Saturday’s Bull Run Run 50 team event should add even more levity to what will be a great time on local trails in Northern Virginia. The registered Woodley Ultra Society’s (WUS) teams will have other cohorts scrambling; esteemed [de facto] WUS Prez, Keith Knipling, caused something of an in-group hullabaloo thanks to resourceful last-minute runner allocation aimed at vanquishing all other companies. Here is the page for all of the registered teams. Keith, Ragan, Gaby and I represent the coed team front as, you guessed it, “WUS Coed”. Kerry, Justine, Michele and Zsuzsanna comprise the WUS female squad, creatively titled “WUS Female”. The male squad, of which there are two, “WUS” and “WUS2” (we need a new name czar), round out the entire WUS ensemble with Aaron, Matt, Mario and Mitchell on one team and Doug, Tom, Art and Joe on the other. The biggest stand out named above has to be Matt Woods- look for him to cross the finish line first in my estimation. The other runners named above are all strong and hopefully everyone is excited and ready for a good time and a valiant effort. Saturday will be my first go at racing Bull Run, much less running over the trails, so I am doubly excited.
The plan for the next few days is to trim down the mileage prior to Saturday and attempt a mini-taper, if that is possible. I fully expect not to be tapered but do plan to run strong for as long as I am able and to serve “WUS Coed” to the best of my tired legs’ abilities. Sunday morning’s run, followed by a rather intense yoga session at Down Dog in Georgetown, capped a healthy training week at 112 miles. On 6am Saturday morning I arrived at Buck Hallow, just west of Sperryville, Virginia off of Route 211 in the Shenandoah National Forrest. It was dark still so I ran to the top of Route 211 without a flashlight, crested at Skylike Drive, then branched south on to the Appalachian Trail and up to Mary’s Rock to catch the sunrise; it did not disappoint. This venture also rewarded another prize: not far below the ridgeline two inches of fresh powder laid ready in wait. From the top of Mary’s Rock I cruised back down along the east side hallow trails practically to the base of Old Rag then up again to the Appalachian Trail, north back to Mary’s Rock, and finally down the technical 3.5 miles or so to Buck Hallow. 30 miles, 5 hours 20 minutes, 7,500 feet or so of climbing and I was back at the car. Overall, it was another glorious day in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I maintained a casual and pleasant pace the entire way and enjoyed the scenery as much as possible, which explains why I managed to roll my left ankle for a second time in only three days. Thankfully it feels much better and doubt it will be much of a concern by this weekend. Saturday’s last romp in the snow for the winter of 2011 was as equally surprising as this evening’s very warm run in a singlet. Go figure on the spring weather around here.
Here is a neat little tune aptly named Blue Ridge Mountains, by Fleet Floxes, which –in the video- pictures many a mountain that are distinctly non-Blue Ridge. But I’ve always enjoyed this little ditty. And here also is to the many more runs in the Blue Ridge Mountains this spring, summer and fall. Snow, heat, rain or sunshine, it doesn't matter, I'm looking forward to them all.