2,511 this number represents one of the hardest and craziest trail run’s I’ve done to date! On Friday 8/7/2015 I took my family on a final summer camping trip to the San Bernardino National Forest for the weekend. We stayed at the Marion Mountain camp ground at an elevation of 6400 feet above sea level. Coming from San Diego, CA where we are at sea level, the air seemed already thin but waking up early Saturday morning I was not going to let a little thing called oxygen get in the way of me and a trail run.
After all, I’ve not done a picture run for sometime and this seemed like the perfect chance to log another run for my blog; besides I had a brand new set of trail running shoes that I needed to try for the first time since I bought them more then five months ago.
Just an hour past dawn I was up and putting on my running cloths, where anyone else up was in a jacket and wool cap, I was in a thin running shirt and running shorts. I would tell you that my nipples were hard but I couldn’t feel them using my frozen fingers. After filling my water bottle with, well you know, water. I set off for a run; I ran to the trail head and like Morpheus offering the choice of the Blue Pill or the Red Pill. I was offered the choice of the Marion Mountain or the Old Saw Mill trails. I’d never been on either so I thought the Marion Mountain seemed like it would be a nice run and to the Fuller Ridge Trail junction was only 2.4 miles; I’m thinking a gentle meandering run along a mountain trail. I pictured myself running smoothly though the trees, gazing at the mountains in the distance and the rays of the sun as it awakened the forest.
Boy was I dreaming! I would find out the hard way that I would be running, or attempting to run up a mountain trail where you would ascend 1016 feet for every mile traveled. Within the first 1/8 mile I was huffing and puffing and I went from running to hiking really fast and running when the opportunity would arise. At 1.3 miles I found a hiker sitting on a boulder; we greeted each other and he asked if I was enjoying my run; I responded by telling him that I think I chose the wrong trail to run and that I my GPS was lying to me. He asked why and I said “well it says that I’ve only run 1.3 miles and I’m sure I’ve gone further” he told me that the GPS was right I had only gone the 1.3 miles. You can imagine the expletives that rolled around in my brain at that point and after thanking him for his information I ran off saying to myself, only 1.2 miles to go!
Taking some water I contemplated continuing on because the peak was only another 3 miles at an elevation of 10,000 feet. But I had already been gone way longer then I planned and I knew my wife would be getting worried. I did after all run off in to the wilderness with no idea where I was going.
The fun part was going back down and except for the really gnarly places that I was sure to break something; I ran like the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland, well maybe the White Rabbit because I was late, late, late for in important date.
I’ve got to tell you my trail shoes kick butt! I was flying down the mountain at speeds that even surprised me when I could; I was ricocheting off the sides of the trails, downed trees and boulders. The trail was more active with hikers and I found more often then not I was going off the trail so I didn’t have to stop when hikers blocked my way. As I ran off the path in one section I ran down the side of a boulder and one of the hikers said “Wow you’re brave!” I yelled bake “or just stupid!”
Still there were quite a few places that I needed to take my time getting down the mountain that is if I intended to get down whole. I did the return in 47 minutes, faster then I expected.
Even thought the run/hike tore me up, I think I would do it again; but I would plan it better now that I know the trail. Maybe next time I’ll run up to the peak.
Oh and when I did get back to camp my wife greeted me with “I didn’t think you were coming back” obviously I was gone too long and had her worried.