Conestoga 10M Trail Run - Holtwood, Pennsylvania


September 22, 2019 - Always wanted to do this run - a real Pennsylvania classic. Finally glad I could enjoy it with an easy three-hour effort rather than racing it hard. As the profile below indicates, this is a climber's event, with rocky terrain the entire way, some bushwhacking, waterfalls, and killer views of the beautiful Susquehanna River. The sunny day proved warm with feels-like temps approaching 90 degrees and very high humidity that had me soaked before two miles.

After enjoying seeing George Hollerback and Matt Lipsey before the start, I set off at a slower-than-usual tempo to allow for the deep fatigue that still lingered after racing the day before at Boulder Beast. I soon discovered my climbing muscles were tired and had not yet even come close to refueling with glycogen. So I watched as most of the field fled away from me at the beginning.

Once the juices were flowing I stepped it up a bit to give chase, finishing the final eight miles at an even gait without too much effort. My climbing was good as usual, but I really backed off the downhills to avoid stumbling or falling. It was nice to go slow enough to just look around and enjoy the lovely scenery along the way. It was very nice to just participate without any internal competitive pressure.

Some of the file photos below of the Conestoga Trail between Pequea and Holtwood along the river give one an idea of just what I enjoyed. After a brief recovery with a very sweaty bunch of happy runners, I headed home on a scenic route through Gettysburg and Chambersburg.