Sunday, June 26, 2016

This Week in Running 6/19 - 6/25

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday5Recovery run around Elko, Nevada
Monday5All easy
Tuesday7Hot and easy
Wednesday5Again, very hot and still sore
ThursdayOffResting for the Midnight Half Marathon
Friday13Midnight Half Marathon in Provo in 1:53;30
Saturday6Easy plus strides
Total miles for the week: 41 YTD: 1156

Week's Summary

I'll come straight out and say last week's half marathon wiped me out.  The downhill nature of the course took a massive toll on my quads and I had zero strength to do much more than do easy runs this week.  I didn't even have strength to do any final strides.

I was really worried about my half marathon on Friday night on account that I had no oomph whatsoever.  I felt like I had run a full marathon, instead of just a half marathon (which normally takes me about a day to recover from).  I did wind up paying a price in terms of performance on Friday's race but I am still glad I got out and had some fun.

I hope to be able to squeeze in some quality miles this week.

Upcoming Races

07/02: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon - Murray, Utah - (Confirmed)
07/15: Legacy Midnight Half Marathon - Farmington, Utah - (Confirmed)
07/23: Hand Cart Half Marathon - Bountiful, Utah (Confirmed)
07/31: Black Hawk Trail Half Marathon - Black Hawk, Colorado - (Confirmed)
10/09: Lake Tahoe Marathon (Very Probable -- hotel booked)
11/13: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/15: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

2016 Utah Midnight Half Marathon Race Recap - Provo Utah

Me pre-race

Official Time: 1:53:30
Placement: 17th out of ?? overall, 1st in the 45 - 59 age division
Results: Here
Race Website:Here
Weather: Mid 80's at the start, mid 75's at finish. 10 mph winds from the north west
Garmin Dump: Here

Mile  Time Comments
1 8:27 Feeling good. Feeling in control
2 8:23
3 8:20 Despite some bumpy bike trail, maintain a decent pace
4 8:20 Still feeling good.
5 8:45 Hit some head wind here. Also very dark
6 8:40 Head wind.  Feel like I am running faster.
7 8:34 Get a nice bump from the tail wind -- can I hold it?
8 8:38
9 9:00 Tail wind mostly disappears.  Nothing to work with
10 8:59 Legs feel heavy
11 9:49 Officially kind of done.  Mild up hill parts here
12 9:37
12.81 7:52 Whew...glad to be done.
Total Miles: 12.81 - 1:53:30


Part of the summer tradition for me is doing the Utah Midnight Run.  I've done this race now two previous times (2014, 2015).

The Utah Midnight Run is put on by On Hill Events and is a lightly attended race, drawing about a 100 people for the half marathon.  They also have a 5K and 10K that runs on the same bike trail but start at different times.  I think the night races appeal to the younger crowd and for me it is a nice way to get in a solid training run.

Either way the race is held on the Provo River bike trail.  It is very similar to the bike trail near my house.  It is reasonably flat with only a few "hills" where you dip under a road.  The challenge of the race, however, is that a lot of the bike trail isn't well lit.  And given the cloud cover over the moon last night, it made it difficult to see.  There were a couple of times where I hit an exposed crack or root nearly causing me to slip.  I did carry a head lamp with me which I used sporadically when it was difficult to see.  I highly recommend you carry some sort of light source for this race.

The Race

I arrived just before 9 PM for the 10 PM start.  This year there was hardly any traffic and I got there way early.  I got myself very close parking to the finish line and literally walked about 20 yards to get to the packet pickup.  I got my shirt and a glow-stick and wound up hanging around for an hour until the race start.

The race started exactly at 10 PM and I was off and running.  The bike trail isn't terribly wide so the first half mile or so, you sort of have to bide your time until people settle into their paces.  

I didn't have a huge goal for this race and to be honest I was sort of worried.  I had been feeling pretty flat on account of the Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon that I had done just 6 days prior.  In fact, the amount of soreness I was feeling was comparable to having run a full a marathon.  

I started off at an 8:30 pace and basically dogged the 1:50 pacer.  I kept him within my sites for the first half of the race, figuring if I could at least keep him in my sites, I'd finish in a decent time.

I wound up passing a good deal of people in the first half and by the time I hit the turn around, I could still see the pacer (running solo) and was within shouting distance of him.  I had been running into the wind, which mysteriously had showed up (probably off Utah Lake) and I was hoping that when I turned around that it would give me a second wind, of sorts.

It did, and for about 2 miles or so I was really able to push it with the help of the wind.  Unfortunately, I think the pacer decided he was perhaps off pace and dropped the hammer, leaving me running solo.  Also, I was starting to close on the 3rd place (overall) female who for a while I thought was the pacer and I was matching her pace, which was slower than 1:50.  

Either way after crossing mile 10 I started running out of gas and was in survival mode.  My legs were just shot and I was slightly dehydrated.  I had brought my own drink and I was sipping on it periodically but the 80 degree temperatures had taken a toll on me.

The woman I was chasing seemed to be in the same state as I was but at least I had someone to follow and work off of.

Also around mile 10 is when I ran into the returning 10K (and eventually 5K) racers.  Some of them were still in the process of running their first 3 miles (they started at 11 PM).  It was good to make contact again with other runners after having run mile 6.5 - 10 largely by myself.  It was sort of surreal to be running in the dark and all of the sudden seeing a runner wearing a headlamp approaching...

I crossed the finish line in a somewhat disappointing 1:53:30.  I sort of expected this (and actually expected to run slower) but I was thrilled to get an age group win.


This year, the race was better marked.  Each year I would run it and I'd stumble across a fork in the bike trail.  Usually it was an easy decision: just follow the river.  They had put up a lot of blinkers on some of the deserted stretches to help guide you.  They also had the garbage cans illuminated -- I remember last year nearly colliding with one.  There were some areas that could've been better marked.  I saw the 3rd place overall girl nearly take a wrong turn by crossing a bridge she didn't need to.  Having run this one three times, now, I had a good sense of where to go and when. 

I got a discount into the race -- so I paid a little over $50, which is fair for a half marathon.  They provided 4 water stops (1.5, 3, 4.5 and 5-ish -- plus the turn around) and they were prepared for the runners.  Post race food consisted of the usual fruit, cotton candy, Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches, and peanut butter sandwiches.  They also had plenty of water and Powerade.  The shirt is a nice tech shirt in a similar style to their previous ones.

Awards were a little crazy.  They had 3 races and it just seemed to take a long time to get through them.  I was jazzed to win my age group though.  

The finisher's medal blinks and I think my age group one is supposed to as well, but either it is broken or the battery is out.  They are very nice medals and similar to what has been given out in previous years.

There is some room for improvement on the race.  From previous years the course was better marked, but there were some areas that could've used an arrow or something to indicate "don't turn here".  There were plenty of water stops and support was good.  The volunteers were enthusiastic and there was the occasional fan hanging out. 

The course itself is nice.  It is hard to appreciate the beauty while running at night, but it was tranquil and there were some nice views of the city lights of Provo from the lake.  Also there were plenty of bridges that made life interesting.

The return trip back to the start -- particularly between miles 7 and 10 are lonely.  It was pitch dark and I could only see the distant bobbing light of another runner. 

Running at night is also difficult to judge your pace.  You don't have instant feedback from your surroundings and you really have to use some of your focus on making sure you aren't going to run into something.  

I do think the race is short.  In years past I've gotten measurements of 12.91 miles or so.  Granted, you are running under some bridges which might result in loss of signal and there were some tree and cloud cover.  Most other people reported less than 13.1 miles, however.

Either way, I am happy to have done this race and I did have a lot of fun.  I should be there in 2017!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon Trip Recap


First off, this post really isn't about running but about the long weekend trip I took to partake in running the Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon.  I mostly do these types of posts for myself, as occasionally I like to take a trip down memory lane.

Either way, I did take a bunch of pictures of the events that transpired as well as eat at some new and interesting places.  So someone out there (besides me) may find this useful.


I took a half day off from work and left around 11 AM to make the roughly 3 hour trip from Salt Lake City to Elko, NV.  Normally, I wouldn't have taken a day off, but I had to be in Elko by 6 PM pacific time to get my bib.  

Of course, I planned on stopping in Wendover on the way out.  I like their Friday morning buffet and I had earned enough points on my previous visits to acquire a free meal.  It has been a while since I was there for a Friday as I love their seafood ciappino soup.  We stopped at Montego Bay and I knew better than to gorge but I definitely ate enough to get my money's worth.

After eating, we decided to let the food settle for a bit and gamble.  They had 8x comps so we wound up playing a bit there.  My belief is that when they up the comps, they seem to make the machines tighter.  Whether there is any truth in that remains to be seen.  I did get some entertainment for my dollar and earned back some of the comps that we had used for breakfast.  I left a little lighter in the wallet so I suppose we paid for our breakfast after all.

The rest of the trip to Elko was pretty uneventful and by mid-afternoon we reached the place where the packet pickup was being held.  It was pretty much an easy-in, easy-out and I double checked exactly where I needed to be in the morning.  

Before making the trip, I had discovered that this weekend's race corresponded with the Elko Motorcycle Jamboree.  This basically meant that all Harley Davidson, black leather wearing rider was going to be there.  They had blocked off most of the downtown area so I made the short walk from the outfitter's store to the downtown area. 

I was pretty impressed with all the classic cars and biker swag for sale:

The crowd looked a little rough but generally speaking people were well-behaved and I didn't have any incidents with loud or obnoxious people all weekend.

It was pretty warm to be walking around so we got back into the car and made our way back to the Red Lion, which was the hotel I had booked for two nights.  Usually I get a room free for a night or two, but being that it was motorcycle weekend, they weren't honoring the free room vouchers unless you were a far higher roller than me.

The Red Lion is a nice hotel and I recommend staying there if you are ever in Elko.  For $200 I got a pretty decent room that was super sized.  It was close to the casino, which had me worried.  Normally you get the drunks coming in from the casino at 2 AM in the morning talking in the hallway but I was only disturbed once or twice.

We gambled a bit at the Red Lion and I actually made back some of my money.  I played a variety of machines and was actually getting a lot of entertainment and actually cashing with some minor wins.

For dinner we walked across the street and ate at Jr's Restaurant.  It is part of the Gold Country Casino, which is affiliated with the Red Lion.  I've never had a bad meal there.  They seemed to have new menus and I carb loaded with some spaghetti.  Very good and the cost was offset by some coupons I had.

We wound up gambling a bit more but nothing terribly exciting happened.  By 8 PM we decided to call it a night and watch some TV.  I had to be up early the next morning.


I slept like crap -- as usual before the race.  I always have worries my alarm isn't going to go off or some unforeseen tragedy occurs.  Couple it with sleeping in a strange bed and feeling kind of warm, made it a difficult night.

In the morning I ran the Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon, which you can read about here.

After the race, I wound up hanging around the park for a good 90 minutes making small talk with whomever I could strike up a conversation with.  It was just a beautiful morning and I enjoyed every minute of my experience doing the race.

After the race and loitering around, I made the roughly 30 minute drive back to town.  I cleaned up and decided to head on over to the Gold Dust West.  I was dying of thirst and they have self-serve sodas there, which I used to quench my thirst.  We also gambled there quite a bit, since they had given me a tiny bit of free play via the mail.

I wound up winning a minor jackpot on Fu Dao Le, which definitely put me over the top:

$120 minor jackpot win
I wound up putting back some money but overall I left a winner, which is the first time ever at the Gold Dust.  Shari wound up hitting a minor jackpot too on some bonus wheel game:

We wound up using a $5 off coupon for lunch.  I had a salmon + fries, which was good.  Service was a little slow and I wouldn't recommend their cafe to vegetarians.  It was pretty barren of any non-meat items.  Sure you could go with pancakes or a salad, but it needed some non-meat alternatives.  The food was good though...

After eating we thought about going back downtown to check out the motorcycle show, but I was crashing pretty fast and so we decided to head back.  I tried to nap for a bit, but I was over caffeinated and over stimulated.  

I think we gambled a bit and I wasn't doing terribly well.  So I decided to read by the pool.  Normally Elko can be pretty warm, but it was 75F at best so I only lasted a few minutes in the heavily-shaded pool.  It was refreshing but their pool is pretty small.  If it was warmer, I would've stayed in a lot longer.

After cleaning up, we headed back across town to Dos Amigos Restaurant.  I've been itching to try the place for a while since most people we talked to liked it.  They were prompt with service and the portion sizes were huge.  It was a team-service method so people were constantly assisting us.  I was never quite sure who our server was, but either way, my hunger was definitely satiated.  I also ran into a fellow runner at the restaurant who I met at the race.  It was good to see a somewhat familiar face.

After eating we went back to the Red Lion in hopes that our names would be drawn for their random hot seat drawings (spoiler alert: it wasn't).  They had a Father's Day special of earning a small toolset if you earn 350 points.  I came up slightly short and I wasn't really willing to chase it for a $10 tool (you probably have to gamble a couple hundred to get that many points -- granted you win some, you lose some).  I wound up doing okay and by the end of the night my wallet was a little heavier with money but I certainly wasn't cleaning the place out.


In the morning, I stumbled out of bed and attempted a 5-mile-ish run.  I was extremely sore from the half marathon but the more I ran, the better I felt.  It was nice to take some pictures.  I even discovered the Elko bike trail and put in a short distance on that:

Elko Bike Trail

After cleaning up, we packed up and made our way eastward to Wendover.  We had a 2-for-1 buffet pass and they were offering 4x comps.  So with whatever money we had left, we'd use it there.  I am happy to report that when I left Elko I pretty much had the same amount of money in which I came -- minus tips and petty change.

Breakfast, as usual was awesome and I ran into a friend of mine who said the slots were hot.  I really didn't expect them to be hot, but just about everything I played, I made a small but tidy profit on.  I also got quite a bit of entertainment for my money.  Also, the longer I played, the more comps I made, so I have more freebies coming my way next time I go.

I did get a couple of hot hits on the bonus wheel game, including a 5x payout on a $10 win (just missing the 50 times).  I also got 50 free spins which netted me another $55.  Some machines I didn't do well on, and clearly were primed for me.

I actually came out ahead gambling-wise.  It wasn't a huge success, but anytime I get a lot of entertainment, free meals, and more money in my wallet, I am happy.  Shari didn't fare as well.  She tends to bet more aggressively than I do so her fortunes tend to swing wilder in either direction.

Hopefully I can make it back to Elko for their 4th of July celebration.  I did it last year and I had so much fun that I really want to do it again.  So hopefully something will work out.

This Week in Running - 6/12 - 6/18

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday5Mostly medium with some speed pickups thrown in + hike about 10 miles
Monday5Normal paced run.
Tuesday74 x .5M in 3:45 average with .12 mile break between reps
Thursday74 - 5 miles at half marthon pace. Rest easy
FridayOffEarly morning run. First half really good, second half, not so much
Saturday13Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon
Total miles for the week: 41 YTD: 1115

Week's Summary

This was a pretty uneventful week to say the least.  I did manage to get in 1.5 speed workouts though.   The one on Tuesday, I held back a bit on account that I wanted to be somewhat fresh for the half marathon.  With the week's temperatures being fairly reasonable for mid-June, I also got in a tempo run on Thursday, which I ran at a comfortable hard pace.

My overall volume for the week was pretty average -- maybe down a few miles than usual.  Again, I wanted to come in fresh for the half marathon.  I also got in some decent cross training / preparation for my trail half marathon at the end of July by hiking 10 miles on Sunday.   Being that I don't have a marathon on the near horizon, I can afford to try and get by during these dreadful hot weeks.

Friday's Half Marathon

This Friday I am doing the Provo Midnight Half Marathon.  This race starts at 10 PM but it will still be somewhat hot out.  I am hoping my legs will have recovered from the Lamoille Canyon half.  I was able to run with some soreness on Sunday, but Monday it seems almost worse.  That is usually a fact of the matter after running a course with nearly 3000 feet of elevation drop.  

I don't have any time goals, other than to not blow up from the heat and try to run as evenly as possible.  I always enjoy the race as it gives me an opportunity to stay out late and do something a little different.

Upcoming Races

06/24: Utah Midnight Half Marathon - Provo, UT(Confirmed)
07/31: Black Hawk Trail Half Marathon - Black Hawk, Colorado Confirmed
10/09: Lake Tahoe Marathon (Very Probable -- hotel booked)
11/13: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/15: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) (2017)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon Race Recap - Spring Creek Nevada

Official Time: 1:48:00
Placement: 27th overall, 2nd in the 45 - 49
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 40's to start, Upper 50's at finish.
Garmin Dump: Here

Mile Time Comments
1 8:33 A really tough uphill section and then all downhill
28:27I should be going faster, but running at 8000 feet elevation is tough.
37:54More downhill
47:33Mix of up and down -- bathroom break here too
57:41More downhill
78:33Actually had to work here.  Felt like I was going to blow up though
97:56Back to coasting on the downhill
118:34At this point, mostly flats with some mix of uphill and downhills
139:01Legs are shot.  Come on finish line.
Total Miles: 13.12 - 1:48


For a while now, I've been targeting the Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon.  I feel in love with Lamoille Canyon in 2013, when I went to Elko on a whim and went hiking there.  So just about any chance I get, I try to go back there, get some hiking and revisit the canyon.

Looking for a weekend getaway, I planned the race and decided to give it a go.

Like a lot of Utah races, the Lamoille Canyon is a mainly downhill race.  It starts roughly at 8800 and finishes somewhere around 5500.  If you've read this blog for any length of time you know that I am not a super big fan of downhill races.  Sure they produce fast times but in my opinion they are punishing physically, hard to control the pace, and substantially increase the risk of injury.

However, knowing how much I like Lamoille Canyon, I decided to give this race a go.  I had toyed with doing the marathon, but after my lackluster race performance in Ogden, I decided to just do the half.  Yes, I felt like a puss "only" doing the half, after finishing the race, I was glad I had reigned in my running enthusiasm.

The Race

The day before the race, I drove from Salt Lake City to Elko -- about 3.25 hours away.  Packet pickup was at an outdoor clothing store, which was super easy to find (Elko isn't that big).  Swag consisted of a nice tech shirt, some food samples and a sticker.  They even had some throw-away gloves, which I was glad I took.

I woke up around 4:15 after a rough night of sleeping.  As usual, the night before a race I slept poorly.  I think all the excitement of the day as well as pre-race jitters had me on edge. 

After eating a light breakfast, I assembled my stuff and made the roughly 30 minute drive to Lamoille Grove -- a community park about 1/2 mile from the entrance to Lamoille Canyon.  There was ample parking and I easily found the coach buses.  

After using the park's bathrooms, I jumped into the first departing bus and made the roughly 20 minute drive or so up to the top of Lamoille Canyon.  

Lamoille itself was about 54 degrees, however, at the top the temperature had dropped quite a bit.  I figured it was in the lower 40's, perhaps upper 30's.  Luckily, I had brought some extra clothing and only had to kill about 45 minutes up there.  It was just nice soaking up the atmosphere.  

On the way up, we saw the full marathoners had started the race an hour earlier making their way down the canyon.  I didn't have a real good view of them, but I think most people said there were only about 10 of them (did I mention that I was SO thankful I hadn't done the full).

For a small marathon / half marathon, there were people from all over.  It would seem a lot of people traveled to run this race.  A lot were ex-Elko residents and a few who were just in town passing through and decided to race it.

The race started at 7 AM.  At first, I thought we were going to start at the top of the canyon loop and simply end at the grove.  However, in the past they used to have to run an extra lap around the park to make it 13.1 miles.  They have since changed it so that you run about 1/4 mile (or so) UP to the top of the canyon and then back down.

As soon as I started running I was breathing heavily.  I don't know how everybody else got off to a good start, but I was gasping for air from 10 yards in.  Then I remember, I was at 8800 feet and everything is SO much harder.

Luckily the uphill is short lived and after circling around the top of the parking lot I started my descent.  It still felt hard to run and it wasn't until about mile 3 that I felt like I could breathe.

Part of me was really worried about how fast I was going.  I was easily cranking out sub 8 minute miles.  I suspected it was harder to control my pace versus just going for it.

For the most part the descent wasn't too bad and I wasn't feeling any pain points, other than a cranky Achilles tendon once in a while.

I was on for a fast pace, so I didn't take any pictures of the absolutely gorgeous scenery.  I've photographed a lot of the canyon, which you can see with this tag.

Around mile 6 or so, I encountered the first section of flat / uphill.  My pace went from flying to almost crawling (it seemed).  My legs just seemed to not respond and I was laboring a great deal.  I think all the pounding they took from the early miles had run me down.

Luckily a fellow runner ran with me for about the next 3 - 4 miles. I normally don't talk to people during a race -- I am too focused on my own pace but this was a nice respite.  Both of us were making the same pace.  I hadn't run with too many people in the race, since it was small and many people were well ahead of me.  So Heather -- if you read this, thanks for the company and may our paths cross again!

The final 5K is flat with some uphills.  You are basically out of the shaded canyon and now into the glaring sun.  While the scenery was beautiful, you definitely had to maintain your own running power.

The race organizer only had 3 water stops -- one of which had Gatorade.  I had read that before hand and was so GLAD that I had brought my own flask.  With the rising temperature and the glaring sun, I was taking more and more hits from my canteen as the race progressed.  I think I would've suffered a great deal without it.

All in all, my pace wasn't too bad and in fact, I haven't run sub 1:49 in a LONG time.  While I hate to mark these types of courses as PRs because they are giving a HUGE benefit to the runner.  It was very nice to have a good overall time.  Granted, the last 2 miles felt like I was dragging an anchor.  Thankfully, I wasn't being chased by anyone and I even managed to nab second place in my age division.


Overall, I was really happy with this race.  They kept the price very reasonable ($65 for week of registration) and while it wasn't terrible formal (no chip timing) everything went according to plan.  If you ever visit Northeast Nevada, make Lamoille Canyon a must-see on your visit.  It is just gorgeous and most people don't even know it exists.

There was a good sense of camaraderie at the race too.  I didn't know anyone there but I easily struck up conversations with a variety of people.  Probably the friendliest group I've ever run with.

The scenery for the half marathon is just incredible.  It was really an honor to be able to run this course.

I am glad I didn't run the full.  It was warm and seeing the second half of the course, it would've been a massive sufferfest.  My legs would not have been able to tolerate the final 15 miles of flats after 11 miles (or so) of the massive downhill.  I talked to a few of the marathoners and I got the impression it was a lot of hot, not shady, dirt roads with not a lot to look at.  I probably would've been walking after mile 20.

The medal and age group award were pretty basic.  If you are a medal hound, you probably won't be impressed.  Nothing too fancy.  They had a free pancake breakfast, free ice cream and the usual spread of post-race food.  That included water, bananas, granola bars, and chocolate milk.  Awards were fairly prompt and there were plenty of room to sit in the park and just bask in the shade or sunlight.  Just a perfect setting and I was happy with my experience from start to finish.

Pre-race park area

I definitely plan to do this one next year.  Yes, I am incredibly sore, but this made for a perfect long weekend and I had a lot of fun.  I would definitely shy away from the full and while my ego took a hit from not doing the long race, I did have a great half marathon.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mormon Pioneer Trail Hike - East Canyon - Salt Lake City, UT

View from the Top of the Trail


Last year, I had the opportunity to explore the Big Mountain Trail.  I noticed while I was there that there was another trail called the Mormon Pioneer Trail.  This trail is located up route 65, midway between the I-80 and Morgan. 

The Mormon Pioneer Trail is a historical trail that follows the path of the original Utah settlers as they came into the Salt Lake Valley some 170 years ago.  I don't know how they got their wagons down the trail and it must've been a massive undertaking.

The trail is also unique in that you generally start at the head of the trail at the top and work your way down to the Little Dell Reservoir.  This route is about 5 miles long (each way).  The decline isn't terrible and actually the trail is used by cyclists and runners alike.  It isn't rocky and the ascent is generally forgiving.  Keep your wits about you, as some of the cyclists were a bit aggressive and were cruising down the trail at breakneck speed.

This trail hugs the Route 65 road and you can almost always hear cars passing by.  So I never really felt like I was "out there".  Also, the trail crosses the road a few times and you have to walk through a campground to follow it.  

Most of the views can be found at the very top and the bottom near the reservoir.  The rest of the trail is surrounded by trees and to be honest, wasn't terribly exciting.  The trail, however, was pretty shady and is good for a sunny day.

I shot a lot of photos and I hope to run this trail some day as I think the footing is reasonably good and would provide a hard, but not gut busting workout.

Enjoy the photos!