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Monday, March 2, 2009

An Army of One...

With the snowfall we had today I just couldn't pass up the chance to trail test the Kahtoola MICROSpikes I picked up a few weeks ago. I had ordered them for the Ugly Mudder, but realized afterwards that it was going to be a much different race from Chilly Cheeks so I didn't get to use them. Anyway, I put them on today and hit the trails at Mercer County Park all by my lonesome.

I started out at our usual meeting spot, put the spikes on, and headed out cautiously not really knowing what to expect. The bike path had been plowed but was covered in ice. The spikes worked great and I had no problems at all keeping my footing there. I then headed into the snow covered trails and found about 4 inches or so of fresh powder there to greet me. It was very different running the trails when they were snow covered. At some points I had deer prints to follow but had to be careful not to follow them too closely because the deer don't really stick to the beaten path. A couple of times I found myself off the trail and had to cut back over snow covered brush to get back on track. At least I didn't have to worry about slipping though because the spikes continued to work flawlessly. I took the trails up to the boat house and decided to head up towards the volleyball courts on the bike path. Then I cut it in to the twirly bird which was damn near impossible to get through because of how covered the trails were. Still, it was very cool just to be out there and I felt pretty safe. Having completed the twirly bird -- except for the sections I ended up cutting unintentionally -- I had enough and decided to turn around.

As I peeled back around the tree line and high stepped it uphill through a couple of snow drifts I couldn't help but recall the scene from Rocky IV where he's running up the mountains in Russia and then I realized...there's no easy way out! So I tucked back into the twirly bird and took it back towards the boat house where I scared a mother and her kids as I crested a small hilltop they had just sled down. I guess they weren't expecting some crazy man to come running up behind them in spikes. Oh well! As I ran downhill behind them I just smiled and told them to have a great time playing in the snow. Afterall, I was.

At this point the spikes were working better than I expected but I still had to give them one more test just to be sure so I headed back into the trails behind the tennis center and decided to climb some real hills. Once again, they provided all the traction I could want and made the snow and ice a non-issue. My legs did feel a little heavy at this point but I think that had more to do with the high stepping through the snow drifts at various point along the way than it did to do with the spikes themselves. As I finished up I sprinted past an old man who was walking over the foot bridge. He gave me a look like I was crazy...I don't know why?

If you couldn't make it out to run in the snow today, take solace in the fact that I was thinking of you all along the way. While I enjoyed the time alone out there today it's definitely more fun running with the group.

Slip-on install...and then no more slipping

Where's the twirly bird?

Time to climb!


  1. You are a crazy man. Yesterday was an off day for me, this morning I was on the TM. Trying to decide what to do for tomorrow. Your post made me think about the old put-screws-in-your-shoes method I see all over the place, I might give that a go.

  2. Wow I love that you went out in all that snow for a run! You've got some mad energy!
    Congrats to everyone for completing the Ugly Mudder! I was still in Mexico enjoying my last pina colada before heading home while you were scaling rocky mountainsides and navigating bumpy trails! I noticed there is a trail run coming up in April... anyone thinking about doing it? It's at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA... looks like a beautiful place (! It's a 10k, and the very next day is the Indian Trails 15K in Middleton, NJ!

  3. nice run!
    I would have loved to have ran that with you.