Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Ring - Attempt #2

Saturday - Sept 3 2011 I again attempted the Ring, a circuit of the 71-mile orange-blazed Massanutten Trail in the George Washington National Forest. Last year I made it 46 miles before stumbling to a halt at Edinburg Gap. This year I went a little further to 56 miles at Woodstock Tower before losing my lunch and dinner on the trail. Maybe next September will be my finish. It was a hot day and it never cooled down much at night, so I'm sure that played into my difficulties. Still, for some strange reason, I like this run more than many others. Perhaps it's the inability to finish that keeps bringing me back. Below are my Garmin waypoints from my time on the course. As you can see, going clockwise, I still have an unfinished section to complete.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

The Wild Oak Trail in July

A July 30th loop of The Wild Oak Trail going Clockwise

I don't know how different the loop is going counter-clockwise difficulty wise

The Wild Oak Trail - July 30, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maryland AT Run - June 25, 2011

L to R; Jimmy Hessler, Betsy Nickle, Donnie Chapman, Gavin watson, Joe Shramka, Jeff Garstecki, Art Perraud, Dwight Mikulis and Greg Lepore

A small group met at 4:15AM on a hot June Saturday morning in Harpers Ferry WV. to carpool from the finish to the start of the 40 mile journey on the Md AT run.
The run officially started at 5:52AM at Pen Mar with a short run north to touch the PA line on the AT, where runners then headed south just 6 miles to the first aid drop at Raven Rock Rd.
After that rocky section, it was on to Wolfsville Rd at about 10 miles for additional aid before the climb up to Annapolis Rock where some took a 1/2 mile detour to check out the view.

We were fortunate to have the parking lot at Route 40 for the 18.5 mile aid where watermellon, gatorade and everything you'd expect was waiting in Doug's car.

We then ran across the I-70 pedestrain bridge and on to Washington Monument State Park, followed by a nice downhill into the South Mountain Inn/Dahlgren Campgound at mile 23.4. Dwight had aid there in his car for everyone and there are also full restrooms and water available at the campground.
The next section is just over 7 miles to Gathland State Park at mile 30.6, where there are soda machines, water and restrooms. From that section it is a 7 mile stretch to Weverton Cliffs, followed by a short 3.3 mile section to downtown Harpers Ferry by way of the pedestrian bridge crossing into West Virginia for a 3 state run.

Some of the finishers enjoy libations and parking lot bathing.

Results of First Semi-supported MD AT Run - June 25 2011
Jeff Garstecki40.9M8:40
Donnie Chapman40.9M10:18
Gavin Watson40.9M10:??
Joe Shramka40.9M10:??
Betsy Nickle40.9M11:00
Art Perraud40.9M11:00
Greg Lepore23.4M~
Dwight Mikulis23.4M~
Kerry Owens16M~
Doug Sullivan16M~
Jimmy Hessler12M~

More photos here:
MD AT RUN - Jun 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MMT - May 14-15, 2011

The 4AM start of the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 Mile - Fort Valley Va.

What a difference a year can make. Weather it was the WUS infuence, my awesome pacers, better nutrition, better endurance or a litle of all, I had a great run and felt much stronger than last year throughout the race.

Mile 12—After Edinburg Gap - Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

We were lucky the rain didn't begin until later in the event. The start was upper 60's and humid. The rocks were a bit slippery especially after the rain began which was on and off all night Saturday and Sunday morning. Well before that, the heat took a toll on many, for me around mile 40 at 2PM or so. I just had to find a way to take in food. Not much seemed appetizing, but I managed to eat some noodle soup, some turkey and cheese and some other salty chips and pretzels. After the sun started to set and it cooled off, I felt better and started moving better than expected. I had run a lot of this first 40M with Joe Shramka, but knew it was just a matter of time before he took off which he then did.

Joe Shramka being paced by Betsy Nickle
- Photo Bobby Gill

When I got to the mile 63 aid station, it was around 9:30PM which I thought was a great pace for me. I saw Brittany, Tyler, Dwight and Art. They all helped me get filled up, fed and on my way. Art started pacing me at this point. This is the same place my friend Glenda Rodriguez paced me last year and I complained to her all night about my various ailments. I don't think I was nearly as delirious this year.

Art did a great job keeping me moving and focused. He kept the conversation going, and never pushed the pace. At 11:30PM Art finished his first section with me and Dwight Mikulis picked me up for the slog through Jawbone Gap and Kerns Mountain in the fog. Dwight and I came across David Ploskonka having energy problems up on Kerns Mtn. He was stopping frequently due to this. We helped him all we could and kept moving making sure he was OK before we left. (David ended up finishing fine in 31:47). Dwight was able to get me through this tough section and out to mile 77 where I got some camp style cooked eggs and some cold soda. This is where I picked up Art again. Martha Nelson greeted me with Joe Clapper and Michele Harmon busy running the party aid station. Meanwhile, Aaron Schwartzbard was busy snapping pictures with his fancy camera. Brian Greeley had a few beers and fell asleep and was nowhere to be seen. Tom and Kirstin were there since Tom switched from runner to volunteer mode. I guess Sara Stanley wasn’t there this year. Mile 77 is truly becoming party central in Fort Valley. If I don’t run next year, I might have to just hang out here for a while.

Art Perraud waiting to pace Doug for second time at 2:50AM
- Photo Aaron Schwartzbard
Doug gets ready for Bird Knob climb with Art
- Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

Art and I made it up the climb onto Bird Knob only to be greeted with torrential rains. My feet were starting to hurt but it didn't make sense, because my trail shoes generally drain the water very well. More on that later. Within 5 miles, there was Dan Pesta’s Corn Chowder aid station up on the mountain literally in the middle of nowhere. Good stuff! Thanks to Dan and his crew.

Kerry Owens pacing Doug
- Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

Kerry picked me up at mile 87 around 6AM at Quatro Hubbard’s Aid Station. She then ran me all the way to the finish, no breaks or slacking allowed! My overall time was 30:39, more than 4 hours off last years’ time.
As far as my feet go, I don't tend to have foot problems so was surprised when they started hurting in the rain. Apparently I wore the wrong shoes.

Both pairs look the same, right? The ones I grabbed out of my car were the ones on the left which are Gore-Tex. Note to self, never use Gore-Tex unless it is frozen outside, Gore-Tex does not let the water out of your shoes. See results below.