I am old. I am out of shape. That's why I've signed up for the 5K portion of the Buffalo Alley Run at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
But first, a disclaimer. They call it the Buffalo Alley 5K Run. I call it the Buffalo Alley 5K Walk.
If I train hard enough, it might be the Buffalo Alley 5K Run/Walk.
Nowadays, the Buffalo Alley Run honors the fallen and wounded. The 5K is a spinoff of the 10K, which was formerly known as the "Horno Ridge Run." According to organizers, the new 10K offers the "ultimate" in Hard Corps Competition in a cross-country 10K.
The course begins at Camp Horno, home of 1st Marines, and winds up, up, up, into the hills of Camp Pendleton. The 10K is a loop out-and-back course that takes you past scenic vistas along gently rolling terrain. Please note that there is a two-hour time limit on the completion of the 10K Run course. The 5K Run will run similar cross-country roads around Camp Horno — both on road and off road.
There is also a "Kids 1 mile Fun Run" for those "14 & under who want to be a part of the fun!"
The Buffalo Alley 5K is not my ultimate goal. It is merely a step along the way, a link in the chain.
My ultimate goal is the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run, held in June, which is a challenging 10K run with hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls with mud on both sides, tunnel crawl, slippery hill climb, and the final 30-foot mud pit. Along the course there will be six water points with personnel staged at each.
Or, as the Marine Corps says, this is the most fun you can have running a 10K!
The World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run is one of the few bargains left in our troublesome economy. You can spend a lot of money at a spa for mud treatment. If you're old, the Marines help you over the walls, and it's a great excuse for near-sighted people to buy prescription goggles.
My friends and family have been totally supportive.
Penelope Glifort at Pasadena Equinox says, "It's the best 6 miles you'll ever run in your life!"
Ed Vaisbort offered to introduce me to a Mud Run veteran. "My friend Eva has done it," said Ed. "Shall I have her call you to talk you out of it?"
And when I asked my husband, a USMC Force Recon veteran, if he cared to join me, his reply was immediate and heartfelt.
"Not a chance," said Len.
"Will you be there to cheer me on?" I asked.
"Of course," he replied.
"With Miss Hepburn?"
"Natch!" said Len.
I am grateful for their support.
For more on the Camp Pendleton races, see http://www.camppendletonraces.com.
ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.