Thursday, May 01, 2008

Seeking the Green Jewel

The Green Jewel is a new ultramarathon in Northeast Ohio presented by Joe Jurczyk (founding race director of the Buckeye Trail 50k and Burning River 100 mile endurance runs) and Vince Rucci (owner, Vertical Runner and current Buckeye Trail 50k race director.)

The Green Jewel run joins the BT50k and BR100, among others, in the new Western Reserve Trail Running series here in NE Ohio.

This 100 km road ultra appeals to me because the course follows the path of the "Emerald Necklace," showcasing our region's park systems. The route is comprised of the multi-purpose paved paths (70%) of the Cleveland Metroparks system, country roads (25%), and a short segment of towpath trail (5%) within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Green Jewel course connects the following parks:

- Rocky River Reservation
- Mill Stream Run Reservation
- Brecksville Reservation
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- Bedford Reservation
- South Chagrin Reservation
- North Chagrin Reservation

Though I'd rather run on dirt trails, the opportunity to run the Emerald Necklace fits well with the training build for Laurel Highlands. Since I'm not crewing at Massanutten this year, I'll use this run as an aided training run. The field was limited to 50 runners, but I'll be surprised if the event reached capacity. I admit that ultra running on pavement does not appeal as does the trails. My training objective for this run is to test nutrition and accumulate a really long time on feet. With rain and thunderstorms in the forecast, the raingear will face the test, too.

The 100k and 50k runs start Saturday morning at 5:00 am in Lakewood near the mouth of the Rocky River at the Scenic Park marina. Runners opting for 50k finish at the Oak Grove Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation. 100k runners continue east
across the Cuyahoga Valley and north through Bedford, Solon, and Hunting Valley. The last 10 miles follow Chagrin River Road before ending at Forest Picnic Area in Mayfield Village township.

Aid stations (distances):

Start Scenic Park Marina, Lakewood
Lorain Rd. (4.9 miles - parking lot)
Rocky River Nature Center (10.0 miles - parking lot)
Wallace Lake (15.0 miles - parking lot)
The Chalet (19.1 - parking lot or driveway)
Ridge Rd. (24.5 - parking lot)
Oak Grove (31.9 - shelter) – 50K Finish
Alexander Rd.(37.8 - parking lot)
Egbert Picnic Area (42.6 - parking lot)
Harper Rd.(49.2 -parking lot/shelter)
Polo Field (53.1 - parking lot on River Rd.)
Finish Forest Picnic Area, Mayfield Village (62.4 - parking lot)

For those in the area, you're welcome to ride or run along with me for any part. I'm estimating running between 9.5 and 11 hours, depending on conditions. Stopping after 50k will be awfully tempting, too. I estimate passing Wallace Lake (mile 15) by 7:15am and arrive at Oak Grove (50km) around 9:30 am. For reference, a 10-hour finish is 9:37 per mile pace.

I'll carry the cell phone, so contact me if wish to get in touch along the way.

The final course instructions are very helpful and are available by clicking here.

The course map is super cool when it's not messed up. The site provides map and satellite views, but right now the image shows the course running across Lake Erie! I certainly hope that's not the case come Saturday.


Blogger Greg said...

Hey Lloyd!

Looking forward to the run tomorrow! See you there. Dark and early!

10:57 AM  

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