8 hardy (and foolish) ultra runners showed up for a Reindeer Run at Mohican on Sunday December 23. This actually was all Steve’s idea; he was up from North Carolina visiting relatives nearby and wanted to run on some of the Mo course, since he’s going to run the Mohican 100 in June! We assured Steve that our weather did indeed suck, but to just wait, because it would probably stop raining and start snowing any moment. (Hey, the sun even blinked on for a minute!)
It was raining as we started. We ran the mountain bike trail right out of the Covered Bridge. This trail is on the opposite side of the river as the Blue (Purple) Loop; there is a sign for the Pleasant Hill Dam. You start down that trail, and almost turn off to the right and follow the mountain bike trail, which is well marked with white plastic pipe and mile markers.
This is a change to the official race course; there’s been much chatter on this. The Trail Goddess gives this new section two thumbs up!
For the folks who love the steep big hill that starts the orange loop, no worries. You will get lots of ups and downs on this new section; probably more cimb total than that big initial climb. No more road; the mountain bike section links up at mile 8, where the “old Mo orange loop” has been traditionally linking up with the mountain bike trail. It’s single track, up and down, on a very nice trail.
What is nice, if someone is not real familiar with the Mo Course, you can now come down to Mohican and run the orange loop and probably not get lost.
Speaking of lost, Mitch came back up the trail as we stopped to munch Pringles and refill water bottles at Hickory Ridge..he had somehow lost Rob, who was running in front of him, but he knew we were behind him, so Mitch ran with Steve, Nick and myself and we had some nice conversations. Of course, the rain was pouring down at this time. When we hit the ridgeline, and the wind gusts hit, it made you run a little faster to get back down into the hollows and out of the wind!
About three miles to the Campground, Nick disapeared on us. His wheaties must have kicked in, because he sped up and we didn’t see him again until the Covered Bridge!
Raccoons 2, Kimba 0
At Campground A I had water, Pringles,and cookies stashed. We found the water and chips, and I finally spotted the cookie wrapped in the parking lot. Somehow I don’t think the guys ripped into it with their teeth. Sigh. All cookies were gone. At least the raccoons had a nice Christmas present. Next time, I shall place the cookies in a plastic tight container! I will have cookies at an cache again! Note: I’ve stashed unopened Pringles containers on the trail and not accessed them until two weeks later..it was still unopened!
When I started down the Hemlock Gorge Trail, my right leg again started to act up. I had been taking Advil for it, because it had been hurting on my run the day before. When it hurts, it affects my running stride, where I start to kind of limp along. I’m still not sure exactly what is hurting; it’s a hard area to pinpoint. I dropped a bit back after this, and actually this section isn’t exactly easy to run through.
I stopped after this loop, and didn’t run any farther. Regis was already done, lounging in my vehicle reading old Trailrunner magazines. I knew with my gimp that it would be a long slow 4 miles, so I stopped too, and got home from a trail run at a decent time.
I did some research on the ultra list and internet last night, trying to pinpoint my leg problem. I still don’t know. It’s become a concern because I have Rocky Raccoon fast approaching, and I don’t want to struggle through the race with this. I’m going to incorporate more stretching of the legs in hopes of getting this to diminish.