Thursday, February 18, 2016

Council Crest (2/15/16)

With a hilly trail race looming, I thought I should do some hilly trail work. My running friend, David, has several times mentioned the trails around Council Crest, which is atop a giant hill. I asked for his recommendation, and he said it's his favorite run!
So after a weekend full of obligations, Brad and I went out Monday for a belated Valentine's Day adventure. We found a coveted spot in the tiny Marquam Shelter parking lot on Sam Jackson Park Road and started out on our adventure.

David's map had us starting farther away, near Duniway Park, but we figured we'd skip the boring city part and go straight for the mud. Well, that meant we didn't get that gentle warmup. The trail takes off straight up hill! Probably should have started lower :)
I was wearing my monitor and tried to hike the hills when my heart rate climbed. High clouds obscured the surrounding mountains, but we could see the city below:
Since the top is less than 2 miles from the car (though it is practically straight up!), we decided to keep going down the other side to add some miles. We ended up at the zoo before deciding my legs were nearing their end.

We turned around, crossed Highway 26 and ran/hiked back to the top of Council Crest. Thankfully it's all downhill from there!

We took the Shelter Loop and Marquam trails up and the Marquam and Sunnyside trails down. Sunnyside was a bit more narrow, rocky and muddy than Shelter Loop. More challenge :)
Monday was muggy, and I was drenched by the time we finished that monster run - about 5.8 miles in all. I changed into dry clothes before we drove across the river to Vita Cafe for some yummy veggie lunch:
What muddy adventure lies ahead for this weekend??? :)

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