Distance: 10.76 miles
Weather: Sunny and spring-like
After taking Saturday off again due to illness (four days off this week), I decided it was time (again) to get out despite feeling crappy. With SJS less than a month away, it's been killing me to be sidelined with the crud this week. So, off to run Bergen Peak I went.
Bergen Peak, part of Elk Meadow Open Space here in JeffCo, features a great pair of trails that lead to the one-mile summit trail. Both directions, either up the Too Long Trail, or the Bergen Peak Trail, is completely runnable with great hardpack trail with just enough rocks, switchbacks and steepness to keep a runner honest.
From home, I ran the 3/4 mile jaunt to the lower parking lot on our local roads and then began the climb up Painter's Pause to its apex and then headed west to the Meadow View Trail and on to the launching point of the Too Long Trail.
Despite feeling the lingering fatigue from my now five-day illness, I made descent time up Too Long, tagging the summit sign in 1:05 before turning-tail and heading back down. While retracing my steps down the summit trail, I encountered that rare, undignified breed of human being known as the Switchback Cutter. This particular individual came complete with a plump yellow Labrador retriever (naturally with no sign of a poop bag). After pausing long enough to offer a few helpful, and no doubt well-received, insights into the reasons why cutting switchbacks is bad practice, I continued on down to the intersection with the Bergen Peak trail.
Figuring a hard downhill workout was in order, I pushed the pace on the descent, dodging mountain bikers and flip-flop wearing hikers. Once back on Meadow View, I eased back the pace and plodded toward the house via the neighborhood access trail into the open space.
As I was making my way back home, I ran into a neighbor who was out looking for his son, who had been AWOL for about an hour. I spent the next two hours wandering the 'hood on foot and in car looking for the lost lad. Finally, we got word from a local volunteer firefighter that the 9-year-old and his buddy had hoofed it about three miles to downtown Evergreen to partake in what passes for local cuisine at Beau Jo's Pizza. Pre-pubescent wanderlust, no doubt. Go figure.
Twas good to be out and moving...and moving fairly quickly in spots. However, I still haven't fully kicked this illness thing. But, man am I ready to be done with it! Another 24 hours ought to do it.
Elevation gain: 2,266 feet.