The Bandit is a trail run in Simi Valley, California!
Created in 2009 this race was a 14K and 30K and has expanded to host an Ultra (50k), Bandit Buddies (6-Legged K9 Race) and Bandito (Kids Race). In 2012 the race finalized its plan: 50K, 30K, 15K and a new 6K Race.
We asked our runners to tell us about their experience and here's what they said and take a peek at the photos we have collected up here.
"I ran the Bandit 50K last Sunday. What a great race it was: I loved the course -- so beautiful and so challenging. Going up and (worse) down stairs is STILL painful for me. The goody bags are the best I've ever received in ANY race of ANY KIND. They are incredible. Your volunteers were outstanding: so positive, so organized, so experienced. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.
Also, thank you for extending the cut-off times. I'm not a talented runner (yet) and I'm working on improving my speed and endurance. I appreciate being able to participate in such an elite event. It felt amazing to run your 50K. I'm inspired to improve myself and to come back next year! Thanks!!!!
PS: One of my running partners ran the Bandit Buddies 6-legged race and won it!!! He and his dog are super jazzed. He cannot stop talking about their amazing day. Thanks for including the new race. It's getting a lot of publicity from it's current champions. The t-shirt and medal will be shown off forever."
"It was the 2nd mile of the Bandit course and as I descended down to Rocky Peak I noticed the crystal blue sky above and I could feel the chill of the morning coldness. At that moment, a cloud was rolling in and in my training runs, it's exactly what I envisioned I would see and feel. The rest of the day was amazing as I could see for many miles including the snow covered mountains in the distance, both to the north and the east. The scenery made the journey less painful as I completed my first 50k thirty minutes faster than I anticipated."
Thank you for an well-organized event and a course that is as tough as advertised. I plan to return as long as it doesn't interfere with my next Ironman event."
40 Years Old, 50K
"I have attached some shots I took with my iphone. Hope these help.
Many thanks for an amazing event. I had a great time on the course, my first time running these trails.
Your volunteers were all very kind and helpful at this very well run event.
Can't wait to come back next year!"
"The Bandit 15k is an awesome course with spectacular views. The volunteers are terrific and the aid stations were filled with cheers, smiles and some of my favorites- Hammer Gel and peanut butter pretzels. I was truly blown away by the scenery of Simi Valley below and it was so worth the hike up the switchbacks and sometimes treacherous rocky surfaces. I usually say I do a brutal trail run for the beer (haha)- but this one was definitely for the view and the climb!" - Michele Mician, 35, 15 K Bandit, Coming next year
"Ironically, I found the most difficult part of the course was on the fire road coming out of the Marrland aid station (mile 19 to 22) during the second loop of the Chumash / Rocky Peak “lollipop” While this is one of the flattest sections (with over 5,800 feet of elevation gain on the course, “flat” is a relative term) of the race, the constant incline and knowledge that you need to “work” the section hard to pick-up time (that you lose in the grueling hills) pressed my mental capacity. Fortunately, my training partner, Sid Shibata, was side by side with me through this section and we set ourselves up for the remaining hills and last eight miles of the race."
Dave Liston, Simi Valley, CA - 50K
"TO RUN A MILE WAS GREAT WITH MY SISTER BEHIND ME. IT WAS A LOT HARDER THAN WE THOUGHT.IT WAS A LITTLE SCARY TO RUN IN THE HILLS,BECAUSE OUR DAD SAID IF WE SEE ANY BEARS OR COYOTES WE SHOULD JUST RUN FASTER AND THEY SHOULDN'T CATCH UP TO US..
THANKS A LOT."
MARIANA AND PAMELA HUFF, Bandito Runners
"The weather was lousy before the 2011 Bandit Trail Run, and race directors warned us to “save some in the tank” to safely finish the final steep, slippery, rocky descent. Luckily race-day weather was gorgeous, but that last mile and a half drop was as tough and slick as they said it would be. I managed to pick my way down the trail without falling, but doing so apparently drained my tank. The flat, easy, half-mile between the last rock and the finish chute was the hardest stretch in my 15K. Will I be back? Absolutely, shooting for 30K."
Drew Hardin, 15K
La Crescenta, CA
First-time Bandit runner
"This one in Simi Valley had 3 hills of 2000 feet each, and was run on trails and fire roads in the hills overlooking snow capped peaks around L.A. There was even a 1/2 mile stretch through a residential neighborhood at the bottom of the 2nd and 3rd hills. There were aid stations every 4 or 5 miles so you just carried 16 to 32 oz. of water. I was the only one with collapsible ski poles, which really help on the uphills. I was passing people on uphills which normally i could never do.
I went out conservatively (still afraid of the distance) but picked it up the whole way and was passing people the whole 2nd half of the race. (Usually I am on the other side of the fence, being passed). I was nervous when at 11 miles the inside of my left thigh cramped, I had to stop for 2 or 3 minutes until it de-cramped. But then I was able to continue on with no side effects (but it would cramp 2 more times). I remember looking at my Garmin watch at 27 miles and feeling great. I timed my pace and energy fueling just right! (unlike the 25K last weekend when my leg hurt so I had to jog it in). There was a 4 mile downhill stretch to the finish and I was hauling! I was going to see who I could catch. I charged past a guy my age with 3 miles to go... then the thigh cramped again! I could only stand there with my leg sticking out as he ran by and said "cramp?". yup.
After being passed by a 2nd guy the cramp went away and I "gingerly charged" after them. Unfortunately the last 2 miles are steep down and technical (rocky) so I was done charging. Still the last 1/2 mile is flat and there ended up (curses) a guy right in front of me. I could not change gears too much because I knew the leg(s) were about to cramp again. I got ahead of him, he won the 60's division! I was way back in 8th or so men's 50's. The winner was 4:06!
I got a leg massage at the finish area - painfully good! Today I don't feel too bad! Not as bad as after a road marathon, since on the trail, you vary the pace and the incline and it's on soft surfaces.
Kevin Young, 50K