Saturday, August 11, 2007

Inaugural Run: N. Central Railroad Trail (aka. "Trishie's Trail)

Course: North Central Railroad Trail
Northern Maryland
Towns: Monkton, Sparks, Ashland, White Hall, MD
Distance: 16.2 Miles
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2007
Time: 9:00 AM
Weather: 72%, 40% Humidity,
Suny, Beautiful Shady Course
Course Path: (see map, left)
Elevations: (see graph, left)

I went this weekend to visit my two aunts and uncles, Virginia, Maggie, Antonio & Juan Carlos. They live in Linthicum & Rockville, MD. Running can be a challenge when one has to travel, so to improve my chances of continuing my training, I started looking for places to run last week.

I belong to a great, great online club called RunningAhead.Com. The members in the club are super. I had put out an open question in one of their forums to see if anyone lived in the MD area. Sure enough, I had several responses, mostly from one runner, "trishierunner". Apparently, she lives in the MD area, and had made the suggestion of running on the North Central Railroad Trail.

I had never heard of it before, so I did my own little research and found it to be perhaps, the "mecca" of all running trails in the state.

However, not even the hype matched the immensity of this trail.

I got up early Saturday morning, around 7am, and left my girlfriend sleeping at the hotel. The night before, we were at Juan Carlos' house until 1am, so 7am WAS early. I drove north to Monkton, where I luckily got the last spot at the little parking lot there.

I immediately began my run, heading south towards Ashland.

What a beautiful trail.

Mother Nature Incorporated. First of all, it was cooler than expected, I don't even think the mercury had broken 70 degrees, and if it did, it would not be found on this rock/asphalt trail.
The density of trees were such, that it covered most of the sun. As such, I ran in the shade almost the entire run!!!

Additionally, there were mile markings along the course (above), and it even boasted
it's own port-a-potty (below). It was well used too....if you know what I mean (eeeooowww!)

There were even some historical boards along the trail. I tell you, this was like a museum-turned running trail!

Brooks, streams, birds, leaves rustling, and the occasional runner, biker, was all that was to be found in "nature's paradise".

For all of the trails I run in New York City, it really was great to feel something new like this. At times, I would turn off the iPod just to listen to my breathing and my feet landing on the ground. The quietness all around me was so peaceful. Miles just kept adding up quickly in this environment. My legs were feeling great the whole time, and I never cramped up.

I could go on and on, about this run, but at the risk of boring everyone, I will just say that I wish there were beautiful trails 20 miles long in New York City. Of course, that's a pipe dream, but at least I know what to do the next time I come down here.

After my run was finished, I enjoyed a nice 24 ounce Strawberry smoothie at the general store right off the trail (below).

P.S. I never saw not one dead animal anywhere either. Goes to show you how nice life is when you are running through Mother Nature's land....

I think I will officially call this run the "Trishie's Trail". Had it not been for her, I would have never experienced this!

Thanks Trishie!!!


DGA said...

Here is my advice to you: MOVE OUT!
LEAVE NY! Any other state offers parks and trails like that. They are kept in such a beautiful condition and natural preservation for the people to enjoy it. In New York people come DEAD LAST! Everything is made and figured out to make money, not to please its inhabitants. I LOVE NY. NOOOOOOOT! said...

Course: The bathroom at master bedroom location
Tamarac, FL
Other rooms: Hall, Master Bedroom
Distance: 25 feet
Date: Sunday, August 12,2007
Time: 6 am, 8 am, 10 am 12 noon, 2 pm, 4 pm
Weather: 92. 103% humidity
Air conditioned tile road
Course Path: ( see below)
Elevations: 3 big ones mounted.
_____________l x (Right here)
Course Path: ----------/

Well, I finally got my wish. No rain but I did run 4 times to the bathroom.

AP said...

there are trails like that in new york! the rockefeller state park trail system starts at van cortlandt park and runs all the way up to peekskill. you can run for hours and never repeat yourself. the straight-out trail is more than 26 miles one way, and there are side trails as well. all very safe, and accessible via the #1 subway (to VCP) or metro north if you want to get further up on the trail. good luck!

Alex Gonzalez said...

Thanks AP. Now that you mentioned this, I will check to see if there are any maps online. I used to live in Westchester but on the east side, so I am figuring that when you mean Peekskill, are you talking about the Harlem Line of Metro North?