Greg came up with the route, and a glorious route it was. The short version is that you climb up and over the Massanutten mountains, run across the Shenandoah Valley, run up the Shenandoahs to the Appalachian Trail, and turn around and do it again. Aside from running to another mountain range and back, another cool part is that the whole route is on the Tuscarora Trail, which is an ~250 mile trail that runs mostly parallel to the AT.
Here is the more detailed course description:
- Start in the valley between the western and eastern ridge of the Massanuttens
- Climb up the eastern ridge to about 2,000 feet (0 - 3 miles)
- Run along the ridge with some great views out over the valley towards the Shenandoahs (3 - 6 miles)
- For kicks descend back to the valley on the western side, climb back up, and descend over to the Shenandoah valley (6 - 12 miles)
- Run across the Shenandoah valley and river on rolling dirt roads (12 - 16)
- Climb forever from the valley up to about 3,500 feet (16 - 22.5)
- Turn around and run back to car (22.5 to 44)
For the math whizzes out there, you'll see that the way back was a mile shorter. We took a shortcut route on the final descent (weak sauce, I know).
Below is a terrain map of where we ran. I've marked the starting point, where we crossed over the Massanuttens and into the valley, and where we hit the AT and turned around.
It was an awesome day out in the mountains. The weather was perfect, the views were incredible with the low humidity, and there was some good fall foliage. My legs were a bit dead after running 90+ miles the prior week, but I hit a groove after a few hours and stayed there for the rest of the 10 hour run.
Here are some pictures from the adventure:
(After climbing up the eastern ridge of the Massanuttens. We ran over the rolling hills up on the ridgeline that you can see in the center of the picture)