Running with Scissors-Part 1
Run with Scissors was Roy's idea for a fun Fat Ass. A Fat Ass event is basically an ultra run that is more of a training run for the entrants. It does not have any t-shirt, entry fee, or awards. There is typically no aid provided. In this case Roy touted "No fee-no awards-poorly marked and inaccurately measured with little aid and numerous cold a** stream crossings as well as the potential for really bad weather." In addition to providing the course markings, some water stops, and some pb and j, Roy set out books in a few locations from which you were required to cut (not tear) a page from with your scissors to prove that you had done the loop.
This Sunday I made the long trek in the dark down to Mohican Forest. Stayed out a bit later than planned Saturday and I was extremely groggy in the morning. I was running a few minutes late and for the first time in a long time exceeded the speed limit on my way down to the park. It took me about 2 hours and I arrived in the middle of the RDs course explanation. I still had to put in contacts and get my food/gear organized, sign in and buy some scissors (proceeds were donated to a charity of the RDs choice).
I knew that there would be some local ultra bloggers out and was excited to see Rob pull into the lot just behind me. I later found out he had forgotten his scissors and money and needed to go back home before arriving. I knew that Kim and Mike were likely an hour ahead of us on the course as they had mentioned an early start to be allowed to travel at a more leisurely pace.
I grabbed my stuff and left most of my food in the car figuring I would grab more after the orange loop. Being a Mohican virgin I did not realize we actually would not be back to the start until the end and that the covered bridge was actually where each loop ended. Big time rookie mistake. Of course I was completely unaware of this for about the first 10 miles or so. During this time I ran with Rob through the Mohican Forest. We ran at a good clip and chatted about life in general, blogging, our families. It wasn't long before we came to the first book and water stop. We refilled our water bottles cut a page out of the book and headed back up hill into the woods. I decided to try some of the luna gummies I got in San Fran. They were watermelon flavor, and they were all right. Not my first choice in nutrition but a step above shot blocks for sure. As we neared the campground I mentioned that when we got back to the cars I'd like to get some of my real nutrition and change into my new montrail shoes for the blue loop. This is when Rob informed me that the cars were going to be a mile straight uphill out of the way of the loop.
This was not good. I had scoped out the course and knew that once I was out on the red loop there was no looking back. I was either doing 17-20 miles or 37-40 and nothing in between. There was no way I could run 37+ miles on one pack of luna gummies and water. Shortly after this realization we spotted Kim in the distance. I was excited to find her and we soon caught up to Mike too. Rob and I decided to run with our blogger buddies on the blue loop. I was sure keeping up the quicker pace combined with light nutrition would kill me. Lucky for me Kim the trail goddess had tons of goodies in her car and she hooked me up. There would be no starvation for me :) This put my mind at ease and as long as I felt good on blue I was going to tackle the whole 60k (or so) option.
So we eventually dragged ourselves away from the cars and goodies and back onto the trail. This section of trail was more like forging through the woods. The trail headed along the river and then straight up a gorge towards the headwaters. This was pretty fun. I don't know how you would run through here but we trekked our way up to the top where you had to climb up a series of roots. The trail marker said you had to take the right path here but everyone but Mike went left. I knew I wouldn't live it down if I "cut" the course so I followed Mike.
I thought these were the pretty views for the day but shortly after we are sliding downhill towards a gorgeous cavern with a trickling waterfall. Literally sliding, I was too sissy to climb down.
(If you click on the pic to view full res you can see my scissors behind my pink handheld)
By this time TC and BC had caught up to us so we had quite a big group travelling through the blue. This may be the shortest loop at around 4 miles but it definitely had the most character! We got back to the car and ate some more goodies. This time I took advantage of TCs PB and crackers and trail mix. Had a salt pill and refilled my water bottles. The next loop would be around 21 miles so I took two gels with me.