|On the way to the trailhead... Ehhhh|
|On the way home... Ahhhhh|
While browsing around, I stumbled upon this challenge here in my back yard. Its called the Ohiopyle 50K (Gate-to-8 X 2) posted on the North East Ohio Trail Club (NEO Trail Club) website. I'm not a member of the club, but found the posted challenge. Whether you have to be a club member to be listed after completion I don't know. Either way, it gives me a goal to accomplish that I haven't done. I know I'm not in super woodz ninja shape right now, so I figured it was time to incorporate the Gate to 8 section of the Laurel Highlands Hiking trail into my week of running as well as some other quicker tempo runs.
|The Barn at Bear Run Nature Reserve|
Tuesday 7/2 Laura's Tiny Tulip Traverse, 5 miles - This is a run that Laura put together after my Bear Run Trail Run challenge. What a great 5 mile (apprx.) loop in Bear Run Nature Reserve. It follows Tree, Rhododendron, Tulip Tree, Snowbunny, Rhododendron and Tree Trails in a counter clockwise lollipop. The route climbs 718' and is on some pretty amazing trails (especially Tulip Tree) It was my first time running this route and I wanted to apply a reasonable effort. I ran the wonderful course enjoying the steepening climb from the car up to Tulip Tree... Tulip Tree is freakin' fun. What else can I say. This is the best .8 mile trail I've ever run. It is so fast and dabalicious. Quick footwork on slightly downhill single track, runners high for sure! It had to be built by runners. I wish it was way longer. Snowbunny leads back across the hill and down to the early trails you started on, then finishes at the sign-in. Warm and humid as described above. Ran the course in 45:41, with one routing mishap.
Wednesday 7/3 LHHT Gate to 8, 15.75 miles - I was planning on running to MP 10 and back for 20 miles, but... Everything was going well. I ran an "easy" pace NOBO, hiking most of the hills. I was hearing some distant thunder while climbing up "heart attack hill" towards MP7. By the time I had MP 8 in sight, the sky was quite black and the thunder was persistent. Retreat was my thought. I barely took 20 strides SOBO and the skies opened up and the rains came... and came... and came. I bombed heart attack hill in a muddy running creek with extremely limited visibility. My visor helped, but I found its limitations. It was similar to winter white-outs I've experienced. My nonchalant pace quickened on the return trip with rains stopping and skies clearing briefly for about a mile. Despite the heat, slippery trail and slug like pace I managed a 3:23:44 overall. X2 laps would put me under 7hrs for the 50K Challenge. Seems like a good start. Elevation +4081, -4064.
Thursday 7/4 Bear Rocks Loop, 4 miles - It was the Fourth of July. I squeezed in a short, slow, road run in the sun. Ran the loop in 29:03. Elevation +416, -406. Not much to say.
Thursday 7/5 Yough River Trail, 2 miles - Ran with Laura and her sore knee. Rest day, spent most of it lounging by the river at the Oasis...AHHHHH! Then went running. 22:08.
|River art = Rart at "The Oasis"|
Elevation +9,405', -9,306'