Gypsy Trail Dedication at the Roberd’s Dairy Farm

Sign at start of Gypsy trail

Just this past January 14th, I held a race at the Roberd’s Dairy Farm called the Rogue Resolution Fatass 50k and 25k.  It was a free race but we asked runners to consider donating to Rogue Dog Rescue.  The run attracted 40 runners and the donations by our runners topped $300 that were promptly handed over to Rogue Rescue along with dog kennels, blankets, chew toys, etc.  It was a pretty awesome response from our very generous running community.

Bren Tompkins during the Rogue Rescue Fatass 50k. He would go on and win this race

The race course started on a trail I have labored on for over year that I named Gypsy trail, in honor of my beloved late dog, Gypsy.  I had started making the trail with Gypsy by my side.  The trail is a mile long.  I’ve had to reroute the trail twice during the building process due to tropical storm, Hermine and, because of Hurricane Matthew.  Both storms, severely damaged the trail by downing numerous trees in the forested area of the Roberd’s Dairy Farm.  For Hermine, I was able to clear and reroute most of the trail with pruning shears, hand saw, machete and shovel.  Hurricane Matthew was a different story, though.  I had to purchase a large chainsaw to salvage Gypsy trail.

For those that were never fortunate enough to meet Gypsy I will simply say that he was the most pleasant, most laid back, forgiving and accepting dog that’s walked the face of this earth.  That dog, just by existing in my world saved my life.  He came into my life at a time of great loss for me.  I was a very broken hearted man when Gypsy came into my life and he taught me that it’s okay and good to open myself up again to loving something and believing that life is good and worthwhile.  Gypsy was a survivor by definition.  His younger life was sadly very harsh.  He was used for studding purposes and when his usefulness was spent he was left chained up in a small caged area to live out his life.  He was eventually rescued from a terrible hell that left him so weak and malnourished and infested with heartworms.  When he was rescued the weight of the chain that held him captive was too heavy for him to move as he was so malnourished.  Gypsy proved a survivor, though.

This is Gypsy at the Dairy Farm. He was such a wonderful dog

Gypsy was rescued and fostered by two wonderful people, Bill and Kathy Smith.  They had two Aussie’s of their own but felt compelled to bring Gypsy into their world.  Unfortunately, Gypsy didn’t quite fit in with the Smith’s two Aussies so, they felt he should have his own person.  After meeting the Smith’s and Gypsy, I was so connected with that dog and the Smith’s knew that Gypsy should be with me.  Gypsy came into my home as an eight year old rescue in 2010.  He had a weakened heart due to heartworms but that didn’t stop him from loving life and letting me into his world.  Gypsy lived with me six years before cancer finally overtook him.  He was one of those very special dogs, the kind that only come around once or twice a life time.  The mark he left on my heart and in my soul is so deep and ever present.  I have never loved an animal as I loved Gypsy.  My gosh, that dog was special.  He died five days after his 14th birthday, on February 1, 2016.  My heart still aches for that dog.

Here’s Gypsy on the trail with his name a month before he passed away.

Well, Gypsy loved the Dairy Farm and he was with me for days and hours on end as I cut a one mile trail through the woods there.  It seemed right and fitting that the trail I cut through the woods at the DF should be named after this most wonderful friend of mine, Gypsy.

that’s Gypsy’s trail.

So, I took the opportunity this past January 14th, to dedicate the trail to Gypsy.  The trail is single-track and follows heavy oak and pine forested areas, cuts through large black berry open areas.  It also cuts through swampy grounds and open marshes.  It’s a beautiful coastal Georgia trail that is excellent for hiking, and mtb riding.  There’s plenty of beautiful scenery to behold and take in.  Prayer flags overhang a section of trail.  It truly is one of the nicest and prettiest trails in the Savannah area and very much worth a venture.

Mrs. Lindsey Dowling working her way through the prayer flag section of Gypsy trail

The trail is there for you to hike or bike and, hopefully, take your dog along the hike with you.  The Rogue Resolution Fatass 50k and 25k will return next year on Saturday, January 13, 2018.  We have added a fee to next year’s race but it’s a more than reasonable fee, I believe.  The registration fee for next year’s Rogue Resolution Fatass is $5 per runner for either the 25k or 50k.  The $5 will cover costs for restroom availability, aid station food, race awards.  The remainder, if any, will go to Rogue Rescue.  And, donations will still be accepted which will also go to Rogue Rescue.

Hope you’ll visit Gypsy trail and, hope you will consider joining us for one of three running events we’re holding at the Roberd’s Dairy Farm!

Thanks for stopping by.

All the very best.

peace,

dlh

02/24/2017

 

 

About the Rough Runner Challenge

Gabi and Jen

Gabi and Jen

The Rough Runners 91 Day Challenge is just over a week old and has already gotten us to push beyond what we thought we personally could do!  I posted a score card online and told the RR trainees to send me their totals as often as they want but no later than Sunday of each week-end by 4pm.  That score card has tapped our inner friendly competitiveness and has us all trying to lead in one or more of the weekly totals of exercises we’re doing.  Check it out: Scorecard.

Gabi Hauck

Gabi Hauck

At the end of the week, who ever has accumulated the most number of miles and number of reps of each exercise offered gets a punisher skull awarded to their profile picture.  That certainly makes it a lot more fun for me and hopefully, for everyone else.  This inaugural challenge has fourteen participants.  That many participants is pretty impressive for a program that lasts 91 days and is pretty darn grueling.  Of those 14 on board for the program how many will actually finish it?  That’s the big question!  Hopefully, all but, probably not.  We humans are hard-wired to take the easy road.  Only the few accept the discomfort that comes from pulling away from the bunch and doing something different, something awesome.  To fall down, that is a fundamental expectation for us all.  To get back up after falling one time or, twenty times and, still go on, now, that is the stuff of badasses.  That’s what sets you apart from the rest.  That’s what I’m trying to do with the Rough Runners 91 day challenge.  This challenge is not easy and is not intended to be.

This challenge, though, is not just about pushing physically and mentally through barriers.  It’s also about stewardship, humility, personal responsibility…it’s about giving back something just because. Each participant of the 91 day RR challenge must contribute a new pair of socks, new or lightly used shoes to a homeless shelter and/or any person in need.  Why? Because we are community and, community cares for one another.  That is how we grow as a people, as a species…we care for those around us especially, the broken and vulnerable.  Its not all about us, not even a quarter of it!

We must also give the hardest thing to give – our time, to an endeavor of cleaning up our playgrounds (trails, woods, parks).  That’s right.  Each Rough Runner trainee must give at least, 3.1 hours of their time cleaning up the communities we live and play at.  Again, why?  Because these places are ours on loan and we should care for these places and leave them as pristine as we can for the next batch of adventurers that come behind us. We shouldn’t expect others to clean up for us.  We need to own up our responsibility for a better, cleaner world.

LuAnn

LuAnn

The person that signs up for this challenge is obviously someone that is driven to excel.  He is also a person that loves adventure, loves being outdoors, loves the camaraderie that comes from working hard together, suffering together, excelling together.  Adventurers have a kinship.  They seek each other out and play hard together.  Join us at a Rough Runner workout session and you’ll witness just that!

The Rough Runner program is tough…no doubt!  But, you will get a lot from it!  You will grow stronger.  You will get fitter.  Your body and mind will grow strong from it.  Your heart will grow healthier -physically and, emotionally.  This challenge combines a good dose of anaerobic and aerobic extreme execises…so, you get the best of both worlds.

Being an older athlete nearing 50, this challenge is reinvigorating me.  I am realizing every day that I still have it in me to push myself hard and still have a competitive edge with not just people my age but of very differing age ranges!  Although, I am enjoying the competitive aspect of this challenge I am realizing too that many of my limitations are in my mind.  Most importantly, I am having fun doing this!  I’m meeting new people and enjoying something that is different than the norm.

The Rough Runner challenge is free.  Anyone that wants can you join us or just do it on their own.  Anyone that successfully completes all of the requirements of the 91 day challenge can choose to purchase a shirt and flask at the end of it but the shirts and flasks will not be given out unless the participant completes each task of the challenge…no matter how much you’re willing to pay!  When you start seeing people wearing the Rough Runners shirts or see those flasks you’ll know that that person is made of a certain kind of mettle and you can confidently assume that they’re a true bonafide badass.  They did not buy their way into an image, they are the real deal – a Badass!

rr3

We’re a week into the Rough Runner 91 day challenge.  There is still time to jump on board but that window will only be available another week, maybe two.

Contact me if interested!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

peace,

Dan

dlh14255@gmail.com

A Run thru the Woods 2015 Recap

10k3

rest

A Run thru the woods 10k turned out to be a very fun event.  We had 37 runners show up and run the course and 10 DNS.  The run was capped at 50 runners.

For a technical trail run through single-track rooty trails the runners did incredibly well.  I didn’t hear of too many wipe-outs.  And fortunately, the few wipe-outs we experienced were more ego bruising than skin bruising.  The top three runners were pretty darn fast for such a winding, single-track root trail too!

Mrs. Sara Maltby and bigfoot

Mrs. Sara Maltby and bigfoot

This race marked a second successful pairing between Mrs. Sara Maltby and I.  The first time she and I worked together was on the Armadillo Broil 50k this past summer.  For this race, Sara was the race director and I was the co-rd.  She did a phenomenal job.  Not only is Sara an amazing, gifted runner but an awesome RD.  I look forward to working with her on more races in the future.

Kerry Dulina, 1st place female

The lovely Mrs. Kerry Dulina, 1st place female

The top three males and females were:

Male:

  1. Ryan Smith of Savannah, Ga, finish time: 40:37
  2. Matt Foley of Savannah, Ga, finish time: 41:28
  3. Bren Tompkins of Savannah, Ga, finish time: 43:00

Female:

  1. Kerry Dulina of Richmond Hill, Ga, finish time: 49:11
  2. Jane Floyd of Savannah, Ga, finish time: 56:43
  3. Kelly Leonard of Guyton, Ga, finish time: 1:01:25

The rest of the results can be viewed at ultrasignups site: run thru the woods 10k results

The top male and female got to choose the charity to donate the proceeds of this race from.  Now mind you, this race was small and literally made on a shoe string budget.  Yet, the race, after all expenses were covered generated roughly $150.00.

Contribution made to Girls on the Run on behalf of Ryan Smith

Contribution made to Girls on the Run on behalf of Ryan Smith

Of that $150.00 Mr. Ryan Smith chose to donate his $75 split to Girls on the Run.  Mrs. Kerry Dulina chose to donate her $75 split to Save our Rails to Trails.   Thank you both for choosing such worthy causes!  Hopefully, for next year’s run thru the woods we can generate more interest and support and have a bigger bounty to donate.

Our volunteers were second to none!  As always, the volunteers are the difference that makes a race great!  I am so very thankful for everyone that helped bring this race to fruition!

Brian Garvin, one of our great volunteers!

Brian Garvin, one of our great volunteers!

Our great volunteers were: Cealan Clifford, Brian Garvin, Rob Reed.  You guys are awesome!  Thank you all so very much!

A run thru the woods was a very fun run with a very silly story line behind it.  If you haven’t read the story behind this run, here it is: Stikman Lore.  Stikman dba, Bigfoot, was integral to a run thru the woods and was sighted more than a few times by more runners than not!  I doubt that any other race in this US of A can boast of more Bigfoot sightings as our little 10k thru the Whitemarsh woods has.

Next year’s race brings a twist to the Stikman saga…Bigfoot vs Krampus! You won’t want to miss next year’s race!  It will be full of all kinds of drama! Again, it will only be 50 total runners.  This race will never be bigger than that.

breakfast after the race

breakfast after the race

Thank you all for making a run thru the woods such a fondly memorable event!

May you all have a very happy holiday season!

Be good cuz Krampus is coming!

peace,

dh

find your center

find your center

12/09/2015

Public Meeting 11/17-Highway 80/City of Tybee (Bike/Walking/Running Lanes) We need runners & cyclists to attend)

I would like to see some pathways leading underneath highway that allow turtles safe passage from one side of the highway to the other

I would like to see some pathways leading underneath highway that allow turtles safe passage from one side of the highway to the other

Here is an important note from Christina Dolan, an environmental specialist with Ecological Planning Group regarding the proposed expansion of highway 80 to Tybee Island.

Please try to make this meeting if possible and let your voice be heard whether in sport or against.

Thanks.

Dan

~~~~

From: Christina Dolan [mailto:tcdolan2@yahoo.com]

Subject: Public Meeting 11/17-Highway 80/City of Tybee

Hello all-

On Tuesday November 17th, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will be hosting an open house from 4-6 pm at the Tybee City Hall to seek public comments regarding the proposed changes to Highway 80, including the planned replacements of both Bull River and Lazaretto Creek bridges.  (You may attend at any time during those hours. There will be no formal presentation.)   The public notice is attached and may also be viewed athttp://www.dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/SR26US80. If you can’t make the meeting, GDOT will accept public comments through December 1, 2015.  If you have questions for GDOT or wish to submit comments, please see the attached file for the appropriate GDOT contact.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the proposed expansion of Highway 80 and replacements of these bridges leading to Tybee Island.  Obviously this is controversial in nature and everybody has their own ideas of what should/shouldn’t happen.  Some people want a 4-lane, some don’t, some want the bridges replaced, some don’t, etc.  With the recent accident on Highway 80, there’s been more public scrutiny regarding this project and some recent articles in the newspaper.  The quick summary of the project (as least as far as I know, but I’m certainly not an authority on this subject) is that GDOT is currently considering improvements to Highway 80 and replacing both Bull River and Lazaretto Creek Bridges (info below from the MPO study that explains this in greater detail).

If you have an opinion on this subject, please consider coming to the meeting and/or submitting comments to GDOT.  It’s important that GDOT hear from a variety of different citizens and organizations to understand what there is, and isn’t, public support for with regards to this project.

I’m attaching some information below about this project to give you some background information that is available to the public.  In case you are wondering what my affiliation with this project is, I work for Ecological Planning Group (EPG), a private environmental consulting firm.  I am not affiliated with GDOT (or the City of Tybee) nor am I trying to start a petition or anything of that nature-I’m simply sharing that this meeting is happening and inviting those that may be interested to voice their opinions, whatever those may be.

My company, EPG, has been assisting Chatham County with trail design and planning efforts to provide more walking/biking trails in this area.  Extending the existing McQueens Islands trail to Tybee Island has long been a dream of various organizations and planning efforts in this area for quite some time (as well as mine, frankly, both from a personal and professional standpoint), but it has always been hampered by various impediments, including the bridges leading to Tybee Island, what will/won’t happen with Highway 80, and obviously by the expense and environmental implications associated with trail development, land acquisition, etc.    With the  GDOT’s proposed plan to replace the bridges leading to Tybee Island, it does open up opportunities in the near future to connect the existing McQueens trail (by extending it across Fort Pulaski-owned lands) to the new/future Lazaretto Creek Bridge (which is currently proposed to include a separated path on the side for bikes/walkers), making the “dream” to more safely bike/walk from Wilmington Island to Tybee Island more feasible.

If GDOT sees that there is public support for a separate walking/biking path leading to Tybee Island (and not just relying on paved shoulders adjacent to the road for biking whenever they make improvements-whatever those may be-to Highway 80 and the Bridges), it stands a greater chance of becoming a reality.

Whatever your feelings about the proposed project may be, I invite you to take the time to consider what you would like to see happen with this project and submit your comments to GDOT and/or attend the public meeting.

Below is some additional information that you can use to research the history of this project, if you want to know more.

Background Information-CORE MPO Study

The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (CORE MPO) conducted a planning study from 2010-2012 to examine the needs and possible alternatives for this corridor and GDOT is using the results/recommendations from the MPO’s study as a baseline for their ongoing planning efforts. The MPO study, titled US 80 Bridges Replacement Study, is available at http://www.thempc.org/Transportation/US80BridgesStudy.html.  There is a 3-page executive summary that you can read that summarizes the study’s scope and results.

The MPO’s study recommended “Alternative 3” as the best option for moving forward (and this is what GDOT is currently planning), which included replacing the existing bridges (w/2 lane bridges with an 10-foot barrier separated path and 10’ bikable shoulders); roadway improvements (widening existing road to accommodate a 10-foot paved bikable shoulder-which could act as an evacuation lane in event of an emergency); road restriping to allow for left and right turn lanes; and construction of an 18-space parking area at the entrance to McQueen’s Island Trail.

An earlier proposal for a 4-lane road expansion w/bikable shoulders was not approved and is not currently being evaluated by GDOT at this time as far as known.

Thanks for your time.  Your voice and opinions (whatever those may be)-counts-

Christina Dolan
Environmental Specialist
(912) 604-2871
Ecological Planning Group, LLC
http://www.ecologicalplanning.net<http://www.ecologicalplanning.net/>

McQueen’s Island Trail and the Savannah Rails to Trails Ultra 2016

rtt12

Title Sponsor

Title Sponsor

The 4th annual Savannah Rails to Trails with Ledesma Sports Medicine as the Title Sponsor is just around the corner!  Since 2013, we have held this race the second Saturday of January.  In 2016, that second Saturday of January falls on the 9th.

Holding this race has been a great and exciting experience to me.  This is the race that started the momentum for the restoration of the McQueen’s Island Historical Trail.  This is the race that brought the first ultra running event to Savannah.  This is the race that many of our local ultra runners chose as their first ultra to run!

rtt16

In recent years, the McQueen’s Island Trail (RTT) has been impacted quite severely by the elements.  Some voices in the community have stated that nature should be allowed to claim the trail.  And, there are other voices that have clearly stated that the trail should be saved and restored as it constitutes a remnant of our past along with a unique glimpse of our natural coastal beauty.  This narrow strip of land which is almost six miles long and in sections only ten feet across offers not only a glimmer of the history of the Lowcountry but also offers an oasis that is teeming with wildlife for the runner, cyclist, hiker, fisherman and naturalist that  ventures upon the trail.

these are just a few of the critters that call the McQueen's Island trail home!

these are just a few of the critters that call the McQueen’s Island trail home!

This trail was originally a railroad bed linking Savannah to Tybee Island.  In the 1990s it became the very first Rails to Trails project in the state of Georgia.

Mr. Francis Kwok flew in from Brooklyn, NY to run the Savannah R2T 50k in 2015.

Mr. Francis Kwok flew in from Brooklyn, NY to run the Savannah R2T 50k in 2015.

The plight of this trail brought a community of runners together from all parts of the country – Georgia, of course but also, North and South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Virginia and as far away as Washington and California, Texas, Illinois and New York.  For the 2015 race, we had a runner come from the Netherlands to run the Savannah R2T 50k.

proposed signage

proposed signage

proposed signage

proposed signage

The Savannah Rails to Trails Ultra has generated $10,000.00 for the McQueen’s Island trail restorative efforts.  We are currently in the process of using the proceeds from the 2015 and 2016 races to purchase the signs for the trail.  The signs have been designed by Christine Powell and nicely share the history of the trail, the wildlife that call the trail home and mile markers from start to end.

proposed signage

proposed signage

proposed signage

proposed signage

Please consider joining us on January 9th.  There is a distance for everyone.  The Savannah Rails to Trails offers a 50k, 25k, 12k and a 50k relay.  Every finisher gets a pretty sweet medal and a race shirt.  Awards will be given out to the top 3 male and female runners of each distance race. The course is a beautiful 7.75 mile loop that takes you around Fort Pulaski across a bridge spanning the southern channel of the Savannah River and an out and back on the McQueen’s island trail.  Running this loop you are running through approximately 175 years of Savannah history including the old fortress which was severely pounded by the Union in 1862 with their new technology of rifled canons.

newmedal

Finisher’s medal

The Savannah Rails to Trails is a unique race where southern charm, history and natural beauty converge seamlessly.   So, come down and make a weekend of Savannah, crank out some miles, explore Fort Pulaski after your run and then hit downtown Savannah Saturday evening for some good food and beer or, wine.  You’ll totally dig this run and exploring Savannah.  I promise you that!

Maranda Lynn

Maranda Lynn, little sister from Charleston, SC

If interested in being a sponsor, please know that R4R offers a pretty diverse set of sponsor packages and will gladly customize it to meet your organization’s needs.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

peace,

dh

10/06/2015

Richmond Hill’s 1st Ultra, RH Armadillo Broil, Was a Hit!

Beverley English running her first ultra.

Beverley English running her first ultra.

The inaugural Armadillo Broil is behind us now.  It went well although, we did have some glitches with timing.  The race started on time, right at 7:00 am and the last runner crossed the finish line just before 4:00 pm.  It was hot and it was muggy but the runners ran strong and each demonstrated what awesome truly is.

Again, the volunteers were the difference between success and failure.  The race succeeded because of the amazing volunteers we had at the Broil!  Also, it cannot go without mention that Sara Maltby, the Co-Director of the race exceeded all expectations!  She was even the first place 25k female!  That lady is quite the overachiever.  I could not have executed this run without her.  She was my right hand.

There were the sponsors that came out and exceeded my expectations as well.  Ron and Sandra Elliot, owners of Georgia Game Changers, brought their balloon arch, food for the runners, music and hard work to the Broil.  I am so very grateful for their sponsorship and strong involvement in the Broil! They exceeded my expectations by a long shot!  I wish more sponsors were this hands on at the races.

Overall 50k winner, Taryn Guimento

Overall 50k winner, Taryn Guimento

First Command was another sponsor that totally went all out!  They not only contributed financially to the race but had a strong presence there and even provided watermelon, frisbees, water bottles and held a raffle for a $100 Game Changers gift card.

Then, there was the Orange Mud presence!  OM has been a part of all of R4R races since May 2014.  We raffled off an OM transition towel and several OM headbands.  Everyone wanted that transition towel!

rha1

And then, there was our beneficiary, Mission on the Move,  a wonderful charity doing amazing work with children in Mexico, Guatemala and Africa.  MoM showed up and was with us at the race most of the day.  Some of the missionaries from Tapachula, Mexico were at the race and offered a unique perspective to what kind of work MoM is doing there.  The two missionaries presented me with a wonderful cooking book they put together of recipes from the Tapachula area.  In return we presented a check for $1500 to MoM at the race.  Not bad for a first time ultra race in a small town in the hottest time of the year!

All in all, it was a lot of hard work putting this race together but it came together due to the hard work and energy of so many people!  I am so grateful to all of the volunteers, the sponsors, Sara Maltby, the Mission on the Move people – especially, Rebecca Shealy!  Ms. Shealy introduced me to MoM representatives which coincidentally is her mother and, to the missionaries from Tapachula.

25k winners, Sean Keefe and Sara Maltby

25k winners, Sean Keefe and Sara Maltby

Putting together this race was a true joy!  It’s been the first race I’ve held where I haven’t felt overwhelmed and stressed out leading up to it.  Again, that is due to the amazing group of people that helped out with this race!

The top three males and females of each race were awarded and, everyone that completed their respective race received a finisher’s medal.

Due to the heat and humidity this was a very tough race.  Those of you that stuck to it and finished should be very proud!  This was a tough event!

Here is the breakdown of the runners that finished first, second and third in the 50k

  •  Taryn Guimento, 1st place overall, 1st place female.  Finish time: 4:07:05
  • Lara Zoeller, 2nd place female, 2nd place overall.  Finish time: 4:23:05
  • Jay Sweatt, 1st place male, 3rd place overall.  Finish time: 4:42:55
  • Andy Bruner, 2nd place male, 4th place overall.  Finish time: 4:58:55
  • Kerry Dulina, 3rd place female, 5th place overall.  Finish time: 5:22:50
  • Daniel Ott, 3rd place male, 6th place overall.  Finish time: 5:26:00

Here’s the breakdown for the first, second and third 25k finishers…

  • Sean Keefe, 1st place male, 1st place overall.  Finish time: 1:46:54
  • Sara Maltby, 1st place female, 2nd place overall. Finish time: 1:47:40
  • Matthew Lapaglia, 2nd place male, 3rd place overall.  Finish time: 2:01:33
  • Tim Waz, 3rd place male, 4th place overall.  Finish time: 2:17:54
  • Pamela Howe, 2nd place female, 5th place overall.  Finish time: 2:20:56
  • Jon Barrows, 3rd place male, 6th place overall.  Finish time: 2:23:40
  • Sandra Elliott, 3rd place female, 7th place overall.  Finish time: 2:24:26.

The results can be accessed by the links below:

Sandra Elliott, 3rd place female of the 25k and sponsor of Armadillo Broil via Georgia Game Changers

Sandra Elliott, 3rd place female of the 25k and sponsor of Armadillo Broil via Georgia Game Changers

Many thanks to all that played a part in this inaugural run!  We hope you will consider joining us for next year race!  This is a beautiful location for a run and southern hospitality of Richmond Hill is outstanding!

peace,

09/16/2015

dh

The Coastal Georgia Greenway 155 Mile Ultra Run Challenge

cgg

Last year I concocted a new challenge for myself and managed to recruit a few friends to join in the mayhem.  I called it the Coastal Georgia Greenway 155 Ultra.  I scheduled this challenge for the weekend of April 19th, 2015.  When that date finally rolled around three friends and I embarked on a running journey from St. Mary’s, Georgia (which is on the southern coastal border of our green state) to Savannah, Ga (which is on our northeastern coastal border of Georgia).  We decided that completing this task in 48 hours was doable.

To make a long story short, of the four of us that started in St. Mary’s on Friday, April 17th; only two finished.  The two finishers’ were Karl Joseph and John Durant.  I did not finish it.

Spring of 2016, I’m giving it another shot with a bigger (well, leaner), better and much improved me.  In the mean time, I have taken a moment to acknowledge the amazing accomplishment made by John Durant and Karl Joseph.

cggukjoseph

Karl Joseph with his plaque and CGGU 155 certificate of completion

cggu-jdurant

John Durant with his plaque and CGGU 155 certificate of completion

These two gentlemen showed what strength and honor are all about.  They endured tremendous hardship as they ran their way up the CGG.  Forty-four hours after starting this challenge both of these men completed this journey on Hutchinson Island, just across the Savannah River overlooking River Street.  To my knowledge, these two gentlemen are the very first to run the 155 mile Coastal Georgia Greenway from St. Mary’s to Savannah!

This journey was not a race but simply a challenge.  At the end of the run there was no elaborate finish line, loud music, nor cheering spectators.  The run ended on a lonely, chilly, rainy Sunday morning at the steps leading to the Savannah River front and the International Trade Center.  We (the crew) congratulated these gentlemen and took some pictures.  We all then headed our way back to our worlds.

The CGG is the brain child of Jo Claire Hickson who’s working on uniting existing trail systems with new trail systems up the entire coast of Georgia.  This is a huge work in progress but Ms. Hickson is the type of visionary that can see this project through.  So, at the time of this writing about 80% of the CGG is on highway 17 and state road 99.  The remaining 20% is on paved and unpaved trails off the highways and traversing small quaint southern towns.  The course takes you through nine towns and 15 jurisdictions.  The nine towns are: St. Mary’s, Woodbine, Kingsland, Brunswick, Darien, Riceboro, Midway, Richmond Hill and Savannah.

Jo Claire Hickson

Jo Claire Hickson

I would like to make the CGGU 155 a race but trying to securely manage a 155 mile run where 80% of it is on highways is more than I want to take on.  Some of the roads and shoulders you have to run on are pretty hairy.  It is definitely a worthwhile, doable venture but you have to be very mindful and careful running on highway 17 and route 99 especially, at night.  Managing the logistics for such an event to ensure first and foremost the safety of runners would be so very challenging, to say the least.  Perhaps, when the CGG is 80% off the highways that may be the time to make it into a race.

For now, I’m proposing to make the CGGU 155 a challenge for anyone up for it to run the CGG from St. Mary’s to Hutchinson Island, Savannah, Ga.  You do it on your own, at your own pace, for your own reason(s), – assuming all responsibilities for your own safety and that of those crewing you.

After you complete the 155 mile journey I will give you a plaque and certificate of completion…that is, if you want something like that.

What the certificate looks like.  It is printed on 8x11 65lb card stock

What the certificate looks like. It is printed on 8×11 65lb card stock

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If that sounds cool to you and you would like acknowledgement from Run 4 a Reason for having run and completed the CGG 155 Ultra Run you must do the following…

  1. $25 money order or payment through paypal payable to Run 4 a Reason (dlh14255@gmail.com).  This money will be used for one of two things, to make your plaque and certificate if you complete the challenge & to mail it to you.  If you don’t complete the challenge the entire $25 will be donated to the Coastal Georgia Greenway 501c3 organization headed by Ms. Jo Claire Hickson.  If you complete the full 155 mile run you will get your plaque and certificate within 4 weeks of the completion of your run.
  2. You assume all risks of running the CGG.  There are long stretches of highway that have to be spanned during the day and night.  You may encounter a variety of critters along the way that may want to cause you harm – among those, snakes, wasps, mosquitoes, alligators, crazy people, drunks, black bears, ill-tempered deer.  Of course, there are lots of cars and trucks on the roads of the CGG.  R4R will not be responsible for anything that may befall you during this challenge.  If you are still cool with this then please continue to #3…
  3. You must prove that you ran the entire CGG.  That means, you must produce pictures (should have gps enable tracking), videos, call and leave voice mails when you reach certain milestones along the way.  Your voice mail should state your name, location, date, time you reached that location.
  4. You shall start in St. Mary’s, Ga. at the Howard Gilmore Waterfront Memorial Park and you conclude your run on Hutchinson Island, Ga after having run one loop around the race track on that island and finishing up on the steps leading to the Savannah River and the International trade center.
  5. Thirty days from when you finish your CGGU journey you are kindly asked to submit an essay on what this experience was like and meant to you.  I’m not looking for a formal essay with proper grammar and spelling – (you’re not being graded).  I’m just looking for a short write up on what this experience was like to you.  It will be posted on this website!

Again, these five steps are only necessary if you want recognition from Run 4 a Reason for having run the CGGU 155.  If you do not care to have recognition from R4R that is totally cool and, I hope you have an excellent adventure and experience! 🙂

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Regardless of how you choose to run the CGGU 155 (with recognition from R4R or not) you may find this detailed course beneficial for your journey: cggu155-mapStuff
I broke down the course into county sections. It’s easier for me to wrap my head around this distance that way. Look it over and do not hesitate to contact me for clarification on any part of it.
Again, the Coastal Georgia Greenway is a cool and ambitious project and if you decide to run it I wish you much success and safety along the way. And, if you want recognition from R4R then follow the instructions aforementioned.

cggu-b cggu-c cggu-d cggu-e cggu-fcggu-gang cggu-gcggu-h cggu-i cggu-j cggu-kcggu-l cggu-m cggu-n

May you have a great experience!

Enjoy the journey!

peace,

dh

07/29/2015