Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Horse-Shoe Trail - Giddy Up!

So I've picked November 7-8 as my days to run the 142 mile Horse-Shoe Trail across southeastern PA. After combing over the trail description and maps, I've decided to start on the western end of the trail where it meets w/ the Appalachian Trail. I picked this direction for a couple reasons:

1) I won't have to hike an extra couple miles from the end of the Horse-Shoe Trail to the road when I'm done (I like to be DONE when I'm done...not have to still walk a couple miles to the car!). By ending the run in Valley Forge, I'll be right at the street when the trail ends.

2) The first 30+ miles on the western end of the trail are probably the most remote and challenging as far as terrain goes, so I'll happily glide over that on fresh legs in the beginning instead of shuffling like a zombie at the end.

3) The prevailing wind is generally W/NW this time of year in that area of PA (Hey, I do my research!), so I'll gladly opt to have it at my back more often than not as I head east to Valley Forge.

Since I'm doing this run unsupported, I'm plotting out my water supply points pretty carefully. There are a few streams/springs along the way that I've plotted, but finding others is proving to be pretty tough as the maps of this trail are printed in black and white (i.e. No blue rivers to easily pick out). I'll be fine either way, but the B&W maps are definitely proving to be a challenge in some regards.

Since I know I'll be running over some hills w/ cell towers and through a few small towns along the way, I'll be sure to send some audio posts to the blog as I make my way through the trail. Hopefully the Utterli site has ironed out some its issues of late and all my posts make to the blog in a reasonable time. Either way, I'll be sure to carry a camera with me and post a nice run report within a day or two when I get back home.

As far as a Speed Record goes, I have inquiries out all over the place right now to see if anyone knows of an existing record, but thus far one doesn't seem to exist. This is great news to me since I'll really be able to relax and take my time running w/ my semi-heavy pack (I'll post my complete list of gear/fuel before I take off next weekend).

One of the major reasons I'm doing this run is to practice how my Vermont Long Trail attempt will go next year, and I hope to gain some quality insight in terms of what gear to carry and how long I should stop for my quick snoozes on the trail. I know my Long Trail attempt is still a ways off, but I'm already excited to start ramp-up process for that big run!


Runner Tammy said...


Good luck with this! I know you will be super prepared and have a great time. And of course time on feet will be good training for your 24 hour championship later next spring.

Have fun!

Amelia said...

KG and I once brought borrowed bikes out to Valley Forge only to find that the tires on mine were hopelessly flat and we could do nothing but turn around and go home. I feel quite confident that you will surpass that high bar we set. Good luck!