Friday, September 27, 2013

Birkie trail run weekend

Last weekend I travelled to Cable to participate in the Birkie trail half-marathon run as well as to enjoy some other activities in the area. The run starts 10 am Saturday morning and utilizes the north portion of the Birkie trail from OO to Telemark. The trail is well maintained throughout the year and is very smooth. This together with its width gives the feeling of a road race, except for the softness of the grass underneath, a number of long steep climbs and the surrounding nature. That’s what makes this course stand out and that’s why I like it very much.
Half-marathoners after the start
It was my second time doing the race. The day was great – temps in the 50’s, sunny, calm and the fall colors just giving their first touch to the woods. As the race started, two guys quickly separated from the field and I found myself in a spread-out group of five runners competing for the third place. A few times someone would speed up and separate from the group, but knowing how punishing those hills would be from the last year experience, I kept my pace under control. Those who separated were caught up, and at half distance I was in the front and 5 miles to go – broke away from the group. The remaining hills took their toll and although I kept the pace and finished 3rd, my legs were almost exhausted.
Biking on the Rock Lake trail 
After the race, in the afternoon, I went to check out some biking trails. I did the Rock Lake loop (east of Cable) and Seeley Pass (from OO). The woods are great in the area – tall trees, some lakes views, no traffic noise, some areas are very remote. The first trail proved its name and turned out very rocky, which was a struggle on my steel no-suspension bike. But slower speeds gave more opportunity to look around. The Seeley pass trail is very smooth and has a fun fast long and twisty downhill.
 
I stayed at the Two Lakes Campground, which is located in between two lakes as one might guess. Last year I rented a kayak and sailed over Lake Owen, which was really fun because the lake is thin, so little wind and always close to a shore with the actual impression of moving forward, and very clear water with plants visible through. The kayak rent was also free as it rained a bit during my ride and the owners could not believe it was fun.
Rollerskiing out of the tent
In the morning, I went rollerskiing right from my site. The campground is really large so it takes about a mile just to get out. I then had a loop on Lake Owen drive and Ryberg road and then back and forth to Drummond. Those roads have almost no traffic, very rolling and twisty, deep in the woods in some places and very smooth south from the campground, making for the best place I rolleskied on.
In summary, Hayward area is awesome with all those activities to do there. I will be back there next weekend for the Vakava Fall camp and more rollerskiing. The fall colors should be at their peak and it should be great.



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