Some summertime inspiration, more fun than hard core
I have loved creating in DIY adventures! To celebrate turning 55, I ran/hiked all five "mountains" around our towns of Charlottesville and Crozet, Virginia. One was Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and the trails surrounding it; the other four were in Shenandoah National Park, about 20 miles west. Each had between 1000-2000 feet of climb, and the total mileage came close to 55k. I invited friends to join me for one or all, and when we were done, I invited friends to meet me for pizza and beer at Crozet Pizza. It was a wonderful way to spend a birthday!
Similarly, every August for the past nine years, two of my running pals, John Andersen and Dan Spearin, host the "Jarmans Invitational Marathon" which starts at 12 noon on the second Saturday of August (read: horrible heat and humidity) and requires runners to climb and descend an exposed, dusty, and steep gravel mountain six mile road loop five times for a total of 30-miles and 7500 feet of vert. The "JIM" as it is known, draws runners of all speeds and experience and fills up in minutes. It's a highlight of every year for our Virginia ultra community for the way it simultaneously celebrates and pokes fun at ultra culture. Here is the very funny description of the race on Ultrasignup:
https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=103781 Come join us next year :-)