Saturday, September 19, 2015

Number 56 - Jarrard Gap AT Loop


For number 56 I hiked the Jarrard Gap AT (Appalachian Trail) Loop in the north Georgia mountains with the meetup.com group 'Suwanee Take-a-Hikers'. I really like one of the mantras I came across regarding meetup.com - using the internet to get people off the internet! Well, this meetup group accomplished that.

We met up at the Lowe's parking lot in Suwanee and car pooled the hour and a half drive up to the mountains.

It was a cool September morning at about 50 degrees which felt fantastic after what seemed like months of 90+ weather!

The hike was a loop that took us on the Appalachian Trail, Jarrard Trail, and the Slaughter Creek Trail all in the Blood Mountain Wilderness area. Although 19 people signed up for the hike only nine showed up for it.

One of the interesting side notes on two members of the group, they were on their first date! That took some chutzpah. They chose not to carpool with the rest of us as they wanted to get to know each other on the drive up. Interesting first date!


We parked next to Lake Winfield Scott, geared up, and hit the trail head.

We were pretty much under a constant canopy of green the entire hike. Thoughts of what this might look like in about six weeks when the leaves would be all sorts of colors went through our minds as we trekked along.

The reason why this hike was categorized as moderate to difficult was the elevation gain. We started at just over 2800 feet and would make a steady climb to just over 3800 feet in the first three miles. So the first part was part were we burned the most calories but it was worth it. There were no points on this hike that had great vista of the surrounding mountains, again, mostly covered in a green canopy of leaves.









I enjoyed this hike and it was a pretty good workout, especially the elevation gain. One of the things my fitbit does is count stairs. It considers a 10 foot elevation gain as a set of stairs. The final count of stairs registered at 125! I thought that might be off as it was roughly a 1000 foot elevation gain. But a closer look at elevation profile made me realize that there were plenty of up and downs along the way.

It was a good hike.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Number 54 & 55 Suwanee Fest 5K/10K


It's not often when the chance comes along to do two races in one day but the opportunity did present itself on Saturday. I really did like the cause of the Suwanee Fest Superhero 5K & 10K Classic, it was a benefit for Cure Childhood Cancer. The 5K started at 7:30 and the 10K at 8:30 and since I've really slacked off doing races this year, it just made sense to do both.


As usual I arrived early to the race only this race was different. When I picked my race bib & packet, they also gave me a cape. So I donned my cape, walked around a bit only to find Batman & Robin and the Batmobile!


Very fitting with the Superhero theme of the event. Back in the day that was one of my favorite TV shows.


For both races the Batmobile lead the way.


About 350 people did the 5K and close to 150 people did the 10K. The way I found out about the race was through the meetup (meetup.com) walking group I typically walk with on Saturday mornings. Michelle, our meetup group organizer posted about this race instead of meeting up at our usual location. I'm glad she made us aware of this great cause. Although I think other meetup-ers did the 5K, with 350 racers and hundreds of more spectator/supporters I just did not see them.


The 5K started at exactly 7:30 and we were lead through the timing chute by the Batmobile. I walked the 5K in 41 minutes and 19 seconds, a pace of 13:20 minutes/mile.


After grabbing a water after the 5K I did run into Maria and Rick, from the meetup group. The three of us lined up near the back of the 10K-ers. And just a few minutes later, we were off.


Once again the Batmobile started us on our way.  As we progressed through the race I discovered that this was Rick and Maria's first 10K and not only that, it was Maria's first race ever!


It was a great workout for all!