After the bike--the run!

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WF RunSo now that you know what to expect from the Wildflower bike course, it's time to set your sights on prepping for the run course. As with the bike course, the run course isn't flat and fast, but it's also something you can work to master and maybe even surprise yourself with great results.

Brandon Del Campo is a former pro and current top age grouper who knows the Wildflower course like the back of his hand. His advice? Get ready for the hills! "The run course is very hilly with one super steep climb around mile 5 and then a long uphill at the 10 mile 'U-turn,'" he says. "You will also find a demanding one mile downhill at the end. That last mile is a total quad buster."

To prep, then, make sure a weekly hill repeat session is part of the routine. You might also want to ensure that your long run includes some long hills, and that you use your gym time wisely to build quad and hamstring strength. Another good idea is to include a brick workout of a bike/run that includes a hilly course so that you are ready to hit the hills off the bike.

About 75 percent of the run is on trails, making a driving preview pretty much impossible. But Del Campo says that it is possible to get out and run or walk portions of the course in advance if that makes you more comfortable.

Because it will be fairly late in the morning by the time you hit the run, know that the temperatures can vary from rain to "blazing hot," according to Del Campo. "There is very little shade, so get your hat out," he recommends. I advise looking at the weather and prepare for anything." Bear in mind, too, that Tri California sometimes has to change the course due to rain, although this year the odds don't favor that scenario.

While the course is hilly, Del Campo says that if you are prepared, it can actually be a fairly fast course. "Because what goes up must come down, and downhills make a fast course," he says.

So that's your 411 on the run course. Hills--love 'em or hate 'em?

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