A fun day in the mountains with the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club!
Here is a slideshow of beautiful trail from the 33rd annual Laurel Highlands Ultra in Pennsylvania. This 70.5 mile trail race was challenging, rocky, gorgeous, technical, rooty, fabulous, ferny, magical, frustrating, rocky, hilly, spectacular, and FUN. I took a few photos on trail – enjoy!
On Saturday, July 23, approximately 75 runners gathered in a parking lot near Luray, VA to do the Catherines Fat Ass 50K. Jeff gave a race briefing – “there are only 3 hills” and we were off to run through the Massanutten Mountains. There was a 21 mile option that some people (me) chose to do instead since it was another smoking hot summer day.
We started out with a steep, but beautiful uphill climb that kept going…and going…and going…
…but the view from the top was amazing!
A beautiful creek along the way.
The icy pops mid-race were a fabulous surprise from Jack and his son on the way into Pitt Spring – WOWZERS!
Saw several of these gorgeous moths on the purple trail.
Best. Aid. Station. Ever. – Ice cold washcloths, watermelon with lime, and lots of smiles and encouragement. These guys rocked!
Love the interesting rock formations on the trail.
On the final descent, a series of fun, rocky switchbacks.
These colorful rocks caught my eye while running at Fountainhead Park.
“Seriously?” That was my first thought as I came around a bend and saw boulder fields stretching out in front of me. The yellow ribbons confirmed my first thought – seriously. This was the trail. Keep calm and carry on…
On fresh legs, these would have been a fun challenge to hop around and skip through. Today, however, these caused me to climb, crawl and hope that I did not lose footing and end up stuck on Dolly Sods in between a boulder and a hard place. All went well though, and I quickly moved through the boulders and back into the forest.
(I know there are only 7 days in a week, but I have more pictures, and this was an “8+ day week” kinda race.)
After the 7+ mile trek on the Road Across the Sky, we turned off onto Dolly Sods at approx. mile 27 onto the Raven Ridge Trail. A rocky stretch that definitely tested my blistered feet. I was very happy those dark clouds never amounted to anything more than a sprinkle or two.