Since not all of us are lucky enough to work at Pineland, like John, this Saturday was the first chance that many of us got to run there this year. James and Jamie started at 5 am, Emma and I met Jim, Jim, Shauna, Tom, Randy and Tom at 7 am. Emma's plan was to get in 31 miles as a training run for the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50 miler, and my plan was just to run for as long as I could. This was only my second run since completing the Bull Run Run 50 Miler last weekend so I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up.
There were still a few snowy/icy patches on the trials but for the most part we were running on dirt with a little mud thrown in. Most of the snow and ice was found on the steeper hills which made running up and down them pretty difficult for those of us without screw shoes. Emma and Jim were the only smart ones who came prepared to deal with the ice. So at an early stage in the run we found ourselves being forced to walk some of the steep hills in both directions. Conditions in the fields were good enough to allow us to run most of the Pineland race course, one complete loop of our run worked out to be a little over 14 miles (as opposed to the 15.5 mile/25 km race loop).
I didn't bring quite enough water/fuel to get me through a really long run so I decided to call it a day at about 4 hours after covering approximately 23 miles. Emma continued on with James and Jamie to get in 31.5 miles in just over 5.5 hours. James and Jamie both got in 40 miles, and this was the first time I ever heard anyone say "I only did 40 miles" with a genuine hint of disappointment.