Alex Bruns and I (Chad Wolf) started the morning 3/23/19 with little knowledge of the TVT route other than reading the report that had been posted on Fastestknowntime.org and the trail maps on the germantown Metropark and twin creek Metropark websites. The reported mileage was approximately 26-27 miles.
We decided for logistics reasons to park our car in the public parking lot that was about half way on the run that way we could leave a coke colas and extra water bottles at the car if needed. We decided to start going north to Germantown Metropark as it seemed to have the most elevation gain and we thought it would be good to get that out of the way early with fresh legs.
We started along a paved bike path for a little over two miles where we had our first mistake of the day. We were a little too excited to start the day and didn’t look at that map too closely at first and just assumed we knew the direction. We took the bike path to the 725 HWY where we crossed the street and followed Creek st following signs for Germantown metro park. We ran a little over a mile up the road when we could see the dam and I felt that we did not cover enough distance to be seeing the damn from what the map said. We realized at this time that we missed the trail turn off at 725 HWY. We ran back the 1+ mile back to the trail head and continued on the TVT trail. At this point we likely added 2 miles or so to our total distance.
We started along the TVT off road trail and things felt right again. The trail continued up around the dam where we saw the orange/pink trail marker for Germantown Metro park. We continued on the orange/pink trail when we came to a T in the trail. We realized that we should not be at a T when reviewing the map and realize that we took a trail that ran through the middle of the outer TVT trail. Once again we had got off trail. We made the decision to continue north to finish the rest of the TVT in the park and cover the part of the trail that we missed once the rest of that loop was finished making it roughly a 1 mile out and back. We added 1 mile running back on the out and back to our total distance along with the initial distance of the inner loop which was likely another mile. This brought us to what we were guessing was 4 excess miles.
At least we could follow the same trail back to the car without getting lost. We arrived at the car around mile 19.5 roughly which should have been about mile 15. We swapped out water bottles, drank a coke and put a coke in our vest and continued through town into Twin Creek Metro park. On our way back to the car we had a moment where we noticed small backpacker trail markers indicating the TVT that we did not recognize on our way out. We definitely had a ‘hello captain obvious moment.’ Now that we knew what markers we were following we had little trouble finding our path the rest of the way.
We ran down the road through the town that led into a grass trail next to a fenced in farm where we ran along side horses for a mile or so before entering Twin Creek Metro Park. We came to fork in the trail where we decided to go right because it looked like a longer distance on the was to the turn around at the south end of Twin Creek due to the winding of the trail. There was a section of some unexpected large but short climbs on the way out through Twin Creek. We made it to Chamberlin Rd, crossed the street and ran the flat but muddy purple trail. On the way back we stayed right to take the more direct straight route back through Twin Creek which seemed to go by in a flash compared to the way out. Before we knew it we were back running along side the horses when we hit the road and ran back through town and stopping at the car. We ended right around 31 miles in just under 5 hours and 45 minutes.
We could have done the TVT trail much more efficiently by not going 4 miles off the trail and not taking so much stopping time consulting the map to figure out where we were and where we were going. Now that we have ran the trail it seems it would be very easy to go back and do the trail without any navigation problems. Overall we covered all of the TVT trail and had a nice cool and sunny day to do so. We ended the run with some black bean and avocado burritos.