The Gunks Fat Ass Trail Marathon "Springletrack" by MPF RNR Athlete Amy Hanlon
My alarm sounded at 3:45 am. While I slept under 4 hours I was excited about the day of adventure that was in front of me and I jumped out of bed. I had attended a Mobility & Strength class at Run On Hudson Valley, led by Joe and Elizabeth Azze of Mountain Peak Fitness the night before, and despite a little lack of sleep, my body felt better than it had in a while. Everything felt stretched and loose, nothing nagged at all, which is exactly how you want to feel the morning of a 25 plus mile run.
The Springletrack Fat Ass takes place in The Gunks of NY, starting in the Mohonk Preserve and taking you through Minnewaska State Park of NY. I met my friends at the finish at Berme Rd at 6 am, and drove to a small lot near Spring Farm. We couldn’t park in the Spring Farm Lot as it was being used for a race on Carriage Roads. The temps were in the 40’s all day with gusty winds and mostly cloudy but a few bits of welcomed sunshine here and there. Almost all 8 of us in the group were training for something, either a 50 or a 100 miler, and were just looking to take it easy, enjoy the beauty of the Shawangunks, and put a long day in on our feet. So that’s what we did.
The rock scrambles were all enjoyable. My favorite was down off Castle Point. We got about 15 feet from some soaring hawks. I always love looking down at soaring birds. The Mossy Glen area was beautiful, if not a little icy. I took it very, very easy in this section. We missed a turn before Mud Pond, but realized it pretty soon after and got back on track and briefly ran with a couple of other Springletrackers. We didn’t keep up with them for very long as they were really moving! The wind was so strong that my sunglasses blew right off my head and off a cliff on High Point! I decided to not even take out my phone to take a photo because I was scared it would meet with the same fate!
Despite the snow and mud and some water on the tails, my feet remained for the most part dry. UNTIL – Smiley Road, which had sections of water that went to almost my knees! Good thing the end was near! I was very thankful I woke up extra early to get my car to the finish instead of the start, so knowing I had a change of clothes and socks and shoes was very helpful. I picked up my pace in this 4 mile downhill stretch, just to keep up my body temperature. Beer and dry clothes were waiting at the end.