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Friday, July 8, 2011

Bulldog? What’s She Talking About?

I’ve mentioned Bulldog quite a bit lately without any explanation what I mean.  Most Southern California trail runners know exactly what I’m talking about.   For me, Bulldog is my nemesis.  Specifically the Bulldog 50k trail race in late August. 


To begin, Bulldog is a dirt road that is a little over 3 miles in Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas California.  It’s a nice wide fire road, not technical at all, except there’s pretty much NO relief going up.  There’s little shade, and it’s STEEP as it takes you up into the Santa Monica Mountains.

Several races throughout the year go up or down Bulldog to complete a loop with awesome mountain and ocean views.  Once you get to the top of Bulldog, there’s still more climbing.  There’s hornets and bees during the summer time.  And it’s HOT.  Especially during August.

The official “Bulldog Race” takes place at the end of August, usually the hottest month in Southern California.  Trail Run Events hold a 25k and 50k.  I’ve run the 25k at least twice and DNF’d the 50k last year due to heat exhaustion.  This year is the 20th anniversary of Bulldog 25k/50k.

Xterra also puts on a 22k that goes up Bulldog.  I run that race in the spring, which means the weather is somewhat cooler.  But the race is still tough.  I’ve run Xterra’s “Bulldog” Malibu Creek race 3 times. 

Coastal Trail Runs also puts on a 25k and 50k in Malibu State Creek Park during the fall.  This race reverses the loop, meaning you run down Bulldog.  The race is much more pleasurable running up the Santa Monica Mountains.  HOWEVER, running down Bulldog is quite the quad killer.  I ran this race last year (and was stung by the same hornet twice going up “Backbone Trail”.) 

As I mentioned in previous blogs, after my 50k drop, I was so sick both physically and (somewhat emotionally) that I thought, or rather swore, that I would never attempt Bulldog 50k again (I’m too chicken!).  But semi-recently I’ve begun heat training with the hopes of perhaps attempting the 50k this August once again.  As of now, I’m not so sure what I’m going to do.  Even if I can get used to running in the heat, the cut-offs are tough for me.  Those of you who know me, know that I’m not that quick.

I’ll probably wait until the last minute to decide whether to register.  Hopefully by then, it won’t be sold out. 

ps.  the 50k is 2 loops of the 25k, giving the 50k about 5,000 feet of elevation gain.

Perhaps I’ll see you there. Smile


  1. I'm sure you'll have better results if you were to give it another shot. If I can pull it off financially, I'll try the 50k. This would the perfect build-up run for October. We'll see.

  2. It would be a perfect build-up for October. I still haven't decided on Bulldog. I'm just so chicken to make the decision & register.

  3. Either way up and at anytime of the year it's not an easy run!

  4. True, true Stuart. I'm hoping that Holy Jim will help me out a bit. Still haven't made up my mind if I dare run it again in August. : ?