Today was the unofficial Bad Creek 50k- 9 people were running the Foothills trail from Bad Creek to Oconee, a 33 mile distance running mainly along the Chattooga River (where Deliverance was filmed) in the most mountainous part of the NC/SC border. Dan Hartley wanted to put together the race, but couldn't get government permission so did a group training run. It was my first time on the FHT.
The weather forecast deteriorated all week, and it ended up 45 deg and steady rain the whole time. We started off and I found myself running near Dan, Doug, and Victor (a crazy Siberian who literally wore only shorts). Is started raining as we left the cars, and never stopped. I lent my jacket to someone, so wore a trashbag. The first few miles were very slow as we climbed wood steps and steep mountain to the Whitewater Falls overlook (the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi). I carried a backpack full of clothes, food, water filter, etc, and kept stopping to put on more layers. The rest of the way was generally nice trail, almost all runnable, though I decided to stick with the other guys since I was so cold and new to the trail. However, my shirts were soaked and I was freezing. I generally enjoyed the run, though there were many vistas I couldn't see due to the clouds. I ended up dropping at mile 15- continuing on while freezing cold and wet just didn't seem smart. Too many bad memories for Poky, and from 3 weeks ago. 3 guys dropped with/before me, 3 continued on, and 2 more were MIA.
I will definitely return to the trail, hopefully often. Seemed very nice, and I'm sure I would enjoy it more without cold rain. I kept a running time- 15 miles in 3:22 (probably 2:50 actually running) with 4000 climb/3700 descent. My 88 miles planned this week obviously ended up as 70, but I'll just up it a bit next week.
3 guys rock scrambling near some falls (you can see shirtless Victor)