|High water on the Potomac|
Although the first eight miles of the course, run mostly on the Potomac Heritage Trail, is swampy, the remainder of the course is reasonably dry, partly due to it being away from the river. Since the course is out and back however, the last eight miles repeat the swampy portion. But the return is marginally better, as sunshine helps reduce, but not eliminate, the mud during the afternoon return.
Booty Call I
The woman is on the knife edge between safety and a slide back into the muddy creek. She is partially up the steep, slippery far slope of the narrow stream. The male runner behind her begins to reach out to help push her up the slope, but as his hand approaches her, he hesitiates. A runner on the bank above her reaches out a hand. She grasps it and is pulled to safety.
A couple of minutes later I tell her what happened behind her.
"I wouldn't have objected," she replies. "Better than sliding back down into the mud."
And a few steps later she slips and falls into the mud on the trail.
|"Snap the pic, already."|
I'm on the lookout for Jennifer as I run the loop. It twists and doubles back on itself, with two out-and-back spurs. Just after the first one, I spot Jennifer coming the opposite direction. We exchange greetings and I insist on taking a picture. As I fiddle with the cell phone. Jennifer grows impatient. "Would you hurry up," she urges, "I don't have all day." I snap and we head off in opposite directions.
But within five minutes or so she has caught up with me, even though I'm going a shorter distance and she's already run two hours and nine miles more than me, to say nothing of having had to rise at 3 a.m. to get to the 5 a.m. start.
|Fogged lens overlooking Mather Gorge|
Booty Call II
"Don't you like my booty?," the woman asks me. So many wrong ways to answer that question.
"Your booty is fine," I stammer.
"I wondered why you didn't touch it," she continued.
She and I are about four miles from the finish, headed up a moderately steep single-track slope.
She had been in front of me as we headed up the slope. She had started to slide back and I put my hand on the fuel belt on her waist to steady her. Now I was being questioned for not putting my hand on her rump.
|Shirt, arm warmers and bib from TNF50K|