The real start of the Slim Pickings 70 starts at the seventy mile mark of the Laurel Highlands Hiking trail and runs to the zero mile mark in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania on Friday morning. This is in the reverse direction of the LH ultra trail race held in June. Since I only get one weekend off of work every month, It is easier for me to get days off in the middle of the week and being of the Fat Ass format, I decided to start on Wednesday. I informed Gombu of my plans and he joined in on the fun.
I left work on Tuesday evening and drove the 5 1/2 hours to Seven springs ski resort. Slept in my car and met Gombu at Seven springs on Wednesday morning. He had just dropped off Moose's car at the top of the resort as Moose was running from the start to Seven springs. They had dropped aid at the 11 mile mark the night before and we would use Seven springs as the next aid around the 26 mile. Back to Ohiopyle we go and we started running around 9:30ish. To summarize the run, windy, snowy and slow. I had no time goals just fun trail time. A bear got into the aid cache and left us some scraps. We were going to meet up with John DeWalt at 26ish miles but missed him and we spent the next hour or two wondering were oh were could Downhill Johnny be. I was supposed to bring my cell phone but forgot it in my car at the start so we had no way to get in touch with him. Around this time, the snow really started coming down and the trail was beautiful. FRESHIES. A few miles before the bridge crossing we see a light coming towards us and lo and behold it's John. John's phone was operational and we spoke to Jim Harris who was dropping aid for us and the runners the next day. Thanks Jim but we missed it and spent the next couple hours going off trail(not on purpose) and getting soaked by the large bushes that were weighted down by snow and covering the trail. We ended up stopping at John's van with about 50 miles logged. It was fun playing in the mountains and catching up with a few of my favorite trail partners. What is next? I am taking some time off to heal up. Small little achy, nagging pains have made me decide to take a week or two off of running.
Congrats to all finishers and Way to go Brian on a new PR distance.