El Prieto Handicap 2013
The best little race in the world
El Prieto Handicap History
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Third Saturday in May
Depends on who you ask
The El Prieto Handicap race was created in 1994. At that point, as a runner, I was very discouraged. I was doing my best and still couldn’t get in the top three in my age group. So I created a race I could win.
It was at this time that I heard of several races that I liked for their individuality. I came across the Dipsea, first run in 1905 and is considered the oldest trail race in America. The Dipsea is a point-to-point race that handicaps each runner based on age and gender.
Then I heard about a race in South Africa called Comrades. It is a 90 kilometer (approximately as the course changes a little every year) race and began in 1921. The course alternates direction each year and has been dubbed the “up and downs”.
So in 1994 I created El Prieto (named for the single track trail that makes up about half the race) using bits and pieces of the two races I admired.
In 2009 There was a fire in the Angeles Crest Forest called the Station Fire. The fire has caused the closure of the whole area where the race has been traditional run. So at least for the 2010 version of the race it will be on the south Arroyo Trail. We were back on the El Prieto trail in 2012.
2013 will be the last year of the El Prieto Handicap race. It has been fun but time to move on.