Last weekend, Hannah and I went down the road to Asheville and meet up with the good folks of WNC Trailrunner to run the annual Bent Creek Gobbler. This run is a great figure 8 loop through the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and a highlight of my fall running season. I was wanting to tackle the the full 50k this year, but some lingering injuries and an actual race in the plans for the next weekend changed my mind and I settled for running the first 16 mile loop. Needless to say, I ran the first loop pretty impressively considering I hadn't ran at all the week leading up to the run and was still feeling tight in the hips. I tried to stay with the lead pack for most of the way up the 6 mile gravel road to the intersection of the Shut-in trail. I ended up running that section in about 50 minutes, which was really solid. I ran with Matt Kirk on most of the Shut-in section, continually pushing the limits of comfortable pace trying to stay with him and his speedy turnover. I love this section of the Shut-in trail, especially this time of year because the views through the trees are magnificent. By the time we reached Bent Creek Gap Rd, Jon and Luna (woof) caught back up with us. I tried to hang with them once we reached the road, but I had obviously ran a bit too hard for those first 14.5 miles and the tank was dry. Plus, I didn't want to injure my aching muscles anymore than I already had on this steep descent. I finally made it back to the start in about 2 hours and 10 minutes, which is definitely faster than last year's effort. The real fun started though after the run, with hanging out waiting on the finishers and indulging in some select adult beverages. Huge thanks to Adam Hill for continually putting on this fantastic run each Thanksgiving weekend. Gobble Gobble!