Monday, February 20, 2012

TOTs at Pumpkin Holler

Sunday the TOTs took to the road. (OMG!!! PAVEMENT?!?!?!?) No, we made a road trip to run faraway trailz.To the Pumpkin Holler area. We met at Turkey Mountain, and carpooled to Eagle Bluff, starting place for the Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd. After an unscheduled pee detour, we pointed the TATUR train to the top of the Nickel Preserve.

This location is where the Waffle Aid Station was for the Hunnerd Milers. We lined up for a group pic. Brian was videoing--playing with a newish camera. (Jealous!!)

I stood at the gate and gave directions--no one was paying much attention. But the route was easy--run down the hill about 3.5 miles to the next gate, then turn around and come back. Some planned to run one way and catch a ride back--a downhill point-to-point. Some were not turning back, but going on and joining the actual Pumpkin Holler course, crossing Bathtub Rocks (site of a new aid station next year) and passing the new Shoreline Aid Station, before hitting the Pumpkin Flat Road (Yes, it's named Pumpkin FLAT) and running back UP to the cars. I was the sag wagon.

Kathy turns and asks if I'm sure I don't wanna come along. I did, but I had promised to be the driver.

The downhill out was steep in places, but mostly gradual. The group made good time.

I drove the 9.2 miles to the green gate where they would come out. I parked and then ran out to meet them, thinking I'd get at least a mile and a half out and then run back.

But I made it only a half mile before the speedsters came blazing by.

The last 1/4 mile was on a grass road. Good barefoot running???

LOOK!! It's Brian RUNNING!!!

Brian, Ru, and Laurie caught a ride back. We chatted with the overachievers going the big loop as we passed, and stopped very briefly to look at the Shoreline Aid Station location before heading back to the start point.

Laurie, Ru, and I decided to run out to meet our friends running back. I again thought I'd get at least a mile in before reaching the group. But after barely a half mile, here they came. Edward was taking the hill easy, and I kept going til I met him, and we headed UP.

The last bit of climb was right at 300 feet in .3 of a mile.

But we made it. Not much harder than a stair climber, but much prettier. We had such an awesome day for some trail miles.

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