Saturday, August 11, 2012

Days 73 and 74 - Into Maryland and the C&O Canal

Day 73
The best weather day in 6-7 weeks probably helped Jennifer and I to running our fastest pace day since stage 34 I believe. The official distance for the day was 48.80 miles; finish time of 9:59:12. We ran well from the start with complete overcast skies for 20 plus miles and scattered clouds the rest of the day. Start temp was near 60 and the high temp was reported to be about 72.
Jennifer’s parents Pete and Eileen arrived the night before and they immediately commenced crewing duties as they crewed for Jennifer and I the first 13 miles of the day. Upon reaching the Eastern Continental Divide after running a slight uphill grade for 25 miles, Pete rode my bike to mule food and water for Jennifer & I, and Eileen ran with us. The four of us had a wonderful eight-mile downhill run/bike from the Divide, through the 3000+ foot long Big Savage Tunnel (the longest tunnel of the Run route) and into Frostburg, MD. Besides enjoying the valley views from the trail, a local cyclist pointed out a large rattlesnake about 15 feet off the trail to us. From there Jennifer and I continued to run well downhill to our stop a mile and a half from downtown Cumberland, MD. Shortly after leaving Frostburg we sighted a presumably old slow moving beaver-like animal on the trail. Unlike most animals that run away from people this one stayed right next to the trail as we walked right up to it and watched it for a minute or so. Earlier in the day we crossed over the longest trestle of the trip just north of Meyersdale, PA. WOW – a super day!!!
Markleton, PA to Cumberland, MD 48.80 miles
Jennifer  9:59:12
Mike        9:59:12

Day 74
It was another good weather day with the high in the low 80s and plenty of shade from the trees. After running the last mile and a half on the GAP we transitioned to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Towpath. The Towpath surface is not quite as good as the GAP trail surface so we expended a slight bit more effort to complete each mile as compared the GAP. With that said, we ran well all day again. Pete cycled and muled for us for 19 miles and Eileen ran with us for six miles. We ran through the Paw Paw Tunnel – the only tunnel on the C&O Canal – and the only tunnel on the Run route which required headlamps/flashlights/head torches. Great thanks to our crews (our parents) for moving us down the trail so quickly these last two days!!!
Cumberland to Little Orleans, MD 45.23 miles
            Will have to report our time tomorrow – long story.


  1. WOW Mike and Jen!!! I am so excited to be seeing you next week and to see you realize your dream!!! What an amazing feat!!! I so enjoy all your descriptions of what you are seeing!

  2. I myself once lived in Maryland, and I used to tell everyone then: It's the land we love, whether we like it or not! (I was a student, whether I liked it or not.) Try to avoid Washington, DC, though. The only "trails" there are worn into the sidewalks leading up to the welfare agencies. Enjoy the Towpath! "Torches"? OMG, Mike, Jennifer's British has totally worn off on you! You should be gathering nightly at the pub and dining on bubble and squeak.
    (She'll know what that is. :)