Thursday, August 7, 2014

CAT Ass 50K recap (July 19 2014), and farewell to Jarrod Call

The first annual CAT Ass 50K happened last month.  28 people started from Sugar Hollow.  We had many CAT regulars, plus others from NoVa, Richmond, Harrisonburg, and even a visitor from New Mexico!

Obligatory pre-run picture


The route took us up the North Fork Moorman's River up to the AT, where Andy Jones-Wilkins set up an informal but well-stocked and welcome portable aid station. The only complaints came when Andy seemed more interested in flagging down Skyline Drive drivers and AT hikers to show off his 1000 mile Western States buckle than actually helping out CAT Ass runners.  But mostly he came through for us.



From there we proceeded to the Blackrock Summit, which was the turnaround for some runners looking for ~10 miles.  Others continued on to the Jones Run/Doyle River Trail loop and back to AJW's aid station.  In the future if we just have one person giving aid, we will take advantage of the campground potable water along the AT so the aid station can move earlier for the fast bunch.

More people returned via the North Fork back to Sugar Hollow, but others continued on for the full 50K to Turk Gap, where AJW again provided aid.  One group had bypassed Blackrock/Jones/Doyles and just followed the AT to Turk Gap.  Having various options to cut distance makes for an enjoyable fat ass run, as not everyone wants to run the full distance.  From there it was a drop down the Turk Branch trail to the South Fork Moorman's River trail home, to join the party hanging out in the creek.

A great day in Shenandoah National Park, and this looks like a winner for years to come.  Thanks to Sophie Spiedel for organizing, and to Andy Jones-Wilkins for the great aid station support!

The only downside was saying goodbye to Jarrod Call, making his final run as a Virginia resident.  Jarrod and family moved to Athens, Georgia, where he'll be teaching at the University of Georgia.  Once a CAT, always a CAT though, there's no escape.

You thought I was kidding about AJW showing off his buckle?