I knew I had to go all out for a 30th birthday party run. Ice cream cake, party hats, and nice trails were in order. How many times do you turn 30? Work it!
A few of us had met at the Cracker Barrel for some blueberry pancakes before heading out to the start of the run. Along the drive up I dropped off ice cream cake, sun chips, and water to Lily and Patti. We all drove to the start, while they drove to the turn around point. Without them this run wouldnt be possible.
On the drive up from Charlotte we saw a few sprinkles, but not a drop of rain while on the trail. The starting line included old friends and new ones. Bottem Left to Right: Matt K, Annette B, David K, Kevin L, Dave P. Top Right to Left: John L, Jeff M, Melinda Y, Ashley F, Stu G, Elizabeth H, Jason H, Mohammed I, David P, and Charlie R! Everyone was so much fun. It was Ashley’s birthday in a few days, so a double birthday run was going on.
We started at Roper Hollow Road and ascended the gravel section for a few miles until it turned into dirt and kept going up. We kept on this dirt road for 10 miles until we reached South Mountains State Park. The views from higher above were clear and we could see the Black Mountains in the distance.
I was surprised to see Erik and Julie hiking from the opposite direction and snapping photos later on the trail. Thanks for joining us! I would rank Erik as a professional photographer, most notably the photos from our Safari in the Ngoro Ngoro crater in Tanzania.
We kept going up and down rolling hills while in the park until we reached the Upper Falls Loop, and then descended down to the parking lot. Me, Stu, and Charlie all reached the turn around at the same time at 2:55, we were making good time. I felt a little dehydrated so I tried to guzzle down as much water while I was there. Enjoying the highest calorie per ounce ice cream cake according to Maggie Moos in Charlotte; cotton candy ice cream cake with M&M's and Reese's Pieces all mixed in. It was probably not the best thing to eat after 16 miles, but it was good, mmmmm. I snacked on a few chips to get some salt in, filled up my bottles and turned back the same way I came down. This way however we climbed the steps up to the frozen waterfall. I’ve never seen the South Mountains waterfall frozen like that, truly an amazing sight. It was the icing on the cake!
My legs began to twitch a little and I knew I was dehydrated with only two bottles in hand. I began to conserve my energy and the water intake as I had another 15 miles to go with no where to fill up water. The views and conversation were exciting and that made the last half go by faster. It took me 6:55 to complete the 32 mile distance that had over 6,000 feet of elevation gain.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday run. Thanks to all that came out and I hope you had as much fun as I did!
Lonnie and his wife who made the party hats wanted me to share his son’s website:
http://www.danieljohnmaxwellspranger.blogspot.com/ The hats made the run that much more memorable! Thanks Lonnie.
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