On Saturday, Mike Mason and I met in Black Mountain and drove to Bent Creek for Adam Hill's Bent Creek Gobbler run. The run consists of two loops that make a figure eight. Both loops are about 16 mile and Mason and I opted for just one loop. He is running a 40 mile race this week and I just wanted a nice solid run. I got to see several old running friends including Rick Gray, Nick Whited and Annette Bednosky. I also met several new folks, many of which I felt like I already knew including Matt Kirk, Ed Marsh and Doug Blackford. In short the run was a blast! Temperatures were in the upper 30s and with overcast skies, rain was a bit of a concern but it stayed at bay. The loop started with a fire road that climbed and descended for about 7 miles. I ran most of this alone until Rick and Annette caught up to me. I ran with them for about two miles and then stopped to take a gel and water the plants. I caught back up as they were turning on to the Shut-In trail. The Shut-In trail is amazing as it undulates sharply up and down (mostly up!) but the trail is a joy to run. Annette finally left Rick and I as she got her legs back and we never saw her again until the finish. We had a good time chatting as we meandered through the woods on the trail. Jason caught Rick and I and as he passed, I followed (Rick stopped to take a pit stop). I didn't know the course very well and he was moving at a bout the pace I wanted to.
We were treated to some great trail with some wonderful rolling sections that were a joy to push hard on the ups and then blast the downs. We were on the Shut-In for about 7 miles and I hated for it to end. The final 2 miles were all downhill on a gentle dirt road. It was fun to open up the legs and hammer in to the finish. the temperature was dropping pretty quickly as we socialized afterwards and soon Mike and I headed back to Black Mountain. After a good lunch with some yummy broccoli soup, I rolled back to Charlotte. What a great run and a wonderful way to burn off some Thanksgiving calories.