Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 07:38 AM EDT Contributed by: Squonk Views: 2030
Carolina North Forest Manager
Cc: Tom Bythell
UNC-Chapel Hill Grounds Services
Campus Box 1800
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
On behalf of the participants of the inaugural Philosopher’s Way Trail Runs and their organizing body, the TrailHeads, it gives us great pleasure to present Carolina North Forest a donation in the amount of three thousand, five hundred dollars ($3,500). We hope that this gift will assist your efforts to maintain the trail network and expand your mission to enhance the beauty of the Forest.
And it was for the Forest that we assembled on that warm Saturday morning, May’s final day this year. Over three hundred runners enjoyed their quickened tour: 129 on the 7K course and 185 on the 15K. Prior to race day and the three “course tours” leading up to it, the majority of the runners had never visited the forest. We are also pleased to report that the majority of the participants were first-time trail racers. You were there to witness the impromptu tally.
Beneath all the activity of the race you no doubt sensed the genuine excitement that we felt organizing the event. For years we had discussed the possibility of directing a race on the local single-track trails. Our hope was to bring fresh feet and warm hearts to the forest – to widen the kinship we feel with the trees and the wildlife we so often visit. We also desired to pay tribute to Horace Williams and conjure his spirit, both on the day of the event as well as from its proposal to approval.
We are ever grateful for your guidance along this path. You enthusiastically supported the concept from the very beginning and channeled our energies, along with your own, through a new approval process with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once the courses were set, you and your staff were ever-present tidying up the trails; we often witnessed Jerry and Jose taking down a widow-maker, and the new bridges are surely better for the trails and those who enjoy them.
Operationally, we were fortunate to have ample volunteers, forest road access, a natural staging area for gathering and refreshments, and reliable communication thanks to the use of UNC radios. Race sponsors graciously supported registration and race day nutrition, and they generously provided scores of prizes. The US Track & Field Event sanction added luster to the races.
So viewed, the first Philosopher’s Way Trail Runs were quite successful. We believe, however, that there is a wider view to consider – one that focuses on the cooperative energies of no small sum of humans who gathered in the Forest, out of respect for it, to engage in a considerable measure of healthy and active FUN! Many entered, learned, and have since returned. And the memories of the day are easily regarded and regained.
We look forward to next year! With our many thanks, we are,
As ever, yours,
Steve “Squonk” Hoge & Joe “Weezyl” Lea, Co-Directors
And The TrailHeads
We had a great weekend of course tours. About 20 runners came out to check out the course Saturday. Others toured the course Sunday. Some got lost. All were found. We saw at least 2 blacksnakes. We'll tighten up our act for this Saturday's tours and keep you on track.
The course is marked. Yellow montrail markers on the 7K and pink on the 15K. Keep the markers on your right. When you come to an intersection, look up. Do not assume the runner in front of you is making the right choice. Remember 15K runners repeat the first 2 miles (ish) of the course, meaning that on the return yellow Montrail markers will be on your left.
5.12.08 Update: oh dear...registration is closed. THANKS for the incredible response!
TRAIL RUNNING CLINIC, Tuesday, 5/13 at the Open Eye Cafe (in the side room). 7-8:30 PM.