Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mohican In The Dark

Last Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, a group of us crazy ultrarunners set out for an all nighter on the trails of Mohican. The group included David Huss, Michael Patton, Tom Patton, Stephen Zeidner, Ashley, a friend of Stephen, Jay Smithberger, Star Blackford, Suzanne Pokorny and myself. We started at 9pm on Saturday night from the parking lot across from the Mohican Adventures Campground, hoping that we would get through the night before the thunderstorms hit! I think there would have been more runners joining us, if it wouldn't have been for the high threat of storms!
Off we went with headlamps and flashlights to light our way on the dark trails. It was a cloudy night but very humid and we were all drenched in sweat within a couple of miles. For me, it was all about staying on my feet and trying to keep up. It took me awhile to adapt to the darkness, as we started on the orange loop toward the Covered Bridge. My dear husband, Mark was kind enough to crew for us, with the first stop at about mile 8.5 at the road crossing before the CB. By this time, we had lost Tom and Suzanne, later finding out that Suzanne turned around at about 3 miles and Tom missing the crew wagon altogether. Sorry, Tom! The rest of us continued to the CB and stared on the red loop to the Bridle Staging Area where we met Mark again,to refuel. We even meet a freindly opossum, who was kind enough to lead us down the trail! At this point, I was feeling tired and sluggish but I wanted to keep pushing on knowing it was good training for Massenutten. David and Michael were also struggling with stomach issues :( Three river crossings and some steep uphills, we finally made it to Rock Point where we once again refueled. Michael decided to call it quits at mile 21 because of his stomach which left us with 5 runners, Jay, David, Stephen, Star and myself. Ashley had stopped at the Bridle Staging Area and had declared us all crazy!!
About 14 more miles to go, we started on the green loop. I was definitly feeling the effects of the high miles I had put in during the week. I started to lag behind the others but I knew where I was going so I just started to take my time. Most of the run was rough for me because I think I'm alittle more careful of my footing than the younger runners, who seem to fear nothing! Anyways, we got to the FireTower, where Mark had left us more aid. Down to the CB with about 4-5 miles left. At this point, Jay and Stephen took off with Star not far behind them. David and I, both struggling, took our time through the rocks along the river, over the North Rim hill down to the entrance of the State Park. All five of us meet there and finished the run together!! We ended up with around 37 miles, not sure exactly because everyone's garmins went dead and it took us alittle over eight hours. I sure was tired both, sleepy tired and physically tired! All in all, it was a good run although I struggled, but I guess it will only make me stronger!! The best thing was the weather. No rain until right at the end with a couple of rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightening! Thanks, everyone, it will be a night to remember!! Oh, Tom ended up running down to the CB and then back along the river. Great, running by yourself and from what he told me, he had a great time :)
If you have the chance, you should run the trails of Mohican sometime! It's a whole different world in the darkness and can prove to be a very interesting adventure!!!

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