Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Turk Branch Loop

Gill and I do the Turk Branch trail loop often.  It's conveniently located only about 20 minutes from our house (by car), starting at Sugar Hollow.  It's the perfect distance for a medium long run, but it's quite difficult, including a lot of elevation for the mileage. 
The route begins at Sugar Hollow parking lot, and follows the South fork of the Moormans River.  it then takes a right onto the Turk Branch Trail, which climbs steeply to the Blue Ridge Parkway and to Turk Gap.  From Turk Gap, it follows the AT southbound (left) back to the Moormans River Road.
The trail has some fantastic views of the Shenandoah Valley, and today it was blanketed by a very thin layer of snow.
Remember that, any time you go to the mountains, you should dress for 5-10 degrees colder: the wind was blowing up on Turk Gap, and it's always much colder than Charlottesville.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Run with PUMA!

Yesterday we went for an awesome run with Bryan Poerner, our fantastic Puma rep.  Bryan was here to show us the 2011 Puma Fall lineup (which is absolutely awesome, by the way), so Gill and I decided to take him on one of our favorite runs.  We opted for the Moormans river/calf mountain loop, a 12.7 mile run which is straight uphill for the first 5 miles.
I love this loop because it's hard but it has some of the best views in the area, especially in the winter.  The run begins up the south fork of the Moormans River from Sugar Hollow, and it then joins the Appalchian trail for another 2 miles straight up to the Calf Mountain summit.

It then follows the AT back down to the Blue Ridge Parkway, from where it rejoins the Moormans river road for 4 miles downhill (my favorite part!).
Gill and I had a great time with Bryan and LOVED to hear his stories about 30 minute 10K and 1:07 half marathons PR: Bryan is not only the best rep ever, but also a great runner.
Here is the route