Another impromptu run was set up. I would drive up to the parkway and Hwy 80, park, and all the way to Woodlawn on the MST. I left the house at 7am, it was raining on my way out. The rain came down hard, and I wondered if I would get poured on in the mountains. Once I reached Marion, the rain stopped, and the sun was smiling.
It was 50 degrees when I started, cool, but sunny and beautiful. I threw in some gloves and arm warmers incase the weather turned. I took off at 9:30am exactly. I could feel the cool, crisp leaves crunching as I ran past the purple, red, yellow, orange, and brown. The colors were still amazing.
I made it to the sharp right turn on Woods Mountain in 1:16. I wasn’t in any hurry, and I not trying to blast it, but I was checking my watch to see how I progressed. This sharp right turn is a good midway point for this section. I knew I would be ahead of our scheduled meet up time of 12 noon. So I took a few photos, and videos.
With all the leaves and color, I somehow got off trail, and took a 15 minute detour. This always seems to happen on this mountain. In the lower elevations, the leaves turned mostly to brown. A few pine needles and having to deal with a little mud mixed it up a bit.
I saw Matt, Lilly, and Uwharrie at 12:10, after running for 2:40. I refilled up my bottles, and downed some calories, and turned back around with Matt. On my return, I knew I would be climbing more up hills, and that this would slow me down. I expected to finish in 6 hours, and set that as my goal.
After reaching Woods Mountain again, I threw on my arm warmers and gloves as a cool chill moved in with overcastted clouds. I was moving slower, but still moving. I made it back to my car in 6:03. Net elevation gain on my watch read 6,300 feet. I was hungry and thirsty, but my legs felt good.
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