Thursday, April 3, 2014

James River Park: RVA Trail Running Awesomeness.

Buttermilk / Northbank Trails @ James River Park
Distance- 6.67 mi
Time- 1:11
Elevation Gain- 1,699 ft (ouchie)

In 2012, Outside Magazine named Richmond VA as the "Best River Town" in America. Last year, Trail Runner Magazine gave RVA the "Best in Dirt" award for its stellar trails. When these awards were given, I remember being a little surprised; aren't places like Colorado, California and Utah the typical choices for awards like these? Typical spoiled Richmonder...The James River Park system is quite special, unique and NO, other cities don't have anything that quite matches up (take that, Fort Collins).

Each year, there seems to be another new trail race utilizing the James River park system, Belle Isle and Brown's Island. Why? Because these trails are AWESOME.

Today I took advantage of the trail running paradise that is Richmond, VA and headed to the Reedy Creek entrance to the James River Park trail system. I left the mutts at home; while Buttermilk and Northbank trails are awesome for a solo runner, the bike traffic and steep drop-offs make me too nervous to bring my K9 kiddos along. Sometimes its nice to pound the dirt solo, anyway; today was definitely one of those days.
As usual, this course was gorgeous, entertaining, FUN and completely humbling. The terrain is sometimes rocky and almost always hilly. The stair-climbing and root jumping add a nice quad workout along the way. Over a 6.7mi trek, I jumped creeks, pet other people's dogs, climbed stairs and embankments, crossed bridges, dodged bikers and got embarrassingly sweaty.
 I love Richmond.
Nice little rocky spot on Buttermilk

Next on my calendar is the XTERRA Courthouse Creek 15k this Sunday in Goochland. I'm really looking forward to getting out on the trails at the Brady Saunders Boyscout camp. I've been out there once before and I'm stoked to get the opportunity to run there again.

Single track + Kindred Runner Folk = HAPPY HAPPY.


Trail Map, James River Park