2007-09-02 - AT Out-and-Back

~11.5 miles @ ~15 min/mi

Mary Ewell and I meet at the Davis Library where she gives me a bag of herbs and jalapeño peppers and I give her a ride to Gathland State Park near Burkittsville, MD. Cathy Blessing has organized a group run along the Appalachian Trail part of the JFK 50 Miler route. Mary plans to do that race in November; I'm hoping to escort her for the final ~34 miles. While the faster folk blast ahead we jog and walk along chatting and enjoying the scenery. The AT here follows the ridge called South Mountain, a rocky path with occasional steep segments. Mike Leonard, whose pace is a bit slower than ours, follows. The speedy guys turn around after three miles (to do another out-and-back northward), but Mary and I proceed to Weverton Cliffs above the Potomac. We descend the first few switchbacks to get used to the terrain, pause, eat, drink, and turn back. On the way we meet Mike who is likewise exploring. At confusingly-named Gapland/Gathland we check in with Cathy, then cool down and wait to make sure Mike is OK. He arrives a few minutes later. We give him our gratuitous advice on ultras — the JFK will be his first, though he has run several marathons.

(cf. Jog Log for running journal)

(correlates: HighBridge, 2007-01-01 - New Year's Resolution 5k, Difficult Run 8k XC 2008, ...)