Big thanks to Chris Koch (far left of picture) for meeting up with me for some beautiful Ohio miles today! Chris is a beast completing three 100 mile races – Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run being one of the three! Even better yet, he is from my home town of Brookings, SD. Who would have guessed two crazy runners would come out of our small town. Super stoked I got some miles in with him as our paths crossed on my journey! Before we started running Matt (center of group picture) happen to see us as he pulled into the trailhead. As any trail runners knows the more runners the merrier, so he joined us for our run. Matt is training for a 100 mile relay race the end of July, the Burning River 100. Love meeting bad ass people as I travel.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park has a great trails system between the two large metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Akron. The trails I have run so far have been in the Virginia Kendall Unit of the CVNP. The Salt Run and Lake Trail sections offer multiple steep hills on some of the muddiest terrain I have run. The exposed root and rock don’t concern me as much as my chances to face plant from the mud. There is also a short tunnel on the east side of Lake Trail that takes you under what use to be a toboggan sledding area back in the late 1930s. Imagine flying down that baby back in the day…sweet! Ledges Trail gives a unique scenery change into massive rock outcroppings. It doesn’t seem to fit into the flow of the trails when you suddenly run up on the big rocks. Personally my favorite as it’s takes your mind off the leg trembling uphills from before. The Cross Country Trail is a open meadow of tall grass around a mowed trail with a few more steep little hills.
With my Ohio miles officially logged at 7.6 miles with Chris and Matt. Then another 5 mile course preview group for Western Reserve Racing’s Muddy Paws 10/5 mile race on Sunday July 5th. I look forward to exploring more of the trails here in CVNP.
I will be running the Muddy Paws 10 miler so if you see me say hi!