Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dirty Spokes 2010 Trail Running Series

This was the inaugural running of the Dirty Spokes Trail Running Series. This was a six race series that took the competitor to various location across the northern arc of Atlanta. While putting on trail races is not anything new to the Dirty Spokes Team, this series was well done. For those looking to enter trail running with the short distances or just looking to have fun in the woods the series was not a let down.

The races ranged from 5k to 8 miles with all sorts of surprises from the wall in Canton, many a water crossing, and capping it off with 2 mile up hill followed by a 1 mile down hill.

It took a few races to get use to things since this was my first venture into trail running. After figuring out a few things including changing my training habits and going out to have a good time, the series really became very enjoyable. When you talk to other runners you get all sorts of advice. Some of it you do not get until you really figure it out for yourself. Once you figure out what works for you and what you want to accomplish the rest starts to fall in place.

With the close of the series it was a nice reward to have completed all 6 runs and also place second in my age division in points. I will say that I just racked up enough points by going to all of the events.

I am thankful to the Dirty Spokes Team for putting the series together. I do know I am looking for to participating in additional trail runs in the future. For now I am looking to recover a couple of sore points, get back to hiking and backpacking, get into a bit of mountain biking, and keeping an eye out for any trail runs that pop up around the area. As the adventures come my way I will log each of them.

See you on a trail......

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sawnee Mountain 3.5m Trail Run

The sixth and final race in the 2010 Dirty Spokes Trail Run Series took advantage of Sawnee Mountain hiking trail system. The trail is a pretty rocky mostly double track set of trails. Sawnee Mountain Park is maintained by the Forsyth County Park and Recreation department. Like with the five races before, 8:30 AM start time started the run.

There were a lot of entrants for this race. There must of have 200-250 people. It was nice to see such a good turn out. The weather was not too bad despite the overnight passing thunderstorms in the area. The run started in the parking lot with a quick loop around the parking lot to spread out the field a bit. Once out of the parking lot the real work began. It was time to climb the 2.1 worth of uphill. Did a combination of running and speed hiking the hills. The first mile and a half took you up the Lower Laurel Trail which pass by the South Old mine shaft. Past the mine shaft started the Indian Seats Trail which gives the runner a quick view of the Bettis Tribble Gap entrance parking lot area. That point continues pretty flat until the hard right to the top of Indian Seats Trail. This was pretty much a speed hike to the top. The hike to the top does give you a great view of trees and quite a bit of Yucca plant. Once to the top it is nothing but downhill. There is however one catch. The steepest parts of the downhill are also the rockiest. About halfway down the trail changed from Indian Seats Trail to Upper Laurel Trail. The downhill part of the Indian Seats was a challenge. Made pretty good time going downhill. Got in line with a couple of runners to keep a solid pace. It was not until after the full decent and last major turn before the sprint to the finish to the visitor center where a rock reached out and grabbed the shoe. Went down using my hand and hip to slide a bit which allowed for a quick popup and continue the pace. Wondering a bit if the camera guy actually got the spill or not. The sprint to the finish was a good solid run crossing the line in about 37 minutes.

The results of the ascent and descent of Sawnee Mountain have been posted.

Thank you to Dirty Spokes, sponsors, and volunteers for a great race and an awesome series. Looking forward to seeing the calendar for 2011.