FKT: Kate Woodard, Dustin Smith - The Priest & Three Ridges (VA) - 2020-08-11

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
8h 16m 10s
GPS track(s)

Fortunately, it's only impossible to set an OKT/FKT if you fail to finish. 

While exploring classic routes near Charlottesville on a last minute running vacation, it came to my dear friend's attention that The Priest and Three Ridges was woefully lacking in female representation. After dancing and sloshing our way through the Wild Oak Trail loop a few days prior, we were clearly in need of more excuses to eat chips in excessive quantities. 

We started at 6:36am from the trail head sign and warmed up the legs on some lovely AT trail heading up Three Ridges. Miles 3-5 were a bit overgrown and were home to a chorus of bees. The climb goes by quickly and before you know it, you're inverting your recently rehabbed ankle at mile 7.5...because, rocks and paying attention. The rest of the loop went by uneventfully, if significantly slower than intended. 

We took a leisurely pit stop at the car for lunch, then headed up The Priest. We enjoyed a summer thunderstorm for the middle miles on the way, as clearly, we were stinky enough to offend the gods. The fog cleared just in time to remember that it was Summer in Virginia in the last mile to the shelter. 

After the turnaround, it was lovely sunny weather on the decent. The trails drain amazingly quickly in this area compared to the Pacific Northwest. The internal battle between self-preservation (you can't go down the hill at all if you roll that ankle again...) and desire to bomb down the hill like a moderately controlled boulder (WHEEEE!) was real. 

I'm excited for some gal to give this a real go...I think it could easily be a 6 hour run on a good day.