The gang: Too many folks to recognize, yet among this crowd are the most skilled trail runners and amazing human beings on this planet!
The title of this post was inspired during Saturday’s Bent Creek Gobbler, a 15-31 mile adventure run in Pisgah National Forest. Somewhere around 31 people showed up to celebrate November on the leaf covered trails and dirt roads and to experience camaraderie without competition.
Somewhere around mile 8 of my run-I was sharing companionship with Drew Shelfer and Doug Blackford. The 3 of us passed a young family who stepped off the trail to let us by. As we passed, the little girl, all dressed in pink asked, “Mommy, why are those people running?”
Doug waved at mom and daughter and with a smiling voice responded, “good question.”
This prompted a discussion. Drew’s initial reaction was “so I can eat more”, (With a new baby in the family, Drew has discovered smoking as a new "at home" adventure. (Let me clarify: meat smoking-not weed or ciggis). Doug’s was because he can and because he sleeps better, my initial thought this day was “because I can and nothing else works as good”. Our conversation was lighthearted, yet still a bit philosophical… As I made a pit stop and the guys went along ahead, I continued to think of the girl in pink and her question. I also run because it is freeing and fun and I can fly while running. I have articulated this aloud before and know it is still true today….
So, I wonder, what brought 30+ runners together to run on the trails of Bent Creek? Some drove 15 minutes, others for 3 hours! We come from different places, have our reasons, yet still become kindred spirits in the joy of flying on our feet in the woods…Something to ponder miles 19-25 of a 28 mile solo training run!
On Saturday, some runners covered 30 miles, others of us went for a bit less. I choose to go an easy 20-at least a “easy” as one can running on this part of the Mountains to Sea Trail. I had a wonderful time-running, taking pictures, catching up with folks I haven’t been around since this time last year. I did have to slow down quite a bit after 13 miles as my legs are still feeling the residue from a combination of last weekend’s Mountain Masochist and Wednesday’s intervals. I am well reminded to “back off” in volume until JFK 50 next weekend.
Gail is a recent transplant to Boone from Wyoming. Gail and I met last month at Dark Mountain Challenge trail runs. I was drawn to her by her Miwok 100k shirt. We saw each other a few weeks later at Ridge to Bridge Marathon and again chatted. Gail was excellent company for the 2.5 hour drive. It was neat to hear a little about her world and experiences out west. I expect she and I will share in other adventures as the months unfold!
Saturday’s run was a fun treat! The whole weekend, really. It has been unseasonable warm-10-15 above average mid November temps for the NC high country. Today I ran 10 miles-not for training-just because it was beautiful and warm and because I could! I divided the miles into 2 runs, dealing with hanging and taking down laundry in the interim. (Yes! Warm enough to dry clothes on the line!)
This is our clothesline this afternoon...What a weekend! Trail clothes drying on the line mid-November...This weekend's weather was amazing!
Mama Grey loved the weekend sun too! She is resting up for a "night on the town", cat style!