Jake put on the brakes, and after reviewing the mathematical equations and procedures for bounding over the chasm, decided to take the easy way around and leave the leaping to me. Dana chickened out too.
We popped out on the gravel road, which is about mile one on the race course. Those wanting to kick it into passing gear can get their position here. You'll run on ~.3 miles before tucking back into the woods.
We enjoyed miles of solitude, interrupted only a couple of times by polite mountain bikers.
There are a few areas on the north lopp where old cedar growth has been cut down and eliminated. This has changed the look of the course over the past few years--once heavily wooded areas are now wide open spaces, but also that gives spectacular views of the lake. It also gives the course a bit of variety. It has been a change that has made the course even better.
About the lake--the lake level is down. I have never seen it so low. It is a near certainty that there will be no water crossings this year.
Mile three--Jake still has a bit of spring in his step. He is usually a five mile dog, but yesterday, he went eight. We also did eight yesterday, but we were taking it at an easy pace.
All of these pics except the first one were taken with my Canon SD960. I had lost the battery charger AGAIN, and my new one arrived a couple days ago. That's good, because my iPhone has been going wonky--turning itself off saying the battery is dead when it's not.
Most of the trailz at Lake McMurtry are dirt, with a few roots. But there are a few brief rocky areas. Areas like this make up maybe 1% of the running surfaces.
This was my routine for the day. Jog a little, stop and take pictures, and then run to catch up with Dana and her trail guide.
Jake had got ahead a couple hundred yards, and took a break to let us catch up.
Dana was running well today. She was also on her second eight miler of the weekend. This is such an easy place to enjoy trailz. No super long hills, plenty of nice gradual downhills, and very little super technical crap.
About mile five, nearing the shore on the northern part of the lake.
Lake McMurtry's version of Rock City.
Almost to the North Aid Station. We could hear the nearby gun range firing off hundreds of rounds of ammo.
Jake was not bothered by the gunfire, but was very attentive to things running around in the woods. Three or four times, he'd bolt into the woods. Squirrel? Probably. He'll also chase deer, for about 20 steps.
Dana stops to call the hunter back to the trail.
He came charging back. I should put my Garmin on him. I brag on his eight miles, when it's probably ten.
Dana climbs out of a ravine on the north out-and-back loop.
Mile six, heading south toward the start/finish of the race.
Trail running doesn't get much better than this.
The last open area we ran through. Our pace had slowed. The five mile dog was twice regenerated by a swim, but was in full-on zombie mode.
This trail turns back to the gravel road we were on earlier, and is about one mile from our car. We ran the road at a decent pace, tucked back into the woods and weaved our way back to the car taking the other more traveled trail that skips the Leap O'Doom.
Here's to a couple of overachievers, running 8 trail miles back to back. Jake was treated to a Wendy's Jr Cheeseburger, and about half of Dana's as well. (I wasn't sharing!) It was a good day for all of us.
Lake McMurtry 50K/25K/12K is on April 6th. This is an awesome race. It was my first trail race back in 2003, and I have never missed it since, either running or race directing it. Click here to join in on the fun!