I was pretty excited to do this route. I've done it twice in training with quite a bit of time in between, both times just mostly hiking. I knew it would be challenging. The hills just don't seem that hard when you get to leisurely hike up them. Running up them is a different story. I knew the conditions would be super muddy and wet, although I couldn't have asked for better weather. I did a quick warm up and got started at 8:30AM. I always take my date stamped photo before I start my watch. It sure didn't take long to get soaked. I tried to stay dry for a bit, but it useless. The rocks were slippery, which I knew they would be. Overall I probably almost wiped out 4 or 5 times, but managed to stay upright. I did feel a bit sluggish, especially running the rocky, uphill sections. I knew I just had to keep moving the best I could and not loose too much focus. I made one wrong turn almost at the halfway point of the out and back. I followed what seemed like a trail only to end up at a fire pit. I doubled back and once again found the yellow blazes. Always frustrating! It certainly isn't the easiest route to navigate. I was excited for the halfway point because of the big scramble down to the lake. It's not really big at all, but I rarely ever scramble so it's fun for me. I made it down and touched the water and scrambled back up. Things went OK on the inbound leg. I still had to focus to not fall and hurt myself. I noticed there was a couple of super wet sections of the trail on the outbound leg that I tried to avoid the shin high water. I just plowed through it at this point. I saw a few groups of people out hiking, but that's it. I made it back to the start sign in 1:32:17. It's a great and challenging route! I do recommend scoping it out beforehand. Also, choosing a time of year with dry conditions, but also avoiding bugs would be ideal. On to the next one...
out & back
1h 32m 17s