Foothill Flyers Running Club Race Review
Last update February 20, 2013
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Bandit Trail 50K/30K/15K/6K Run
  3rd Sunday in February at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley.
    50K starts at 7AM, 30K at 7:30AM and 15K and 6K at 8:00AM. Cut off times on 50K only.
      Click on Bandit Trail above for info and registration. 2013 results.
        See the Robert and Maria Vangilders photos from the 2013 30K course.

Bandit trail race bandana   Tom O'Hara sez of the 2013 15K:
This has to be one of the more challenging local trail runs in So. California. Corriganville was an old western movie set that is now a campground and nature walk area in Simi Valley. The 15K couse after leaving the park is an out and back all on single track and jeep road in the mountains north of the 118 Freeway. The first 1.5 miles is technical, very steep and rocky which demands full concentration. Earbuds or iPods are not allowed so you will have all your senses working. Runners are asked to carry 16oz or more of water since it can get hot from the sun radiation off the rocks and the aid stations are spaced a ways apart. The views are spactacular back toward San Fernando Valley and out around the Malibu Hills toward Ventura once on top. The course is some what like a combination of the Mt. Wilson Trail and Toll Road but with some steeper segments and with a lot more rocks - select your race distance accordingly. Everyone gets a finisher medal and a piece of pizza at the end. Before the start you pick up your number, tech shirt and stuffed swag bag. Hot coffee and rolls are also provided. Great aid stations and Ventura Search and Rescue patrol the course on ATV's. All in all, I think it is a well managed and fun event.


  Bob Spears 30K experience:
The Bandit Ultra Trail Runs are a well organized and well run set of races on very challenging courses in the hills above the Simi Valley. Three of the four races start in Corriganville Park, right off the 118 Freeway, and run under the freeway up to Rocky Peak into the wilderness area north of the freeway. The 6K starts outside of the park so runners are bused to the start and finish at the same place as the other three races. The 15, 30, and 50K runs start at half hour intervals beginning at 7 a.m. The terrain up the hill has trails that are more technical (rocks and ruts) than the trails around Arcadia and Sierra Madre so runners are constantly "on their toes" hopping from rock to rock going up the steep, windy trail.

At mile 5, the Chumash Aid Station, the 15K runners turn around and the 30 and 50K runners take the Chumash Trail down a long, beautiful single track for about three miles that ends on the streets of a subdivision adjacent to the wilderness area. After four quick (flat!) blocks on the street, the course turns right and you are back in the Marr Ranch Open Space. At this point the 50K runners go left and make a long out and back up into the hills while the 30K runners begin a long climb back up to the ridge line that takes them back up to Rocky Peak. There are bathrooms and a well-stocked aid station with lots of volunteers at the Marr Land intersection.

The climb up the hill is on a well used fire road with lots of shade. The views on this course are excellent, but the long climbs are challenging. Eventually you get back on a ridge line overlooking the Simi and San Fernando Valleys that connects you to the Chumash Aid Station where you originally made the turn on to the single track. Because of the terrain, you have to constantly watch your footing, especially now that you have only 4 miles left. From the Chumash Aid Station you now go down the steep, technical trail you came up to finish back in the park.

There is free Pizza and Soda for runners at the park and there was someone selling grilled hamburgers for one dollar. The course record for the 6K is held by our own Simon Cooper and a number of the Foothill Flyers placed in their age groups in all the races. The awards are a black bandanna (Bandit-get it!)

The races are run a little different than most; there are no earphones or ear buds allowed. This is probably a reasonable rule because the course is so technical; any distraction could easily precipitate a fall. There are no poles allowed on the course and this is also probably reasonable because the single track sections are narrow. The race uses the old, non-chip, timing and analog (manual) finishing. The best news is that there is no cut off in the 30K. Two of the seven aid stations are water only, but the others have a good variety of supplies, including Coke.

trail map

Bob Spears 30K finish

In short, a well run race on a very challenging course through some beautiful scenery. The race has an excellent web site and their results are posted onUltraSignup. This web site is very cool because it also has a list of all your ultra finish times for the last 12 years. Just click on the "results" link next to your name.

Trail photo Bandit trail 15k race
After a nice scenic jog through Corriganville Park, it is on up the switchbacks to the tunnel under the 118 freeway.

Trail photo Bandit trail 15k race
Looking back toward Corriganville and the freeway way down below from the top of the steep rocky climb about 1.5 miles out.

Trail photo Bandit trail 15k race
The 6K runners come up the Hummingbird Trail single track on the left and then go back down the Rocky Peak trail that all others have come up.

Trail photo Bandit trail 15k race
Nice thing about the 15K is you get to see all the faster people coming back from the Chumash turn around aid station.

Trail photo Bandit trail 15k race
At the bottom of the rocky downhill return you go back through the tunnel under 118 Freeway.

Trail photo Bandit trail 15k race
A welcome sight as runners loop around the clearing with the finish line area.


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