Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rad Run Map and Trail Notes

This post provides information on various sections of the Rad Run Trail for those unfamiliar with running at Garvin County Park. The attached map is an updated version with direction arrows, obstacles, park features, and aid stations noted.


TRAILS & PARK FEATURES
The Rad Run Course is represented by the wide pink line, and includes direction arrows. Other lines on the map include other park trails (light gray), and the Cottonwood River (blue). From the aerial photo, you can see the gravel road through the park, parking areas, some buildings and structures, and the campground areas. Specific park features used as reference points are indicated with yellow markers and labels.

ELEVATION
The map has a colorized representation of elevation overlayed on an aerial photo of the park. Dark rusty-brown represents higher elevation, frosty-green is lower. You can especially see this difference on the slopes. Basically, narrower color bands equals steeper slopes, and a greater range of color in succession equals a greater elevation change (up or down). If the trail goes from an area of frosty-green to dark rusty brown... your lungs burn if you're going up, and your knees quiver going down.

HILLS
Using the elevation colors you should be able to identify three steep hills. 1- just after the start, 2 - at "Merton's Lookout Tower", and 3 - shortly after the boy scout bridge. There is also a long climb that starts about 1/2 mile before the finish. Downhills on the trail are just after the first two steep climbs, and on the way to the finish. There are other hills, but compared to these they're a breeze!

NATURAL HAZARDS

  • There are two river crossings noted on the map. The first one has a deeper channel than the second. If the river is too high, the route will stay on the road for the first crossing, and will use the alternate bridge crossing at the second.
  • The mud hole between the pond and the boy scout bridge is at the bottom of a short ravine. Horses use this trail so it is likely there are deep holes in the mud. The entire trail in the wood between the pond, and the upper campground can be a slick, muddy mess. The river banks, and other wooded sections can also be muddy.
  • The obstacle marked "Brush" about 1/3 into the race is dense with plants and brush on a narrow path.  
  • You also need to keep your wits about you for rocks, broken branches, and fresh evidence of horses - especially on the steep downhills, and through the heavily wooded areas.


OBSTACLES
The planned obstacles are scattered along the course. Just after the start, you will go under cargo netting that gets closer to the ground as you go up the first hill. Two areas of hay bales are planned; a hay pyramid to climb, and scattered bales to hurdle. If available, the log walk is a balancing act crossing a short span (20 feet). Tires will be placed on a service road for you to dance through, and at the log lug shortly after you will carry a chunk of firewood about 30 yards. Almost to the finish (after your sweaty, muddy adventure) you'll get a quick cool down thanks to the local fire department. Who knows... there might be other surprises along the way.

MAP ARROWS
The arrows on the map are located primarily at trail junctions. The course will be well marked with pink arrows on the ground, and either signs, or volunteers at important trail intersections.

If you have questions about the map, or trail, fell welcome to contact Roger Schroeder by commenting on this post, or via email to rogerschroeder@co.lyon.mn.us.






Monday, May 14, 2012

I hope everyone is getting psyched for the inaugural Rad Run!  I’ve been weight training, running and hitting some trails too to help me get in shape – and I’m just helping set up and monitor the event!  Seriously, though, I am going to run the course the Friday before to get a feel for the Mud, Sweat and Cheers we’re all going to experience on Saturday, June 9!
The Rad Run will be a great way to get your summer running kicked off right – with a little extreme mixed in along with the trail, you’ll have a great gauge for where you’re at physically and have a ton of fun in the process.  My summer is swamped with travel through the midpoint, but I’ve got a number of events up ahead and some underfoot already that will make the trips worthwhile! 
My tune ups for the Rad Run are the Avera Marshall 5K on June 2 and the weekend before that, I’m in Erie, PA for a two-week trial, but I managed to find a couple of 5Ks to run there, with one around Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  This upcoming weekend, while in Duluth for a wedding, I hope to run some of the North Shore for the great scenery and the up-and-down trails as well.  These three unique organized and personal challenges should provide me with a good start on the rigors of the Rad Run, in addition to my weekly workout regimen!

If you don’t have local races, you can challenge yourself with a 5K through a hilly area.  For a great simulation of the Rad Run, try running Camden State Park’s trails and doing various calisthenics every so often.  I like to do various push-ups and tricep-dips on stumps, speed-lunges in open areas, and jumping jacks at the top and bottom of each hill.  These added activities will make you push yourself physically, and simulate the additional challenges that the Rad Run will present!
The countdown is on for Rad Run, will you be ready?  I’m sure of it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A little dirt....ALOT of Pride!

No speed needed, all you need is a desire for fitness and fun!!  Creating this event from the ground up has been a blast!  The trails are beautiful but yet create a challenge.  I am so excited to share this event with all the potential new Rad Run race fans!  You are sure to have a great time!
The XTC class went out and even ran the trail WITHOUT the obstacles and came back grinning from ear to ear and made me take a group photo.  The pride was beeming from each of their faces!  How fun!  They were wet, dirty, and sporting a few scratches from this new adventure they took on.  They conquered though....the high river (from all the rain) did not stop them either.  I am so proud of that group. 
So ROCK ON future Rad Run Racers....June 9th is just around the corner!