To visit the Hamilton Area Trail Runs website, please go to:

Friday, September 11, 2009


Once again, I'm thankful for having a group to run with on Saturday mornings. For the second week in a row I wanted nothing more than to roll over and go back to sleep when the alarm went off. This week it had more to do with the beverage consumption that took place the night before at my fantasy football draft than it did having to work late. Like last week though I dragged myself to the park and was glad I did. For some reason we always get a great turnout when we go to Mercer. I think most people probably just think Clayton is too far to drive for a run, or maybe their just afraid of the hills, or maybe...ah hell, I don't know.

As we finished our warm up and began heading out on the bike path, Yasi, who had decided the night before to run from her house to the group run and then run home afterwards, came running up. We didn't let her miss a step -- nor did we make her do any push-ups -- as we headed off in stride when she approached the bike path.

From there it was directly into the trails which we took all the way out to the dam. Once there, we scurried down across the rocks and over to the other side of the lake. That's when the fun began. I still have scabs on my calves and shins to prove how "fun" it was. We were greeted with waist high grass, sticker bushes, muddy trails (if we can call them trails), and of course several places where the barely recognizable trails just simply gave way to water.

After bushwhacking our way from the dam to the golf course, we headed up along the edge of the course and tried to find a decent path to take back into the trails. Before we knew it we had ran 3 holes and reached the clubhouse -- not a good thing when you're not really supposed to be on the golf course. In fear that someone might actually ask us to pay greens fees if we spent any more time on the course, we peeled down around our fourth hole and disappeared into the woods again near the maintenance shed.

Thankful to be back in the trails we pressed on around the lake staying left at the fork and heading uphill into "twirly bird west". It's not quite as much of a zig-zag as "twirly bird east" (hey...nothing beats the original, right? GO SOUTH!) but the hills are a little steeper so it all comes out in the wash...unlike the mud, sweat, and blood. As we came out near the rowing center and took in the panoramic view we knew it was almost over and headed down the gravel path before turning back into the trails. Along the way I mentioned to Nate that I had been out for a solo run during the week and found a trail that cut across from the path we'd be taking back east over to the parking lot where we started. The red trail was a nice change of scenery from the usual straight and narrow blue trail which we usually take all the way back to the parking lot when running the full loop.

Roll call: Bill S., Bill Y., Bill #3, Fred, Heather, Karen, Nate, Yasi

L to R: Yasi, Bill S., Bill Y., Nate, Heather, Karen, Fred, Brian (my brother-in-law, who didn't actually run with us but he helped with doctoring up the two photos we had taken -- one with Nate and one with Bill S. -- so he gets to make a cameo), and Bill #3 (sorry, I didn't get his last name)


  1. That was a great run guys. Totally winded after that one. I'm just surprised that I had to carry Billy Y. for that last quarter mile. Good times though.

  2. Yeah, thanks Bri! Say, we have a mud run coming up in few weeks. Maybe afterwards I can send you a pic and you can pretend run that with us too. I think you'll really pretend enjoy it! ;)

  3. Thanks for not making me drop and do pushups then sprint after you guys, I think I would have thrown in the towel just then! Tomorrow is going to be a muddy one!