Monday, January 7, 2013

laurel highlands trail run

I've been upping my long run by 15 minutes every week. Not that I've added too much distance, since all my runs have been on snowy trails. On Saturday I decided to do my long run on the Laurel Highlands Hiking trail. It's got some fantastic views of the river.

But I forgot that the elevation profile looked like this:
Just kidding. But not really. Here's the actual map.
Basically, getting to the lookout is the easy part. After that, the trail levels off for half a mile before plunging down again. 

And then going way back up again. I turned around at 4 miles, although a hiker assured me I was close to the 5 mile mark. I didn't trust myself to finish 10 miles out there with just snow as a water source. 

Turns out the run clocked in at around 8.6 miles. I had Strava going on my phone, so I set a new Queen of the Mountain on the first climb, since bikes aren't allowed on that trail. So unless someone breaks the law, the fastest climb up the first hill will be set at around 2.5 miles per hour. Hah! 

But when I got back to the park, there was a weird mood in the air. Three fire trucks and an ambulance were all parked by the falls. There were more stationed by the visitor center. A few groups of people in safety orange were milling around all the trailheads with German Shepherds.

Apparently there's been a guy missing in (or around) Ohiopyle for the past few days. He stopped by asking about hiking trails, ate at the pub, and disappeared. According to the news, the situation is inconclusive.

It gives me chills. I feel terrible for his family and friends. I hope they can call off the search soon. 

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