The distance for the new course for Matthews Trail Run is slightly over 10 miles. I ran/walked the whole thing this morning for the first time and measured with my Garmin watch and Runkeeper on my phone. Don’t panic! The added miles are on the graveled service road going from the starting point at the picnic shelter to the previous start at the other entrance. Your first mile begins on this service road and you go approximately a mile before making a right onto a slightly graveled area and then left onto the trail. Everything is the same from there. You eventually cross the creek and get back on the service road crossing the bridge and then taking the left onto the trail. Again everything is same as years before till you run over the wooden bridge, then instead of going left to the barn you follow the trail straight across veering right and running a beautiful area along the creek till it spits you out back on the service road. You make a right and head for the start/finish location at the picnic shelter.
The trail is in the best shape ever thanks to our mountain bikers! There are only a few brief spots where the trail hasn’t been cleaned. The first section is the section we run down to the creek crossing. Mortal Coil has sections not groomed, but it is well marked.
Trail running is different from road running. You have to pay attention to signs throughout the race in order not to get lost. Where there are arrows that means be careful to make the right turn. Mostly you will see orange dots, but where there are painted runners on the right side of the service road the first miles on the trail you turn! There are arrows as well showing the direction. Everywhere else you will see arrows where there is an option to turn or go straight.
I am so excited about the race this year!! I love the additions we were able to make. The additions are easy. The original course is challenging as you know. Our new facility that has been made available by the Matthews State Forest is so nice! We have a fireplace, an abundance of nice parking lots, his and her bathrooms verses the one port-a- john years before, and water fountains. The shelter has several nice picnic tables as well.
Start training! Look forward to seeing everyone and by all means bring a friend this year!