Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mt Kearsarge

I was looking for something fun to do on the holiday on Monday and decided it would be interesting to run up/down Mt Kearsarge and catch sunset.  I'd run up the auto road many times in the past doing the 8.5 mile road race from downtown Warner, and I'd even done a sunset run (in snowshoes) a few years ago.  Sunrise seemed like a fun challenge.

I hit the road at 430am and was at the base of the road just before 6am.  I knew that it would be close to sunrise when I hit the top so I had to hustle and get going.  I ran the first couple of miles with headlamp but really didn't need it, the road was smooth and it was a nice steady climb.  I hit the parking lot (finish line of the old race and 3.5 miles from the base) in 33:39 or sub-10 minute pace which was a pleasant surprise (I'd guessed a bit slower).  The next 1/2 was pretty slow as I hit the rocky trail to the summit, but I was on top 6:58 later and just as the sun was rising.

It was a bit of a surprise to see four other people on the summit.  I found out they drove from Boston that morning and hiked from the other side of the mountain to catch sunrise.  I hung out for just under 10 minutes taking some pictures then it was time to run down.  It was perfect weather, 40's and comfortable on the road and a bit cooler and windier on top.

It took me 7:47 to carefully navigate the trail back to the parking lot and then 24:38 (7:02 pace) to run the final 3.5 back to my car.  In all it was 8+ miles round trip with 1,600' of climb/descent.

Pictures =

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