Friday, June 7, 2013

50K Trail Relay

Last weekend I went for a nice trail run with my son-in-law on a section of the Laurel Highlands Trail.  That run reminded me that the Laurel Highlands Ultra was probably coming up soon, so when we got back to the house after our run I did a quick Google search and sure enough, the race was a week away!

The individual races were closed, they sold out months before, but it looked like the relays were still open!  I was intrigued, so I started calling around to see if I could quickly put together a team for the 50K relay. After a little bit of work, I found two other runners who were willing to take the challenge, so we submitted an application and crossed our fingers.

Oh yeah, our application was accepted!  Special thanks to Rick the race organizer for not telling us to buzz off.  The relays were closed on the web the next morning, so I think we got in based on an oversight and a kind heart. Thanks again Rick!

Regardless, we are now team #518 - Team S.A.C (Sherri, Amyjo, Clark)

I'll post more details on the race in the race report, but here's a brief rundown.  The Laurel Highlands Trail and an AMAZING hiking trail that runs from Ohiopyle to Johnstown, PA, covering a total distance of ~70 miles.  I've hiked every section of the trail at least once and some sections dozens of times. It is well maintained, beautiful and in some sections HILLY. One of the unique aspects of the trail is that it is routed right through the middle of interesting rock mazes and formations instead of around them. It really is one of the most beautiful trails I've had the pleasure of hiking.

The relay is three legs as follows:

Leg 1 - 11.6 miles from Ohioplye to the Jersey Hollow Road crossing.  This leg has over 3,000 feet of elevation gain, half of which comes in one long hill between miles 6.5 and 8.  Actually, nearly all of that elevation gain is packed into the first 8 miles.  This is the leg that I am doing on Saturday!

Leg 2 - 7.7 miles from Jersey Hollow Road to State Route 653.  This leg also has some elevation gain, but nothing like the first leg. Amyjo is running this leg.

Leg 3 - 11.7 miles from State Route 653 to State Route 31. This leg includes the highest point on the trail, at 7 springs, but is mostly small rolling hills without much elevation gain. This leg also crosses County Line Road near the 7 Springs entrance. Sherri is running this leg.

I'm really excited about finally doing this race. It's something that I've wanted to do, but it's just never worked out, until now!

Think of me on Saturday morning at about 8:30, I'll probably be in the middle of a 1.8 mile hill that climbs ~1500 feet from start to finish. I'll be smiling the whole way!


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