Hey Stone Millers!

Race day is getting closer, as if you didn’t know! Humidity has vamoosed the area, days are getting shorter, and the temps are a lot more reasonable than in late July. Four weeks from Saturday – unless you chicken out (Bawk! Bawk!) – you will be crossing the Stone Mill start line and heading on down the course. A lot of you are getting into the self-doubt portion of your training. ‘Did I do enough miles?’ ‘Will I be strong enough on race day?’ ‘Should I have done more hill repeats?’ ‘Will I have to poop in the woods?’…etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! Well, I guess ya’ll gonna find out! Either way, one thing you can do to prepare yourself is get familiar with the course. Basically, get a first-hand look at what you’ll be facing on race day.

So, let’s talk about the course preview runs. Just to re-hash, we have taken the Stone Mill course, which is basically shaped like an upside-down lollipop, and divided it up into four segments. Each weekend we run a different section. If you run with us all four weekends, your feet will have touched the course in its entirety. Muddy Shoes supplies on-course water, and post-run beverages, snacks and chit-chat back at the parking lot.

Last week we did Run #1. That covered the first and last 10 miles of Stone Mill (the lollipop stick). This week we’ll be convening at Pennyfield Lock to take a stroll on the Muddy Branch section of the course – basically Mile 15 to Mile 24, give or take a few feet.

BTW, Pennyfield Lock, the halfway point of Stone Mill, is the site of the Muddy Shoes Aid Station during the race. We’ll take care of your sorry-ass when you need it most with Hot Soup, Quesadillas, Tater Tots, Pickle Juice, Port-a-Pottys and some motivational commentary on how we think you are doing!

Whoops, I digress. Back to Run #2. This run will be an out-and-back totaling approximately 18-ish miles entirely on single-track excepting a small stretch of pavement along Esworthy Road and another very short stretch on Query Mill Road. The actual race direction will be duplicated when you head back from the turnaround point up at Rt. 28. That location will also be the site of the 3rd Aid station on the course. It’s a beautiful trail that consists of wooded single track the entire way with many rolling hills but nothing too severe.

So, coupla things:

  • Entry fee – We (Muddy Shoes) depend on your hard-earned moolah to bring you these events as well as all our other running activities throughout the year. This year we are asking for a $5 donation per runner per preview run. That’s cheap! We accept cash and paypal ( No crypto, small trinkets or monopoly money, please. The more generous you are, the less likely it is that we will make nasty comments about you. At least not to your face!
  • Caltopo – if you have any doubts about staying on course then download caltopo to your phone. I included the caltopo link to this weekend’s run in the details below. You can bring it up in the Caltopo app and it will show your current location as well as the day’s course. It works really well.
  • These runs are open to all. You don’t have to be running Stone Mill to join us. You can be training for a different event or just want to do a few miles. C’mon out!
  • We provide water on the course and beverages and snacks back at the trailhead to enjoy while you mingle after the run. This week the post-run treats will feature some baked goods from Momma Q’s Farm Market Bakery  Ya don’t wanna miss that!

Alright! Here are the details –

Location: Pennyfield Lock, C & O Canal

Address: 12100-12226 Pennyfield Lock Rd, Potomac, MD 20854 (When you get to the canal go left and all the way down to where we will park)


Date: Saturday 14 October

Time: 0730

Donation: Yes, please!

Pets: Dogs or hamsters on a leash OK. No ferrets!

Vibe: Usually pretty chill.

Blah, blah, blah. I’ve talked enough. Hope to C U there cuz THESE TRAILS AIN’T GONNA RUN THEMSELVES!!!


Coach Phil

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