My wife, Katie, always laughs at me as I try to show people some of my favorite runs and while doing so, I ruin them for myself because I run them so many times before we put on the event! Well, it would be hard to try and spoil this next months' run. Running along Swede Ridge is a favorite of mine as it ALWAYS culminates with a brief stop at Swede Shelter where I soak in the unobstructed views of Broken Top and as I gaze into the valley below. Those with sharp eyes can even spy the rushing waters of Tumalo Falls way below.
So, the course this month.... I had a few people call and email me that they really wanted to run the Bandit runs but the distance was a little daunting. So, this month you have no excuse. The 7.5 mile will challenge the casual runner with its trails that constantly roll up and down but they will be more than rewarded with the views of Swampy Lakes, the meadows, quick stream hops, and the big views at the end of Swede Ridge.
I ran there this evening at about 8 PM and was pleased to see that there was no snow and the wildflowers were popping up all around the trail. Doesn't sound horrible, does it?
Is it a difficult run? No, but I wouldn't label it as an easy run either. You will start with a 3/4 mile uphill that will then gently lead down all the way to "Swampy Shelter". From there, you'll make a right hand turn and cruise the ups and downs for about 2 miles until you hit Swede Shelter and the trail back to the start. After a mile or so of cruising an easy dirt road, you'll hit more single track where, yes, you'll probably curse my name as you do a short but grinding climb back up to a cool little clearing. From there, you'll retrace your first mile back to the car.... including be able to bomb down the first climb.
It is about 7.5 miles and it will be a great new trail for you to tackle anytime. As usual, it is 100% free and we will have the course marked for you. My guess is that we will not be able to have water on the course unless I can gain (legally) access to the dirt road that leads to Swede Shelter. If not, plan on carrying at least one water bottle and we will have refreshments for you at the finish.
We'll provide a trail that is marked well, you just provide your bright eyed, bushy tailed self to the Swampy Lakes Parking lot this Sunday at 8 a.m.
I took some pictures of my run tonight and will post some pictures on this blog tomorrow. Thanks for visiting and feel free to post any questions or concerns you have about the run!