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Friday, November 16, 2012

Marking Bedford

Tomorrow is a big day in the trail / ultra running community around here.  Saturday begins Chimera – a 100 mile / 100 km race in the Saddleback Mountains.  My mountains.  No, I’m not running this beast.  But I am working it.  If you are running, and aren’t in bed yet, and are reading this post (though you probably should be sleeping :) say “Hi” when you see me!

I’ve had a great time witnessing the awesome amount of effort put out by the race directors and dozens and dozens of volunteers to pull this thing off.  I feel honored to be part of this.  I had my truck loaded with supplies for our station earlier in the week.  I’ve been receiving updates via e-mail over the past week from our station captain as well as the volunteer director (who happens to be running in this race too).  I’ve got everything stacked in the kitchen to take with me tomorrow for the long day ahead.

At one point during this prep, I was asked if I could mark the single-track Bedford.  I didn’t know Bedford, so I thought it wouldn’t be wise.  I declined.  Then I found out that Bedford is the trail that I call Silverado Motorway.  That’s when I thought, “No way!”  I’ve only run down that trail, and being on my “break,” I thought a three mile steep switch-back was too much.

But then it went on “unassigned.”  And I finally volunteered.  Heck, I could add it into my Friday run.  Double heck, I could do the Silverado Loop, that 17 mile loop that I’ve only run twice, but counter-clockwise.

With trail marking tape in hand, and a rain coat, gloves and head warmth shoved in my hydration pack, I headed up Maple Springs at about 9:30 this morning.   Reports said 30% chance of rain.  I wanted to run.  And I didn’t want to chance being out there in cold rain.  The skies were gray, the weather almost cold.  It was perfect for a three mile uphill run. 

I took a quick left onto Silverado Motorway / Bedford and began marking the heck out of that trail.  I marked it for the runner who has never been on Bedford, who is alone, and who is beginning to get paranoid about whether he/she took a wrong turn.  (I apologize now to the person who takes down the markers : )

Running up Bedford wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Granted, I stopped several times to mark the trail.  The difficulty came after Bedford.  It was false summit after false summit after false summit.  Funny thing is, when I ran this loop reversed, it seemed like The Main Divide was mainly uphill.  Ends up, today, The Main Divide was mainly uphill, rolling hills yes – but add in those false summits – that’s difficult.  Fun difficult.  I could see for miles, and I didn’t see evidence of a single soul out there.  I felt completely alone in the mountains.  It was beautiful.  Not only for the eyes, but for the soul also.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a ranger truck drove by.  The driver slowed and casually said, “Everything okay?”  I was kind of glad that if I were to have collapsed on the divide, someone would have eventually driven by.

FINALLY, I made it to “Four Corners.”  I had ran 9.65 miles.  It felt like twenty, a lovely, lovely twenty.

“Four Corners” :

I lazily ran the 7 plus miles down Maple Springs to close up this loop.  By that time, people were driving up the mountain for an afternoon drive.  I saw one cyclist, two motorcyclists.  No runners.  Sure, this run took me longer than usual.  But I’m NOT TRAINING.  Plus, I was marking the trail for Chimera.  Yes!

Running Silverado Loop clockwise 11-16-2012, Elevation - DistanceRunning Silverado Loop clockwise 11-16-2012

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