Saturday, April 21, 2012

Foothills Trail "Bench Marathon"

Let's start with that. It's just a set distance (who knows how long it actually is) that people go out and run for fun. Back in March I ran some of this, but had time to run the whole thing today. Viktor came out also and we ran together for all but the last 45 minutes or so - that was nice. Running with company is always nice and sure makes it seem easier.
So we started about 8:45 this morning and set off from the Laurel Valley parking lot heading towards Lake Jocassee. Climbs a good bit the first mile or two, then we actually started running as it headed (mostly) downhill for a good 6ish miles. The first stop was Virginia Hawkins Falls as we made it there in 1:00. (Actually exact to the second to what I ran this in March!)
The next section is a wonderful section - very runnable, near the creek with most of the 14 bridges we crossed (one-way!) thru here. On the way back - these crossings provided some much needed opportunities for cooling off. 36 minutes for this section and we took some more photos of Laurel Fork Falls emptying into the lake. Headed past the boat ramp side trail and onto new territory for me.
Still feeling good too after 8+ miles.
Different feel thru here. Some old logging roads (saw two 4-wheelers on a side road too) and of course more steps. I was walking all the down steps as my shoes have little traction on slippery surfaces and one section in particular was just too steep in my opinion. Ups and downs and eventually we made it to the Bench! 2:45 in for about 12.5 miles (according to a Foothills guide). 1:08 from the LF Falls.

Trip back was uneventful. Never had any pain, just some feet that got a little sore. Viktor and I talked about how much hiking we do, but at our level - that's normal and we are ok with that!
1:18 back to the LF Falls and continued back by the creek, over the bridges, and up the steps.
48 minutes to VH Falls - Definitely felt slower thru here.
Viktor started falling behind a little here and I kept going and felt stronger as I kept moving. I had no reference for where I was in relation to the end. A slight road/trail crossing at 55 minutes, then you start seeing the road thru the trees. It was getting closer and closer to the 6 hour mark and I started pushing - running some uphills too. At 5:58 I had basically given up, but then I saw the parking lot and I came down the steps and finished at 5:59:02!
An overall tiredness, but no muscle weakness/soreness whatsoever. I'm sure enjoying this...
More photos are here (of last two Foothills runs):


Viktor running

Long climb (with no steps)

at the Bench

Lake Jocassee (water somewhere over there on the left)

Laurel Fork Creek

creekside trail - the best


1 comment:

Jon Allen said...

Nice work. It's a fun run. That part past the the second falls is surprisingly tough.