With March 6, 2021 quickly approaching, today was on our calendar as the last ‘long’ ruck to get some training distance under weight. F3Alpha has multiple PAX who are registered for the 12 mile and 26.2 mile Star Course. We’re ready and looking forward to the challenge.
Today we met at the site of the STORM AO. 6am had two groups show up and leave from the parking lot across from Halcyon. Ace Ventura led 7 men one direction while 7 men stood in a circle looking at each other wondering 1) where Zohan was and 2) where Inseam was.
As Zohan walked up to the circle, YHC (Homer) believes it was Swiper calling to check the status of Mr. Inseam.
“Are you on your way?”
“Hey… oh… no” click
“He’s not coming.”
So we left the parking lot headed toward McFarland. The route was already set from a previous Zohan CSAUP which included a long ruck with beatdown pain stations. Today’s ruck would not include the beatdown… just the miles.
Hang a left out of Halcyon onto Mcfarland. Cross 400. There is much more traffic on the road at 6an on a dark Saturday than you’d think. We hugged the side of the road when there was no sidewalk. Watching for cars and ice patches the entire way.
Continue up McFarland 1.5 miles to Union Hill Road. Right toward Mullinax, but fork right to stay on Union Hill. We’re headed toward the Greenway (would have been much easier from Halcyon if the Greenway wasn’t under construction)
Enter the Greenway at 2.5 total distance point. This is the first time YHC had actually used this trail. Unbelievable how relaxing it is. I wish we had something like it down in the “big city” of Peachtree Corners. Continue to Hwy 9 (4.21 mile overall) and turn onto on Hwy 9.
Back to hugging the side of the road and using sidewalks where available. All the rain of late has made any grassy areas very soggy. Probably slowed our pace some during these moments. Cars fly down Hwy 9, but we made our way up to Majors Road and hung a right than an immediate left to remain on Majors. Zohan really wanted to go find a log to carry as a group. Eventually cross 400 and work our way up to intersection of 141 at Scott’s Auto Center. (7.17 total miles)
A bathroom break was requested somewhere along the way, but we all felt that we could push another ’10 minutes’ to Sharon Springs Park (Grindstone) 2 miles later and we were at the park.
Perfect place to have a break. Snack. Work on our feet and prepare for the last few miles.
Zohan took over more at this point as he had found a ‘back door’ to the park that exited out into a neighborhood off of Bagley Road. So at the 10ish mile mark we worked our way (mostly up hill) through the nice neighborhood streets to Bagley Road. Again, no sidewalks. Definitely kept an eye on our six (even on the other side of the road) and worked our way back toward 141.
At this point, Zohan said “The safe way is to go right and then left at the light… the more risky way is to cross the road into First Redeemer Church.” Homer noticed a wide opening and took off across the road.
We entered the church driveway that hugged the back side of the campus and eventually out onto Old Alpharetta Road. Turned Left out of the church and headed toward Caney Road/Pine Grove Road. Right. Hugged the road (where are all the sidewalks)
Took a picture outside of No Longer Bound and kept pushing back toward Halcyon. Actually more dicey times in this business park than most of the rest of the route. Apparently a cut through for many.
Crossed over and right onto McFarland for the remaining distance back to Halcyon.
We Circled up for COT before heading over to Land of Thousand Hills Coffee where we refilled and enjoyed more fellowship.
YHC clocked in just over 15 miles in about 4 and half hours. Good time for sure especially including a good rest time at Sharon Springs.
In some ways YHC can’t imagine tacking another 11 miles onto this distance in a few weeks. Adrenaline will kick in and it should be flatter and easier walking. We discussed enjoying it more as we will definitely be able to finish the distance in the time. I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge. We’ll rest and recover over the next couple weeks and be good to go.