A first: Caren Jew is a minute late! We meet at the Davis Library in Bethesda at 0631 and, since the rental car has unlimited mileage and excess gas in the tank, I insist on driving to Prince William Forest Park for this year's RedEye fun-run. Anstr Davidson gives me a Bull Run Run "I" pin to replace the one I lost a few years ago. Neighbor Karen Donohue is there with her two dogs and a friend. We chat and promise to run together more often; we could scarcely do it less often, since we never seem to sync up!
RD Gary Knipling introduces the event for ~10 minutes, just long enough for Kate Abbott to make it through unexpected traffic and arrive to join Caren and me at the back of the pack. As Anstr reports experiencing himself last year, we get lost and miss a quarter mile or so of the initial segment of the course. We follow the yellow-blazed Laurel Trail instead of the red-blazed Birch Bluff Trail, and when we reach the next junction and find ourselves ahead of the leaders we pause to salute as they blast past along the south fork of Quantico Creek.
Caren drops back; Kate and I jog and walk together along the course: South Valley Trail, Pyrite Mine Rd, Cabin Branch Mine Trail, North Valley Trail, Burma Rd, and Taylor Farm Rd to the blue-blazed Turkey Run Ridge Trail. Gary meets us along the way, surveying the course in the opposite direction. About mile 8 we reach the Turkey Run Education Center (TREC) where the 2008 RedEye start/finish was.
Kate pauses and I run ahead, following blue ribbons at trail intersections. At mile ~10.8 I'm back to the picnic table start/finish, refill my hydration backpack, fuel up with a chocolate brownie, grab a handful of fritos, and head out. A quarter mile up the trail I greet Kate coming in. I continue in the clockwise direction of the loop, opposite to the first time around, and phone Caren to check on her progress. A couple of minutes later I meet her and we hike back to the car for a total of 13+ miles by my GPS. Kate runs to TREC and back for 17+, and Caren logs it as 10+. We agree that the terrain is lovely and plan to get together here to run again some day.