The idea of this low-key, local event is simple: two loop trails (4 mile loop on Saturday - 2.5 mile loop on Sunday); run/hike the loops as many times as you can/want within 7 hours.
Day 1 was run on a beautiful 4-mile loop on Moscow Mountain. Each loop has about 650 feet of climbing. My goal was to keep moving forward for the entire 7 hours. My dad flew up for the weekend to participate as well. We ran several miles together. He's still recovering from his quadruple bypass from about 20 months ago, but he's getting into better shape and is planning to run a 50k this fall. It's always a treasure to have some time on the trails with him.
Gathering before day 1 start
(Maniacs are everywhere)
(Maniacs are everywhere)
I love this trail
My legs were still tired from last weekend's marathon, and I knew (hoped) I was going out for 7 hours the next day, so I made it a point to take it pretty easy. Sadie ran with me all day too. Lots of climbing, lots of descending, then all over again. Temps were getting in the mid to upper 80's and I was feeling it, especially after 20 miles. Most of the trail is under shade, but it was still hot and hot weather running is not something I get a lot of practice with up here. But I trudged along and squeaked out 7 laps (28 miles) in just under 7 hours. Got home, took a long ice bath, cooked up some fajitas, and drank beer. It was so nice. Even Sadie looked a little tired when we got home.
Sitting with Dad and Sadie after a long day on the trails
Day 2 scared me. It was a shorter loop (2.5 miles), but in the first mile it climbs over 700 feet and it's a much more technical trail. And half the loop is exposed to the hot sun. I was surprised how well my legs felt when I woke up. Either the ice bath worked a miracle on me, or I'm getting into pretty decent running shape. Or both. I felt good, but the thought of running that loop for 7 hours still scared me.
It's all smiles...until after a loop
Amazing views on this one mile stretch along the ridge
Sun and dust and rocks and trail running
This day was an exercise in mental stamina. It was nice having an aid station every 2.5 miles, but it became increasingly difficult to start the next loop. And it was much hotter today, so much so that after 4 laps and 10 miles I called it a day for Sadie and leashed her up at the aid station in some shade with a bowl of ice water. She wanted to keep going, and probably would have even if it hurt her, but I didn't want to take a chance. She got 38 miles with me in two days and I'm sure she's happy about that.
I pushed through and completed 27 miles in the 7-hour time limit. I was happy with this. And about as tired as I've been in a long time. Home. Food. Water. Water. Water. Quite a weekend.
Let's see if I can get my legs ready for the White River 50 at the end of the month. (I know, I said I wasn't going to sign up for any more races this year...this is that last one, I promise.)