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A Slow Start to Playing Catch Up

May 15, 2011

Some of the best days to get out on the trails in the lower elevations in Salt Lake City can be in the month of May. On this occasions, I was meeting several other trail runners to run up City Creek Canyon to Rudy’s Flat and around again on the Shoreline Trail. As we meet at 6am at the trail head, one of the other guys mentioned that we were heading into a watershed area and my dog would not be welcome on the run with us. Fortunately, on one of the few occasions, I actually listen to this advise and told the rest of the gang to go on without me.

Tempted to go home and catch some ‘zzzz’ with my wife, I apologized to my extremely disappointed dog and hustled back to join the guys. Within 30 minutes I was back and had 6 miles to catch up with them before they made a left turn on an unfamiliar trail, North Fork. With everything in hand, I made a significant push on a gradual up hill on the canyon trail at a 9 minute mile pace. Gliding up the trails, which were in immaculate condition, I saw signs for for the watershed and shrugged my shoulders wishing my dog was with me. However, to my surprise a watershed vehicle, which rarely occurs at 6:30 am, passed me. Fortunately for me, I was alone. As I neared the trail turn off, I noticed the others just ahead.

From there the route finding and trail running was difficult. We spent up to an hour crisscrossing creeks and off trail. We passed the remains of an Elk and had significant difficulty getting back on the trail of North Fork. We eventually got on the ridge line. The ridge line to Rudy’s Flat was snow covered and required post holing. Perhaps my least favorite part of Spring Trail running. But we weren’t alone. Several recent tracks of a decent size cougar were evident all along the ridge line.
Wrapping off the ridge we returned to firmer ground. I love the fact that running in Utah can be such a diverse experience. Just moments later, we were running past an arrangement of wild flowers and the warming sun.

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