The trails of Brown County State Park in southern Indiana are the setting for the Gnaw Bone races, the second in the Running Fit Dances with Dirt series. I ran the first one, DWD Green Swamp, in Florida earlier this year – you can read my recap of that race here.
Green Swamp is relatively flat. Gnaw Bone is – not so much (nearly 5,000 feet of elevation change). It’s similar to the Potawatomi Trail in Pinckney where April’s Trail Marathon Weekend was held, only with steeper climbs and descents, several hundred stair steps, off-trail bushwhacking, and for good measure, a downriver wade. And I was running it with a bruised and swollen right knee. What’s not to like?
But I will let the photos tell the story.
I wore my bright orange Trail Marathon shirt, both for inspiration and to make it easy for Search & Rescue to find my body. And I saw at least two other runners in the same shirt, so I wasn’t the only one running two trail ultras in two weeks.
We were off and running at 6:15 a.m.
The course included several sets of stairs, including one of nearly 200 steps. Sorry I didn’t get that photo – I think I was too busy gasping for breath.
Things went pretty well for the first 8 miles or so – and then the fun really began.
One benefit, at least, was no shortage of water.
One thing I really appreciate about trail ultras is the aid stations. Unlike road marathons, they offer real food. I can only handle so much Gu and Gatorade.
The Park Service is good about clearing the main trails of fallen logs. Naturally, that was unacceptable to our race planners.
I think this is a Black Diamond ski slope in the winter.
Over the woods and through the river…or something like that.
And then – the finish line!
I gotta say the swag and perks were pretty good, too.
And the best part – my knee held up. I was even able to help pick up trail flags on Sunday morning. Slowly.
Next up – rest. No running for at least a week. I’ll give it my best shot, Coach.