Sunday, May 31, 2009

TTR Sunset Loops trail run

Since this was the last TTR event of the season, I didn't want to miss it. Who showed up: Harry, Ken, Gene, David (from Sierra Vista), Kandi, Doug, Glenn and a few others I didn't know. Everyone was doing various options - 6, 10 or 17 miles.
I ended up doing the longest option, which turned out to be 16.3 miles. Kenny came along with our dog Taos, but he was going to hike about 6-10 miles by himself, and just meet me somewhere along the way.
It started at Sunset trailhead in the Catalina Mountains. The longest option takes the following 'figure 8' route:

1. Sunset Trail to Marshall Gulch. I ran with Glenn for most of this. I wanted to run with David, too, but he had some energy and hung with the fast guys up front.
2. Aspen Trail all the way to the top of the Ski Lift area (Radio Ridge). This trail is just so gosh darn steep, so quite a bit of hiking on this trail. However, they had cleared away a lot of downed trees since the last time I had been up. Nice. Hardly any tree hopping at all. I was by myself for most of this part; Glenn ended up turning at Marshall Gulch and only doing 6 miles, but it was good to have some company for a bit.

3. Down the Lemmon trail to the Wilderness of Rocks trail turnoff. Lemmon trail is super runnable, with lots of downhill. The trail is not too rocky, either. I came upon Kandi and ran with her for a while, which was nice. She is an Accountant, too, so we talked shop a bit. The downhill got too enticing and I really picked up speed and ended up pulling away from Kandi at some point. This was my favorite part of the run.
4. Back up on WOR trail to the Marshall Gulch trail. WOR is downhill at first, but then gets really rocky and uphill and I got really slow. I eventually ran into Kenny and Taos about a mile from the next trail junction. We hiked/ran together to the finish, which was really fun. Taos carried her pack and was such a good dog.
5. Marshall Gulch trail to Sunset trail and on back to the start. Marshall Gulch is fairly runnable in spots and very pretty. Lots of people, though.

Total time: 4 hours and 53 minutes!
Total elevation gain/(loss): 6,791/(6,878) feet. Holy Moly.

Ross and Pam rode their bikes up, so we got to visit with them at the finish, too. Pam found a 'Pleasing Fungus Beetle' to show us:

I wore my new 'Atayne' shirt, which is made from recycled materials (plastic bottles) and activated carbon (from coconut shells). I won a $50 g.c. at (thanks Bryon!) so I went to and picked one out. The one I bought says, "Run Hard! Tread Lightly." I have to say I was really happy with the performance of it; I never overheated and it was super comfortable. I'll be buying more. The service from Jeremy was awesome. Definitely check it out.

I hope to do a few more runs with TTR next year. My confidence has risen a bit and I feel and I can take on some of the more challenging ones. I decided that I could always help out on some that I choose to not run and be of service there, too.

Kandi is going to take me (if there is water) on my inaugural trail run on Esperero trail in a few weeks. She says she is a little slow, but that is fine. I just would like to check out that trail to make sure I don't get lost when I do that run with TTR next year. So, got to see some old friends (David, Glenn) and got to make a new one (Kandi).
It was an all 'Gu' brand gel run. I really liked them! I'm trying out different gels, so next time will be 'Hammer' time. I felt pretty good during the run, so I don't think I'll be doing the Clif blox anymore.
Weekend over. Back to work. Hope everyone enjoyed doing something fun this weekend.

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