Point to point run (south bound) on the Appalachian Trail through the Cumberland Valley. As per previous posted runs, course starts right at the Darlington Shelter (about 200m off the AT on east side). Course follows AT to Center Point Knob, ending at the rocky area with sign for Center Point Knob el. 1060'. (Note that the strava segment is a little off and the two landmarks should be used for time. E.g. my time between landmarks was 2:30:37 but my strava segment time was 2:30:00 and 2:29:29 from a second device.)
Warm day; late start. Ran the Darlington Trail from Millers Gap to get the shelter on the AT (separate run). Started right at the Darlington shelter, ran out the spur trail and left onto the AT. The descent was very runnable, with nice switchbacks and only a few really rocky sections. Quads took a beating nonetheless (esp after Buzzard last week). After about 3mi of descent, the AT levels out and starts winding along the Conodoguinet Creek with lots of built drainage features, bridges, and a little mud. Missed a U-turn to cross the creek and lost some time there. I decided to take water, but only my 8oz softbottle, and realized I was still losing a lot of fluid, despite the mostly shaded trail. This section is deceptively tricky; not super technical, but enough rocks, roots and fence crossings to slow you down. Started to hurt after some sunny, exposed field sections on the approach to Boiling Springs and a heinous sidestitch brought me to a walk just outside town. Slogged along the Children's Lake and got a little confused again as there are multiple paths crossing the railroad tracks on the other side. Had nothing for the final push up to Center Point Knob and just missed my goal of sub 2:30. Gear: NB1500v2, Salomon 8oz soft flask.