Gotta head to DC in about a month and gonna make sure to find time to hit one of the best running trails ever – the Manassas Battlefield.
I haven’t been there in years but when I used to go there it was such a peaceful experience, which I realize is contradictory to the history of the place. A local run group used to meet there at 7am on Saturdays and hit the long trail, about 8-10 miles (I forget exactly). I would tag along with them just so I didn’t get lost in the woods. They were a really gracious bunch of runners.
This time I have recruited my old military buddy to come along for the run. We both have long distance fall races to train for so we hope to log at least 8 miles. I’m not used to hills since I run in soflo but I welcome the change. And nothing feels better under a bum knee than grass and dirt and uneven terrain (no sarcasm here, it’s the truth!). Also, the beauty of the monuments and memorials and the history all around you really takes your mind off of your run. How can you really hurt when you’re in a place where, well, let’s just say not many people today have experienced that kind of pain.
Some of the great things about the trail: You can do a 1 mile loop around the perimeter of the main area, right where you park. You will just keep circling the main office area (picture in last post). Or you can head to the right on the trail through the woods, over a wooden bride, up stone steps, down a dirt road, and come up on some of the most breathtaking memorial sites. You still end up back at your car. It’s really the best way to see the whole battlefield – by running it. It’s going to be around 10 miles though so bring some water on your back or something. And since it will be October, I will also be carrying candy corn for fuel. Also, depending on when you go, there might be a bunch of deer to contend with. These guys are BIG. First time I encountered them I froze and started sizing up their weight vs my weight in a really primitive survival sort of way. Like who’s gonna come out on top in a fight? Hey, I’m a city kid. The deer freak me out.
Virginia really did well in creating that memorial to the fallen. If you’re ever in DC/NOVA, I highly recommend the 30 minute trip out to Manassas. The trail is right off the highway. Don’t forget to pay the park fee!
The club was from The Running Store in Gainesville, VA. They meet at 730am every Saturday. Their website says all paces welcome, from 2 to 20 miles. Wow, I must have missed the 20 mile loop groups.
The government shutdown also shutdown my trip. Never got to the battlefield.