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The usual trail run starts by waking up early morning on the right location. That is four minutes away from Malibu Creek State Park.

The clothes selection is governed by the weather, and in this winter I’m loving my Patagonia Thermal Airshed Jacket. It keeps me at goldilocks body temperature while on the move (however, if I were to stop moving, I would instantly freeze).

We are at the trailhead by first light and it’s cold and silent. It’s also the best time to spot deer. The first mile is easy with a steep but short downhill. Elevation gain begins in mile two with the Crags Road Climb, then it goes easy again along the creek, going across into the M*A*S*H site.

There are a handful of options when at the MASH site: make a sharp turn south to the Lost Cabin Trail, keep going along Malibu Creek until Crags Road reaches the end of the park, go along the creek and veer left and uphill onto Bulldog Motorway, or turn around.

The usual trail run is the last option. It covers a decent 5.25 miles with 1,142 ft of elevation gain.

The landscape changes with the weather, the time of day, and the seasons. But it stays magnificent.

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