I finally was able to escape the boring low lands of the piedmont this weekend and get some real mountain running in on the amazing trails of Montreat. It was also good to see some good friends once again on the trails. For Saturday, Mad A had planned a serious Pitchell training route for us that would send us up and down the east and west ridges surrounding the town. He dubbed it "The Triple Threatdown." Needless to say this route was brutal, with close to 4000 ft of vertical gain and 4000 ft of loss on 11 or so miles! Mad A, Jon, William, Damian, Andrew, and myself all went forth from Lake Susan to tackle this beast. It soon became clear to me that as soon as I started climbing up Rocky Head trail that I wasn't in great mountain running shape. Although, I still had a blast and coming off a cold probably wasn't helping either.
Sunday, I was suppose to run with Damian, Dave, and Terry 17 miles from the Folk Art Center to Craggy Gardens via the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. But the 8 am start was a bit too early for me and I didn't make it. I was pretty bummed too, because that would have been a great run on some unexplored trail on the Pitchell course. At least I got a few more hours of sleep in and got some more school work done. I then went back over to Montreat and ran up to the summit of Greybeard Mountain. The Greybeard trail is phenomenal, especially the old trestle switchback section. It is a must run trail as is the West Ridge trail I came down back into Montreat. This was another run was about 12 miles with 3500 ft of gain. Just amazing mountain running.
Next week, Little Hump Fitness Challenge!