Bill and I joined some of our Cruiser and MRTT friends this morning for the first of four =PR= Spring Trail Runs.  All four events are at different parks and free of charge; however, you are required to either register in advance online or signup the morning of the event.  Water and snacks were provided after the run, so overall it felt very much like a race. So much so in fact, that I had a minor panic attack last night when for a fleeting moment I thought I’d forgotten to pick up our race packets!

AlgonkianParkTrailRunMRTTGroup

Multi-Chapter MRTT Runners

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Cruisers (Minus Ravi and Jerome)

 

Today’s run was at Algonkian Regional Park, and Erin and I had the pleasure of seeing and hanging out with fellow bloggers Julie, Courtney, and Kathryn before the run.  We hadn’t seen Julie and Courtney since the Leesburg 20K in August, and it was the first time we had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn.  They are going to be running the North Face Marathon Relay in two weeks so this was the perfect opportunity for them to come check out the course in conditions similar to a race.

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Deb, Julie, Erin, Courtney, and Kathryn

 

When we were introduced, Taryn and I recognized each other from Instagram.  She’s a member of the Oiselle marathon relay team and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that they were trying to get a team picture.  HaHa – I can be such a dweeb sometimes!

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Oiselle Flock: Taryn, Photo Bomber Deb, Julie, Courtney, and Kathryn

 

Today’s run was divided into three different groups.  We could choose to join either a 30 minute, 60 minute, or 90 minute group.  Since Bill, Erin, and I wanted to run longer, we decided to join the 90 minute group, which meant we would run out for 45 minutes, turn around and head back in.

Before the run started, ultramarathoner and running celebrity Mike Wardian said a few words and got us started.  He gave us a little space and then started the other two groups. Before we knew it, he had caught up with us and was flying past on the muddy, slippery trail.

AlgonkianParkTrailRunRayMike
 

Today was the first time I’d run on the beautiful Potomac Heritage Trail that runs along the Potomac River since I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon back in 2010.  Erin and I took it pretty easy since it was her first official trail run, and we all know that I can be pretty klutzy on technical trails.

In fact, my right toe caught a rock about two strides after Erin took this picture and I hit the ground hard!  Yes, I picked a totally flat, rootless section of the trail to fall on.  I don’t know if I was more upset that Erin didn’t get a picture of me falling or that even though my scrapes hurt, none of them bled.  I mean, what’s the use of a war wound if you can’t get a little sympathy out of it?

AlgonkianParkTrailRunDebBeforeFall
 

Like sheep, we followed each other along the trail until it dead ended in the Potomac River.  We had missed a turn in the trail, and had to double back.  We decided to cut straight up the hill to get to our connecting trail. It was awesome!

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Once we got to the top and rounded the curve, our view of the Potomac River was worth the effort.

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Back on lower terrain, I turned and snapped a picture of Erin just before we caught up with our MRTT friend Dora.

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Erin snapped a selfie of us, and then we turned our attention to the crazies walking out onto the rocks in the river.

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We decided to risk falling in the river as well, and walked out to join Dora on some rocks for the perfect shot. After our photo break, we realized that we’d run for just over 45 minutes and it was time to turn around.

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Just as we were turning around Taryn caught up with us and stayed with us on our return to the finish.

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Eventually my Cruiser friend Ravi caught up with us, and we got a quick picture before he sped away.

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Even though the leaves haven’t popped out yet, the trail was lovely. We chose to take the bridge across this creek, but Dora’s husband ran through the water and across the dam.

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I knew I liked Taryn from the moment I met her, but when she realized that she finished at 7.99 miles and she needed to run another .01 so her Garmin would show 8 miles, I knew that she could be a great running friend!

AlgonkianParkTrailRunTarynFinishing
 

Erin and I completed 7.15 miles in 1:32:36 (12:57 pace).  After we finished, Ravi snapped a picture of our muddy shoes – our proud badges of honor!

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While enjoying the fatigue of a good run, we had the pleasure of talking to Mike for a few minutes. Bill and I asked for a picture with him, and he graciously obliged.

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Then just before we left, Mike asked to get a selfie with all of us. He’s got long arms and mad selfie skills  I left my Algonkian Regional Park trail run more than a little star struck!

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  • Questions:
  • Who is the biggest sports celebrity you’ve met? ~ I’ve met Joe Gibbs, Joe Theisman, Darrell Green, Jeff Galloway, Dean Karnazes, Kathrine Switzer, Bart Yasso, and now Mike Wardian!
  • What are your weekend plans?
  • Who raced this weekend?
Happy Running! ~ Deb