|East Coast Hills - Reading, PA|
See you in a couple of weeks.
I am doing some races at Beech Mountain this year with one of those races being the USA 10km Trail Championships. Thus I have been working on laying out a new course. At my new site there are options of twisting single track multi-use trails, grassy ski slopes, wide tree covered trails between slopes, and some primitive off the mountain single track trails. My previous race, Continental Divide Trail Race, got to be known for its challenging layout. I like challenging courses. When I think "Trail Championship", I think about, well... trails, mountain trails. I actually looked up the definition of trail, which of course there are several definitions of trail. Plus we use the word trail in many ways and add bike trail, horse trail, but I digress. The definition from Free Dictionary was "a marked or beaten path, as through the woods or wilderness." I like words like "beaten," "woods," "wilderness." Merriam-Webster defined trail as "a track made by passage especially through a wilderness; a marked or established path or route especially through a forest or mountainous region." Again words like "mountainous," I like that. "Trail Championship" to me doesn't mean a run through the local park that requires basically the same skill set a running on the road. Nothing against running on the road, but my sport is "trail" running. IT IS a different skill set. Trail running has very little to do with setting a rhythm and getting in a groove. It is the antithesis of rhythm. Trails are all about irregular, off-balance steps, so do you have the skills to maintain speed on that. Trail racing is about the ability to constantly shift gears, from a grinding uphill hike, to nearly flat out speed across a ridge or valley, to almost unconscious plummets downhill, and so on. Trail racing is a mental exercise of constant focus, yet loss of time or distance traveled. Trails often travel irregular terrain to get somewhere inconvenient often up and down steep grades. Trails are about taking a path less traveled. Maybe I will have to stop writing now because I've made myself want to go for a run in the mountains.
Okay I'll keep writing for now and look forward to running some Moab, UT trails this weekend. Alison says I can take things too far. I would disagree, but I do have to acknowledge that after listening to others comments about me for 40 years, I am an extreme personality. I had learned to keep some of my thoughts, and activities, to myself. Though when I found the trail community, I found my people. Quite a few in the trail community seem to find me almost normal. Well maybe at least not too out there by their standards. So anyway, about laying out the course for the 10km Trail Championships. I took Alison to run my idea for the course. I think she knew that it would tough, but she thought it may be a little too tough. I'll confess that I love to virtually dive straight off a mountain or grind straight back up, which you can see below. It is the shortest, quickest way down or up. But this route has a 1/2 mile 20% descent that Alison thought was a bit much. I just said, "Bend your knees more and think quick feet. It's kind of the position of downhill skiing, but you're running." This descent was followed by a 1/4 mile run on a fireroad, then a 3/10 climb at 30%. Yes, it goes straight up the mountain. So does this sound like too much?
|Just look at that beautiful dip!|
Interview on MTN 18