It's late June and only now have started a more aggressive move to the trail running, and boy was it fun. I think I started right where I should have. After awaking fairly early this morning, checking Facebook and getting all the updates on some of the weekend Ultra Trail races such as Mont Blanc Marathon that Anna Frost just ran and the Western States 100 I was able to draw a ton of inspiration from these athletes. Some of the pics that were on my FB fed me the spark to down my coffee, change, and run out the door. Originally I had planned on hitting Bradbury Mountain but seeing that it was already after 9am I headed to Mount Agamenticus in York. It had been many years since I had been down there and had some minor difficulty finding it but was graciously steered in the right direction by a gentleman walking his dog. Finally, I had arrived and noticed two very large groups of what looked like a day camp just about to get started. Just then, the camp counselor yelled out but "let's allow this runner to go ahead of us." Oh boy, no time to check a map and plan my route just hit the watch and boom off I went. "I can figure this out, right?" Right away the terrain took a lot of getting used to. I was hopping to and fro, over large rocks, on top of boulders, back down and zipping around roots. All the while thinking of Anton Krupicka's blog I just read where he tells of catching his toe on a root and almost shattering his knee off a rock. That guy is an elite ultra runner...I was bound for a crash. But after some time to adjust it all started to become much more fluid for me and that worry had transformed itself to focus and aggressive running. I tried to be mindful of trail blazes and route signs but I also figured the place couldn't be that big and I was looking for as much mileage as I could find, so getting lost wouldn't be that bad. After about 17 minutes and few switch backs I was up on the top already at just 1.5mi. I then tried to find various different areas to try to squeeze in another .5 or so to get me to 2mi for the way up. I found this very groovy blueberry growth area and it was without question the coolest portion of the run. I was on the top of the mountain and zig zagging my way through gnarly little trails and "re-growth" areas. This area had me up and down the side of the mountain but also gave me the views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding areas. The trails had a large selection of wild flowers, rock out crops, and various other esthetic pleasures. I wish this trail never ended. But, like all good things it did and I wound up stopping the watch at 2miles and walked over to the other look outs and picnic tables to take in more views and a few pics before setting out on my descent.
I chose to follow a lovely group of females down the Vultures View trail. Wow, this was completely different. It was very steep and pretty much super smoothed out granite faces that had me pumping the breaks and wondering if my Merrell Trail Gloves had enough grip to keep my off my ass. Luckily they did and I was spared of any embarrassment. Of which I would save for later on. After coming out of Vulture View trail I picked up a more traditional but narrow single track area of which I was able to pick of my speed and just bomb down this trail. Super duper fun was had, I literally felt like I was 12 years old running and jumping up and over rocks, wayyyyy fun! I passed the aforementioned lovely girls but it wouldn't be the last time, it wouldn't be me if I didn't embarrass myself in front of super pretty girls. Clueless as to where I was and enjoying the run I was just running and turning where the trail led me, all the while hoping the trail would lead me back to the car. I finally emerged from the woods to find a gravel road that looked uphill to the summit on the left and the same on the right. I chose left and kicked into a traditional road pace and headed on. The road continued to go up and up and up and up again. How can I be going down to the parking lot if I am still slogging my way up? Convinced I was headed back up I turned around and headed in the opposite direction. After about 300 yards in this direction I notice the girls "well hello again ladies" (didn't say that, just thought it.) They too looked a little confused and started off in the direction I was now going. I slowed to ask if there was a parking lot down there and they seemed to agree but apprehension was noticeable. Off I go and again, up and up and up. Cars are cruising past me and I see another runner up ahead talking to some of the cars that slowed to ask for directions. I ran up to her to ask if this was the way to the base parking lot, "nope back the other way." Ok, here we go again back in the other direction. After about another quarter miles I see the girls walking ahead. This was about to be the 3rd time I would be passing them....likely coming off as a creeper. As I trotted by I just said "this is embarrassing" they all had a good laugh and off I went. About another half mile of hot up and down gravel run I was back at the lot and happy to open my hatch back and get a pull of some water and grab a shady rock for some rest. Five minutes later and the girls arrive "yay you made it" they said. Cheers!
Fila shorts, tech dry t-shirt, UA visor, Oakley shades, Merrell Trail Glove 2
Mount Agamenticus, York Maine