Last night I volunteered at the Pure Screamin' Hell 7 miler in Waverly Park. It’s rare for a trail race within Louisville itself and even more rare, or even a first for a trail race at night. I was happy to contribute to the trail running scene here, a city so dominated by road races. I was curious to the turnout on this Halloween night & surprised that about 50-60 runners showed up. I scouted the course last week and thought about entering, but decided I didn’t need to be running at a 7 mile pace on a trail at night with my weak ankle & with a big race the next week. This primarily MTB course is rooty in some areas, but overall pretty smooth with no technical or rocky sections. The entire course is made up of small rolling hills. About 20 minutes after the last runner left the starting line, I swept the course & finished with a large bag of glow sticks, flagging, signs & trash – one thing I didn’t have to worry about were parts of gel packets, which are so common when cleaning up after ultras! I did end up “running” the course, but at a much slower pace.
The big race is now less than a week away. I’ve been reading about the Pinhoti Trail along the lower Appalachians and found there were several races in the area that use a part of it. One area they’ve described is called the “Blue Hell”, an extreme climb over rocks & boulders on the way to the top of Mt. Cheaha. Looking at the Pinhoti 100 course, it appears I’ll be going DOWN this section – hopefully before nightfall! Another thing I’ve read were the numerous stream crossings, some with ropes -- maybe with this dry season, there won’t be a need. I’m really looking forward to this upcoming challenge/adventure!