First, a little about Pine Mountain and the Trail: Back in the 40's, Franklin D. Roosevelt made Warm Springs, GA and neighboring Pine Mountain his home away from home. He would first come here to treat his polio, but soon fell in love with the beautiful scenery of the Appalachian foothills. When visiting, it's not hard to understand why FDR loved it so much. Even in the late stages of autumn, the area boasts a certain mystique and beauty.
FDR visited the overlook below no less than 41 times.
The Pine Mountain Trail begins in FDR Park and extends 23 miles mostly along a ridge. The trail boasts 29,000 feet in elevation change and is known for its diverse terrain, crossing creeks, and climbs up and over ridge tops and traversing past oak, hickory, pine and maple trees. Many sections of the trail are also known for the degree of technical difficulty. The trail is littered with protruding rocks made even more difficult in the fall by the leaves covering the trail.
That sounds beautiful doesn't it? Much better than how Jason Rogers describes it (although I bet every runner on Sunday is taking sides with Jason).
"How can I describe the Pine Mountain trail? Rocks. Lots of rocks hidden by leaves. Lots of rocks that presented a constant danger of trips, bloody falls, hidden "toe catchers" to trip me up, countless small boulders for me to bang my toes on. A few creek crossings that I managed to complete without getting my trail shoes wet."
I feel like this camaraderie is strengthened in some situations (like when you’re running a race that might possibly kill you).
As 7:00 approached, we all walked up to the road where the race would start. It was a chilly 28 degrees and barely dusk as we stood there listening to last minute instructions. Then, they were off.
Next stop: Mollyhugger Hill, which served as mile marker 10.8 and 31.54. This Aid Station was a lot of fun, but I was getting a taste of how cold this day was actually going to be.
As I spent the day wandering from Aid Statin to Aid Station, I enjoyed the sights quite a bit. Here are some of my favorite things from the race:
Thank you Sarah Tyne for putting on such a great race, and a big thanks to Woody for the awesome post race meal! See you next year.
Being in nature, one is left with no choice but to marvel at creation. Be it vast flatlands, rugged mountain tops, or a simple stream snaking its way down a mountain, it is sure to inspire awe in even the hardest of hearts. Despite this, I truly believe that the finest of all God's creations lies in the mind of man. One can shatter a rock with the proper hammer, dam any river with enough concrete, burn any forest in conducive conditions, but the will of man is something far harder to shake.