Coopers Rock Day Two dawned on us early risers getting coffee on for the others. We got out of the campground on time and headed over to the Day Use lot. Then use slower runners started chanting for a start, cuz we need all the time we can to complete the 19.1 mile run!
Pictures are taken, and we are off! I lead the group out of the parking lot, because I am eager to get going. David soon passes me, and then stops to take a few pictures, then overtakes me again. Lew comes up from behind and passes, and I try to step up the pace-and then BAM!!! Down I go! On the same darn right arm that I fell upon during Laurel Highlands!!! Dan, Adam, Charlie come upon me as I am shaking this off..the last I see of them about this day.
It's a good day for a run. The weather is beautiful; warm (hot) but not that humid. We hit the campground restrooms in around the 3 mile mark and I make sure and fill up the hydration bladder, having fallen short on the run the day before. I'm pretty happy I was out on the same course yesterday (in the opposite direction) so I actually know where I am on the trail.
Another trio of guys-I believe it was Dennis, Pete, and (new guy?) passed me on the section called Rattlesnake Trail. I was calling it "JL's Funhouse" because it seemed like I was following ribbons up and over as many boulders and through rhododern trees. We pass under and in front of the Cooper's Rock Overlook,
but we don't get the great view that you get from above.
It seems I am quickly through the Rattlesnake trail but Garmin rings and tells me otherwise: that was a 25 minute mile!
Rock City is still cool to run through, the boulders the size of a battleship on either side of you. I then hit the big downhill, which is down a creek bed. These mountaineers. So clever to not bother slugging it through the woods to make a trail, just use the creek!
I don't see any other runners out there for quite a while. I get to the one section where we are out in the open, going across a power line. It's hot and exposed. As I run, I keep looking for an orange ribbon. Am I going the right way? I hope so, but come on guys, a ribbon! Finally I see a wee bit of orange and am relived. This ribbon leads the trail back into the woods for 10 feet, then I pop back out of the woods and know I have to climb the big exposed section to the top of the power line!
As I reach the top, I see tiny figures behind me just starting on the section. I wave wildly, hoping they will see me and know they have to climb that big hill too!!
I am rewarded by a huge downhill now, all the way back to the Henry Clay Furnace, where I pick up the Advanced Ski Trail. I make the decision here to cut off the last 4 mile loop, since I'm out of water-again! It's only two miles to my vehicle. I got a nice 15 mile run in, and then sat around and drink beer and talked the rest of the day and evening.
My husband, Dennis, joined us on Saturday. He cooked for us, well into the evening. He had fun. I'm glad he took the time away from working to meet my friends. And now he's not known as the "Invisible Dennis" any longer!