Our Sunday group, better known as the TOTs (which stands for Training on Trailz) took a field trip today to Lake McMurtry. We ran the trailz on the east side, and had an dozen who ran for 7 or 14 miles on some excellent single track. Bad zombie did not get a group pic--need to pull my head out. We took the north route first, cuz I think it's purtier. They're both awesome. All the rain had softened things up, and the run was so nice compared to concrete and asphalt.
We ran at about a 12 minute/mile pace, which is about my top comfortable speed. We got spread out a little, and mark sent us on. Dusti and her friend were a bit back from them and were doing quite a bit of walking, so we went on. I usually don't like to do that, but since there was really only one group today (we probably should have had two) we went on. The three behind us made the rounds, and made all right-hand turns, but found a wrong turn that took them right along the lake shore, and got a bonus mile in. I'm jealous!
The north side trailz have slightly more rocks than the south side, but both are tame compared to other Oklahoma courses.
I lost count of how many turtles we was on the course. Jen had the idea that it might be mating season, and these guys were cruising for babes.
The trailz were slightly more overgrown than when I was here a few weeks ago, and grass and forest growth swiped our legs along the way. This grass is a boarding gate for ticks to grab onto hairy legs. I managed two travelers, the Plate boys had a couple, but I think Jen had the most--which would seem to indicate that she needs to shave her legs.
We finished the north loop in just over 90 minutes, rehydrated, regrouped, and headed out for some more miles. Just Stormy, Brandon, Cameron, Jen, and I went for extra mileage, while Mark, Brynna, and Bob waited around for us. Kristina, Casey, Dusti, and her friend stopped with 7.2 or in Mark's case 8.1 miles.
I think the south loop is easier--I guess because when I camped here, I did it first. The first 2-3 miles do not have any steep sections at all, and seem like a fast course. My pace was a bit faster, but on this side, Stormy was leading the group and he had his fast shoes on. I love the wooden bridges, although there were no water crossings, despite all the rain we've had.
These four would rocket on ahead, and about once a mile, they'd stop to wait for the old guy. Hey--I stopped to take pictures! Gimme a break, would ya?
Spring flowers were in full bloom, and there were plenty of them.
Fiddling with my camera settings was costing me time, so I pocketed the camera and just ran. My second loop was almost exactly the same as my first, although I did slow down a little in the last mile.
On September 22, 2013, I am putting on the inaugural Red Dirt Shuffle--a Half Marathon, and a 10K right here on these trailz. Depending on whose Garmin you wanna believe, the course is 13.9 miles to 15.5 miles. In either case, it looks like it'll be slightly longer than a half marathon, although I might be able to tweak this a little by making a more direct route between trail-heads, and I may be able to choose to take a shorter loop on the north trailz. I won't do it if it makes the course goofy though. If it's long--well, I like to give you a little extra at my races anyway. AN ultra-marathon is technically any race longer than 26.2 miles. We could call the Red Dirt Shuffle a HALF ULTRA. Well, maybe not.
We all had a great time, and I love going to new places to run. We plan on having field trips monthly, or as close to monthly as we can. Don't miss the next one!!