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Year 2006

this weekend’s fun: the ALTAR

“Art Loeb Trail Adventure Run”. not a race, but a gathering of people for a self-supported speed hike of the 30.9 mile trail. “The highlight of the run comes during the latter half when the trail ventures above 6000′ atop the many southern balds of the Great Balsams. The Winter ALTAR challenge is to complete the trek between sunrise and sunset of the shortest day of the year. Winter in the wild, this is adventure running at its finest and most challenging,” says the NC Ultra website. Luckily, the weather is looking ideal, with temps on Shining Rock (the highest point I think we’ll reach) ranging from 35 – 47 today (I expect a slight cool down for Saturday – maybe 5 degrees or so).

Lorna, Toby & Sam will be joining me for the run (a few other friends had to withdraw last minute, there should be about 22 of us total). I’ll actually be heading to the start via Asheville, hooking up with the Curwens for a ride to the start. (And that’s the last time I’ll see them until the finish!) My camera will be charged and in town to capture the gorgeous vistas.

Map of the Pisgah Ranger District
We’ll start in 3C at the Davidson River Campground. The Art Loeb Trail (dotted red line) heads west, then bears north, ending at Camp Daniel Boone in 2A.

I’ll report back next week!

it must be winter…

when the waterfalls freeze! ok, so these are small ones, but it was still cool to see. these pics are from the trailblazers’ nav training we held (or rather christmas easter egg hunt, as jim calls it). while the nav wasn’t particularly difficult, some of the route choices made for interesting times – like our bushwack about 400′ down the side of the gorge down to CP8 (we chose a route down a small reentrant west of CP3, near the number 3 in 1300′). Check out on the map here… This area was the North Chick Gorge, which is part of the Cumberland Trail that I’ve been running. (the rest of my running crew hit the Possum Creek Gorge segment, which hopefully we’ll revisit in early January as our last long run before Mountain Mist!)

>more pics here

TrailBlazers & Tsali

The Support Crew (aka. “board of directors”) of the TrailBlazers Adventure Racing Club had our annual planning retreat this weekend. In the past we’ve just done it at someone’s house, but since we’ve grown so much this past year (11 chapters in 6 states!), we picked a somewhat central area to convene. The area we picked was the gorgeous Nantahala National Forest.


We met all day Saturday (literally… 8 hrs of “stuff”). We luckily finished just in time for me to watch the Gators kick off a great football game (SEC Championships!! And just heard we got the BCS bid for the National Championships!!!). My celebrations continue with some cold beer and the hot tub… (and this great view of the moon).

Sunday was left for a play day, so Jim, Carol & I hit the trails at Tsali with our mountain bikes. We started on the right loop, then Carol headed back while Jim & I went on to the Overlook Trail and Left Loop (backwards – which flowed very nice). I had a great ride and was able to work on some of my bad habits that plaque my technical riding. Everything finally felt good & comfortable for a change, which has me psyched. I hope I can continue this practice throughout the winter, as it will certainly help my racing (and also my leisure riding) next year.

A weekend of thanks…

For great friends, great weather, and 2 healthy feet that have been treating me to many great adventures lately!

Thanksgiving morning, I went on a road ride with Dan & his dad, before feasting that afternoon. Friday, Rebecca and I hit the new Raccoon Mountain Trails on our our mtn bikes. These trails are only about 30min west of downtown Chatt! The local SORBA chapter has really done an incredible job up here – there will be lots of trail building throughout the winter and I hope to catch up with them and give a little back. The trails aren’t too technical and should be good to work out some of my bad habits.

> see more pics from Raccoon Mtn

Saturday was reserved for catching up on work, cleaning, yard work and good football! Sunday I met up with the running crew for another long one on the Cumberland Trail. We actually did the same Soddy segment as last weekend, but I still took my camera for some new pics. Unfortunately we still couldn’t find a way across the creek, even though the water was down a good foot. At the end, we did a short preview of next section (Possum Creek Gorge), to bring our mileage total to approx 20. I’m feeling pretty good running and should hopefully be fairly prepared for the upcoming ALTAR.

>see more pics from the Cumberland Trail

12 Hrs of the Hill of Truth

The race a few weeks ago was a mudfest, but we had a blast! The competition in the female team division was much tougher than expected. We did get 3rd place (9 laps total), scoring some cool pint glasses & tshirts. My BOD friends were up there in full force, setting up a fab pit area, complete with heated room and a disco ball. This was a well run event with lots of happy competitors everywhere – definitely one for the calendar next year!

more pics here

Cumberland Trail Hike

Sunday, I joined some friends for a run on the Cumberland Trail, a 300+ mile trail that runs from Prentice Cooper & Chickamauga in Chattanooga, up to Cumberland Park in Kentucky. I think there may be an idea brewing to run all of it at some point – in stages, of course. We tackled an 8.9 mile section in Soddy-Daisy, called the Board Camp Creek Trail. Finding the starting point was a bit challenging, but once located, we were led through gorgeous hardwood and pine forests and along scenic gorges, with water misting over the rocks above us (luckily we didn’t get too wet, as it probably didn’t make it out of the low 40s). We were not able to ford the creek near the end for the final ascent to Hotwater Road (we estimate we were about .5-.75miles away), so we probably ran about 8.25miles of the trail… x2 (out & back), plus another 4 or so in our efforts to find the trail head, we logged a solid 19+ miles.

A few pics are below; more are here.

Ladies Cycling Fashion Show

I went to a Ladies Cycling Fashion show last night, hosted by Suck Creek Cycles here in Chatty. A small group attended (10ish), so we had the full attention of the Hincapie rep that was there. She showed us some great new clothes and offerend a 15% discount on anything that night (Hincapie stuff is primo, so the discount came in handy! I have a nice base layer and long sleeve top coming soon…) We also got a preview of the Spring ’07 line from Terry and discussed a new line they will be carrying by Craft. At the end of the night, freebies and raffle items courtesy of Hincapie and Suck Creek Cycles were handed out (thanks!).

Now for my constructive comments… if you want to entice us to buy lots, give us wine. The tea & coffee was nice & cozy for the cold wet nasty weather, but a bit of alcohol emancipates us from our wallets :)


After a day+ of rain, this weekend’s mountain bike race will definitely be a dirty one. I’m heading up to nearby Oak Ridge, TN for the 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth at Haw Ridge. When reading about the trails there, it says “Moderate. Technical. (avoid when wet).” We’ll surely be in for a “treat”. I’m racing on a 4-person female team with my upcoming Buff Betty teammates Monica & Patricia, along with with Rebecca. We’ll definitely have a ton of fun (especially since 12 or so of my BOD bike buds from Atl will be coming up as well), and hopefully give local mtn bike supastar Kim a run for top honors.

Here’s a map of the course, although we’ve heard it has undergone some last minute revisions to make it more friendly in light of mother nature’s lovely downpours.

Hmm… maybe this is what the Hill of Truth looks like. yikes!

Asheville Newspaper Coverage

I think I posted a link before, but I got the actual newspaper clipping emailed to me by an old friend out there.

Sponsorship in 2007!

For the past year, Hunter, Daniel, Tony & I have raced under the name Underdawgs (a name I was always in partial protest of, as Hunter and Daniel are avid Georgia Bulldogs… it’s amazing we even get along :). We are proud to announce that for the upcoming year, we will be racing as Team Charbons Outfitters. Charbons specializes in all sorts of gear for your outdoor adventures. Their flagship store is located in Athens, GA, with a new location to open soon in the NE suburbs of Atlanta. Check them out when you’re in need for your next piece of gear.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for our debut as Team Charbons Outfitters at the Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race in Helen, GA on March 23-25, 2007.