Hooker Oak Trail Half Marathon

01 Apr 2010 08:30
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Interview Focus on a race

Tracie Hannick is the Chico Running Club Treasurer and race director for the HOT Half and the 4th of July 5k. By day She is a tax accountant. Although she doesn’t consider herself a competitive racer, she loves to run and competes in races from 5k to marathon distances and really enjoys running in Chico and wherever her travels takes her.

Hello, on October 10th 2010, you’ll be organizing the Hooker Oak Trail Half Marathon . Can you tell us where it is located?

The HOT Half is located in Upper Bidwell Park in Chico, CA. Hooker Oak Park is at the entrance to Upper Bidwell Park and is the start and finish of the race. Lots of room for everyone and great parking.

§staticmap(5072)

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This year will be the 4th year of the race. Chico Running Club puts on 4 races a year including the Bidwell Classic (34th year), Almond Bowl (20+ years) and a 4th of July race.

Chico’s Bidwell Park is the 3rd largest metropolitan park in the United States and did not have a trail run. Chico Running Club’s board members wanted to give our local runners as well as those traveling here a challenging and enjoyable race.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

This race is tough, it’s great fun though. Our tag line is ‘Are you HOT enough?’

The route is all trail (save for crossing the roads) and is a combination of gravel and dirt single track trails that can be quite rocky, with lots of hills!

The route leaves Hooker Oak Park and travels west up into the hills on Middle Trail and retuns via the Yahi Trails. It is a beautiful run thru the oaks and along Chico Creek. There are 5 aid stations set up for water, energy drinks and gels.

Yahi Trail
Credit : dwolfgra

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect 100-200 runners and we have a wide variety of runners. We have a steady local following with runners trying to better last years times, challenge themselves to race the trails they train on and new runners who want to prove they are up to the task. We attract people from all over the North State and a couple from out of state It’s a great course for all runners who want a great workout.

We have great schwag, with technical shirts, pint glasses and plenty of food. Our sponsors take great care of us and provide lots of raffle prizes, overall winner and age group prizes. We have given away trail shoes, Klean Kanteens and lots of running gear (water bottles, hats, shirts, socks, etc)

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

This will be the first year that we add a shorter distance. We are still working on a course for a 10k/ 1/4 marathon. We want to make it challenging but give runners an option for a shorter distance. The longer course can be intimidating to some so this should be a great option.

We are hoping this will bring more runners out and grow the race.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

We have been very lucky every year. It is about 60 at race start and gets to about 75 in the afternoon. We have had rain the weekends before and after but usually mild temps and a breeze. Great Fall weather.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We try to make this a great day and have lunch and awards after the race. Due to park rules we are not allowed to serve beer so it’s water and usually some sort of mexican food lunch…we have had carnitas and all the fixings, burritos with meat and cheese and let the runners and families hang out and enjoy the park

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Chico before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Chico is a great place to hang out. We have a lovely downtown area with great restaurants and bars. Bidwell Park is open to pedestrians, cars and bikes and has a pool and grass area. Lots of hiking and biking trails. There are several hotels within a few miles of the park and Fall is a great time here.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Hooker Oak Trail Half Marathon?

Come enjoy a beautiful, challenging race in a great location! Are you HOT enough?

Thank you Tracie