Friday, February 29, 2008

(Almost) Alone on the Pinhoti

This past Monday, I got in one of my key long runs in preparation for Oak Mountain. Jason had been raving about the Twisted Ankle Marathon in Summerville, GA, which is about 90 minutes north of Atlanta. So, I chose to make my way up to Sloppy Floyd State Park.

Bird's eye view of the race course.

However, instead of air filled with anticipation of a race start, I found a park that was completely desolate. Not one other soul there. Perfect! The Twisted Ankle race starts in the park and then goes up to a ridge where it connects to the Pinhoti Trail, which connects Alabama to the start (end?) of the Appalachian Trail here in Georgia.
You want trail? You got trail right here!

I started straight up the ridge. There really is nothing like starting a long run with a nearly two mile uphill. The Pinhoti was beautiful and had all types of terrain. Single track, double track, fire road, horse trails...you name it, it was there. Some portions of the trail, though, aren't used very much as evidenced by the leafs running ankle deep.

I didn't encounter anybody for almost three hours until I ran into a couple of horsemen. It was a good thing, too, since one of them had just fallen off the horse! He was literally lying on the ground face down when I got there. Fortunately, they were only about a hundred yards from their trailer. I stayed with them for about a half hour to make sure he was ok and then took off.

Overall, I spent over four hours out there. The run beat me up pretty good, but I'm starting to feel much better prepared for Oak Mountain. A perfect Monday!
A view of the ridge from Sloppy Jones.

P.s. For any of you considering the Twisted Ankle Marathon: sign up! Those are beautiful trails. (The half is full already).

1 comment:

Doug said...

Man, what a beautiful place to run. I'd be all over the trails, too, if I had anything like that within reasonable driving distance!