old oil and gas engineer who was in San Diego on business, decided at the last minute to register for the race and took advantage of his endurance training on hills to post a record time on the course of 46 minutes and 25 seconds. “I love the heartbreak hills,” Maciel said. “It’s tough. That’s why I came here.”
The fastest woman was Michele Wallace, 42, from Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad who posted a time of 57 minutes, 30 seconds. “It was so hard, a lot harder than I thought,” she said.
Brody Campbell, 10, who attends San Elijo Hills Elementary School and who finished second in the boys’ age 10-14 category, summed up the race in one word: “Awesome.”
Gwen Knight, 60, of San Marcos was a top finisher in her category and described the “double dose hills” as “pretty intense.” From that vantage point, she said: “It’s beautiful. You can see the lake below and the fog, which is gorgeous.”