Running in Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio. 

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!

3 Months, 9 States, 6,123 Miles

Life is a learning tool. If we study it by living in the moment we’ll be happy every moment of our lives.

Walls of Jericho in Alabama Photo Credit Zach Andrews

This weekend marked 3 months into my journey. I have been to 9 states (SD, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA, FL & AL) and put on 6,123 miles! Words can not describe what an amazing experience the last few months have been. Well actually let me try: Thankful, honored, rad, interesting, scary, beautiful, cold, dirty, happy, crazy, emotional, joyful, smelly, loved…I could go on and on but most of all I am truly grateful. Grateful for the words of encouragement, the support from family and friends and for all my new friends I have met along the way.

I can not believe my JAdRunning Facebook page has hit 248 likes! Half the likes are from people I didn’t even know when I started or haven’t even met. Honored to have everyone of you following my adventure!

Also, if there is a place you think I should check out please comment and let me I know. If you think you know someone that may like my page please share it

Zach and I at Kings Chair overlook in Oak Mountain State Park

This weekend in Birmingham I met up with Fellow Dirtbag Runner Zach for some beautiful running because of social media! Meeting people is how I get to see the best of the best in everyone’s stomping ground.

Trust me I don’t mind being stalked…well the friendly stalking that is!!