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.






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