Wednesday, August 29, 2007

West Coast, Here I Come!

Just introduced another friend to trail running the other day. She kept saying "how much fun" it was. No doubt that she will continue to increase her mileage on the dirt...

I'm getting excited for a little West Coast trip over the holiday weekend. I've got a couple of trail runs planned as well. The destination is Vantage, WA, which is in central Washington state right on the Columbia River Gorge. Here is a picture to illustrate the immense beauty of the place:

I'll be sure to bring a camera along on my runs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pine Mountain

A couple of weekends ago, I just had to get away. It had been one of those weeks at work, my girlfriend was out of town and a long weekend of (yes, more) work was staring right at me.

My alarm went off at 5 a.m. After a quick breakfast, I was off to an area about 75 mins south of Atlanta known as Pine Mountain. It includes the Pine Mountain Trail, which is about 23 miles long (that's just the main trail; there are a number of connecting trails, etc. combining to a very neat trail network) and is located inside Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park. The Pine Mountain Trail Association is a great organization who helps to keep this trail one of the most well-marked and beautiful around.

(signs a well-marked trail)

The run got very interesting early. About two or three minutes into my run, I spotted a black and white dog on the trail. As I approached, it would run away (always keeping me in sight) and then stop until I got too close again. This process kept repeating itself about ten times until the dog finally ran away for good. It made me wonder where that dog came from. Was it a runaway dog? Did it belong to a hiker? How long had the dog been in the woods. Just to be sure, I had picked up a rock, because on a Saturday morning at 7 a.m. Pine Mountain is desolate.

It was so empty in fact that I didn't run into anybody until about 15 mins after I turned around (mile 10) to head back. It was a military person (presumably from the nearby base) in full camouflage. Seeing a human actually made me kind of jump (good sign that I had really been running a long time by myself). In all, I ran into four people including two fellow trail runners.

(half way point)

The trail is beautiful throughout and a little hillier than one might expect in central Georgia. I was also surprised by how technical the trail was. Plenty of rocks, creek crossings, steep sections, etc. Good times! Unfortunately my Camelbak wasn't enough in terms of a water source, so the last 45 minutes were a bit of a drag.

All in all, this run was one of the most rejuvenating I've ever run. This was despite the 70+ hours of work the five days before (or the 100+ hours over the next seven days). There is something about being out on the trail, all by yourself, alone with the elements that puts (most) everything back into perspective.

Running Across America

This is a simple blog recommendation. Click here to read about Bjorn's adventures as he is running across America.

What's neat about this blog is not only that he is on a trans-continental run, but that Bjorn keeps sharing his impressions of the United States, which are straight forward, spot on and oftentimes amusing. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Tony Krupicka - winner of Leadville 100 2006 and Rocky Racoon 2007.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Reasons to Love Running #3

Unwinding on the Trail

After an extremely stressful week, I just had to get away. Get out. Unwind. 20 miles on the Pine Mountain Trail did the trick. It's amazing what some time on the trail can do.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Reasons To Love Running #2

(I'm cheating, because it's really "Reasons to Love Trail Running" this time)

Showing Someone Else Your Favorite Trail

A coworker and I went running today. He just started running a couple of years ago but has already finished Nashville's Country Music Marathon and is preparing for this year's Chicago Marathon. However, he has never really run technical single track trail. So, it was a treat to take him to my "home trail" at Cochran Shoals. Even though it was getting dark towards the end and it was hard to see, he was loving every minute of it. I think, I converted him...

(image of the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta, courtesy of Wikipedia; pictures taken by yours truly coming soon!)