The schedule called for 14-17 miles run..so I decided to treat myself and go run nice trails at Mohican State Park, without the mud and overgrown briers of Salt Fork.
I didn't look at my old Mohican 100 Aid Station mileage, because I was sure the Red/Green Section would be 15 miles.
I ran by myself. There was probably a few folks I could have invited along, but I just wanted to arrive whenever I got there, and have some time in the woods to myself.
The Red Loop starts up the mountain bike trail, then splits off to a bridle trail. The new Mohican 100 course doesn't use this at all anymore. I have not been on the Red Loop in about two years. I am surprised at how wide the bridle trail is. And how smooth the dirt is. And how well I am running on it.
It is cool to have a marker, a measurement, of a trail or course that you have travelled in the past. I was running on sections of this trail that I had only hiked up in the past. I am much less fat and far more fit than the last time I traversed this section of trail.
Soon I am running past Sand View Cemetery, stop where I have cached some water, and continue to "The Rock". This is where Rock Point Aid Station was, about mile 52 in the race. The Red Section ends here, and the Green Section begins.
The Green Section is a bit wider too than remembered. About a half mile past the creek crossing, they move my trail! They have bulldozed trees, and now the trail goes off to the right! The little bridle trail marker has been moved too.
Hmm. Do I follow the "new trail" but I don't know where it goes...or try to scramble through the barrier and follow the old path? I decide to follow the new trail. It takes me uphill, about a half-mile or so, and then abruptly ends intersecting another trail. Hmm. Left, or right? I know I am still below the township road that I need to cross..I go left.
I am very happy for "old Mohican" carsonite markings! I come across one, pointing the other way. Huh? So I am back on the course? It doesn't look familiar at all (it's also wider, have been bulldozed in the past years..) Ok. I run tentatively down the path, start downhill..it's not familiar at all..
Until I go around a curve, see the telephone poles and the township road! Oh yeah, I know where I am! Runnable downhill next to the road, which I will cross soon.
It had been clear cut around the telephone poles, but that was two years ago, and the trail is much narrower..and it seems much shorter thru here..but maybe I am a little bit faster going down the trail??
I cross Rt 97, and encounter a few more horse people. I decide to hop on the mountain bike trail, and take that back to the Fire Tower, thinking it's going to be short cut, as I am at twelve miles or so on my Garmin.
Except I don't know the mileage on the mountain bike trail section (I've only been on it once or twice) and as mountain bike trails do, it meanders and twists all over the place! I'm about out of water, and just wondering when I will get to the Fire Tower, where I will still have two miles back to my vehicle!
Finally I get close to the Fire Tower, and just bushwhack to the road. I had planned on just running down the road to the Covered Bridge, but that loses its appeal, due to no berm and high volume of traffic. I cut off some more trail by taking a gas line gravel road directly downhill, as I know Hog Hollow Trail will intersect it.
Hey! It's just like old times! I am on my last section of trail, tired, hungry, out of water. It's too bad Gabe and Regis are not with me; they would typically finish their run, and then come back down the trail to look for me.
Crossing one of the footbridges, some fierce critter stings me in the upper arm! I smack it, then stop to extract a huge stinger! Owwwww! I hope there is some Tylenol back in my vehicle!
So Garmin reads twenty miles for the day...oops. But when you run a loop, it's not like you can just sit down in the middle of the trail at mile 15 and call it done.
A great day on the trails. Got rejuvenated out there. I needed that.