I was starting to go stir crazy from not getting much running in lately, so when I saw a course preview for the Skyline Shuffle 5K, I decided to try that out. This race started last year, after the state of the red trail made the Shoreline Shuffle require a re-route. So instead of running the rocky shore, you run grassy hills. I had run this route previously as hill repeats with a fellow Trail Hawk, Gary Henry. I also ran this at the start of the Free State Trail Marathon. Obviously I was in much better shape at the marathon, because the preview last night kicked my butt as much as it did when I ran with Gary.
I met Matt, the race director, at the Corps of Engineer lot and hitched a ride to the race start near campground 3. (A permit is required to access this section of the trail, and Matt already had a season pass.) We met up with 3 more Trail Hawks and headed to where the start line would be. We headed out toward Bunker Hill and headed east along the ridge, descending across a dirt road. We then went past some ponds, which Matt point out were sewage lagoons. We took a little detour since apparently there are sprinklers fed by the lagoons, and they were on a timer. No one was really interested in a surprise brown shower. Except maybe the deer who were hanging out nearby. (And I think Matt is rebranding the lagoons as “honey ponds” for the race brochure. haha) We then ran an expanded version of the wooded Goodwin Loop. The additional section included a shallow water crossing (our feet stayed dry as we picked our way across the rocks). We ran into some more deer that were running through the trees around the disc golf course. Emerging from this section, we headed out for another climb and traverse of Bunker Hill. About the time I felt like dying, we returned to the campground on an easy downhill.
As we headed back to the parking lot, we learned that was Liz’s first trail run (so go Liz!!)
Once I have a chance to upload my Garmin to Strava, I will put up a course map for those who are interested in checking out the route before the race!
Update: pasted together map:
** If you ever have the opportunity to run with Gary “Storyhawk” Henry, he will likely be more than happy to tell you the tale of Clintie, the monster that lives in Clinton Lake, which appeared on the t-shirts for the Shoreline Shuffle. I think “Sky Clintie” is a relative of Clintie who might patrol the Skyline Shuffle route. 🙂