On a brilliant fall morning following last week's Soulstice race, 14 runners came out for a jaunt up the infamous Oldham steps. I was encouraged to see new faces at the run and even a visitor from Seattle, Washington!
The first Saturday run following Soulstice always feels like a New Year's Day to me. With the end of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Flagstaff Summer Running Series, Salomon Flagstaff Mountain Trail Series, Big Brothers Big Sisters Half Marathon and finally Soulstice, I can run without having to think too much about organizing the next event. Well, at least for a couple months before planning the 2011 racing season!
The run started out well enough for me, but just as I began chatting with Sara Wagner at mile 1, (the beginning of the first steep "step") a little nagging pull in my calf reminded me it was time to just walk. So after catching up with the 4 time winner of Soulstice, I shortened my trip to the Monday night run loop.
As fall has finally set in this week, the golden oaks and aspens reminded me why I have loved this run for 24 years. The Oldham trails were my evening runs when I lived at the door step of Buffalo Park between 1988 and 1993. Even back then, the steps always bested me. There is no doubt in my mind the STEPS have been getting tougher and steeper ever since then. Never mind age. However, I have found a way to beat the hills and that is by walking. It actually does not take much longer and even with my aching calf, I could hear runners just ahead of me, even if I could not see them.
Returning to the entrance I did not have to wait long for the rest of the group to return. They had run a couple of more miles than I had walked, and we all headed to the busiest Fort Valley Late for the Train I've ever seen. There is only one explanation, and it is a good one - head up to Hart Prairie or any golden aspen stand and you will see why!
About NATRA Blog
This page is meant for folks to post their thoughts on the Saturday group run. I (Neil) will post a blurb about who showed up and where it was held. From there, I hope that other runners will share their thoughts since we often have different experiences on the same run. Enjoy!