Today I headed north to Crystal Lake to Sternes' Woods and Veteran's Acres. These are two connected systems http://www.crystallakeparks.org/Parks-Facilities/Veteran-Acres.htm with miles of single track, wider cross country ski/hiking and a paved trail. These trails are the training ground for the MUDD runners.
Without a guide or good knowledge you could easily get lost on the interwoven trails. I've in the past searched for maps of these trails and they are very limited and basically no existent for the single track . Maybe that is a good thing as I was about to find out some of the trails are very hilly, and narily. But then they make for a good training routes for experienced trail runnerss and even newbies with some care.
My guides for the run was MUDD and NLUR runners Carol and Julie. We would run into Dorn about 1.5 miles from the finish, so I had three great guides for the morning
|Carol and I at Hobbit Hut|
|Julie and I at Hobbit Hut|
Around 1.5 miles to go we run into Mr 100 mile Dorn who's out for a leisurely 3+ hour run for time on his feet. Dorn as a few 50s and 100s to run this year. Carol was having a leg issue so took the wider track back to her car while Julie lead and Dorn following took me to Legbone trail. Apparently one of the MUDD runners had found a deer leg bone on the trail during a run. He moved the bone off the trail but somehow it was back in the same location the next day. I didn't see the leg bone but this was a nice stretch of single track that I was able to run relatively fast. I am sure Dorn has never ran so slow.
Finally back at the pavilion where we started. What a great trail system. I loved every minute of it and hope to run it again in two weeks during the Earth Day 50k http://www.muddrunner.com/ which I'll be volunteering at. I said this was a new trail system but I've spent some time at the pavilion twice before. I voluntered at the Northwest 5/10 mile trail race and also "helped" 3 MUDDs run 100 miles there last year but neither time did I get out on the trails, now I have.
A BIG thanks to Carol, Julie and Dorn for running with me. Also thanks to the MUDD and Queen MUDD Michele for all they do for the trails. I'll see you all in two weeks.