Sunday, February 20, 2011

Forresthill Bridge

Workout of the Day


Run the Mountain

From the American River creek bed to the top of the Forresthill Bridge (>700 ft)


10 KB swings/1 HSPU

10 KB swings/2 HSPU

10 KB swings/3 HSPU

etc. until 10 swings/10 HSPU

The sun was shining this morning and the forecast only called for a slight chance of rain. Coupled with the fact that next week is a de-load week, there was no reason not to get out and explore. Gabe, Vince, and Nick made the drive up from Stockton around noon and met Sarah and I in Folsom. From there we carpooled the 20 minutes or so up to Auburn.

There were a few gathering clouds on the ride up and I began to second-guess the decision to go for this thing on such a day. As soon as the bridge came into view these reservations were swept away. This thing is UNREAL. It’s at least a half mile across and the ravine it spans falls away so immediately that it catches the eye by surprise. The riverbed is visible from the bridge, but only as the thinnest of green snakes flecked randomly with splotches of white water. From the pullout we had to walk only about a hundred yards or so to the staircase leading to the trail. With kettlebells in tow, the 5 of us made our way carefully down to the base of the lateral-most cement footing. From there our gaze stretched the length of the valley and it was, in a word, breathtaking. Beads of rain still clung and dropped intermittently from the undercarriage of the bridge, catching sunlight as they fell and obscuring the landscape with blinding specs of white. It was like something out of a Robert Frost poem.

Once we had drunk our fill of the scenery, we made our way down the switchback trail to the bottom of the ravine. There are plenty of routes up and down the side of this canyon, so we were careful to pick one that combined expediency and realism—meaning not too direct, but not too indirect either. The first leg of our version went from the water up the slope about 50 feet or so along loose and muddy terrain that was so steep that we crawled most of it. From there we caught the switchback and ran under the bridge, slowly climbing back and forth for the subsequent 650+ feet to the top.

Legs were exploding. Lungs were dry and acidic. We didn’t time the run, but it had to take somewhere north of 10 minutes to complete and everyone was gassed. I even felt some effects from the altitude towards the top.

After 20 minutes of sprawling recovery, we took up the kettlebells and did the above ladder. The handstand pushups felt as good as they ever have—I didn’t break sets until the round of 9. Our times were as follows:

Blair – 7:44

Vince – 8:07

Gabe – 8:24

Nick – 8:48

I really enjoyed this day and the people I was with. Big thanks to the Stockton guys for driving out and getting it done on the hill. Check them out at CF 209 Sport. Looking forward to the next round.


  1. That looks sick. Bummer to miss that day.

  2. Epic view dude! Nothing like a hill climb to annihilate your legs.