Perfect way to start the week

Is there a better way to kick off Monday morning than a five-mile trail run? OK, maybe a 10-mile trail run. But five miles is still pretty good.

I went out to my favorite nearby trail, the mountain-bike loop at Town Run Trail Park.

Town Run Trail Park has green woods and dirt trails. What else do you need?

Town Run Trail Park has green woods and dirt trails. What else do you need?

The trail was beautiful today. The air was crisp and clean. The woods were lush green. And surprisingly, the trails were perfectly clear.

 The last time I was there, about 10 days ago, several trees had fallen down in a big storm the day before, making the run a bit of an obstacle course.

But the mountain bikers who maintain this trail are an industrious bunch. Over the past week, they had cleared all the trees, logs, brush and other debris from the trail, leaving it nice and neat.

I had the trail mostly to myself. I saw two bicyclists on the trail and stepped aside for them. They were flying down hills. So my stepping aside was the proper thing to do, for my safety as well as theirs. Plus, it’s primarily a bike trail.

This course is a seven-mile loop, but I shaved off a about 1 1/2 miles in the middle. That’s because I had only an hour to do the run (plus drive to and from the park) before getting to work. So I’m guessing I ran five miles or so.

But like I said, five miles is still pretty good.

The course is not a fast run. It full of twists, turns, hills and dropoffs. My running time was 48:08.

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Here’s a race I would be tempted to try, if I weren’t busy next Saturday morning.

The Hawthorn Relay course is a mix of shady woods, sunny fields and a bit of pavement. Here's a photo from last year's race.

It’s called the Hawthorn Half Day Relay and Ultra. It’s a 12-hour trail relay race, using a  2 1/2 mile loop.

Teams are made up of six or two runners. There is also an individual division for those who want to run and run, without stopping for a break.

The goal is to see how many loops (and miles) your team can rack up in 12 hours.

The records for this race are 118 miles (6-person team), 90 miles (2-person team) and 69 miles (individual).

The race is in Terre Haute, Ind., about 90 minutes southwest from my house.

Yes, the race is pretty extreme. I probably wouldn’t run for the entire 12 hours, with or without a team.

But it would be interesting to run the race for three or four hours, using it as a training run.  Maybe next year.

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