I ran the Oak Hill loop, enjoying what I have always felt is the best side of Pineland as the glowing orb of the sun began to shine through the trees, highlighting the leaves and setting the woods aglow. As I ran back out to the field, I saw a small flock of turkeys in the field in the low, early morning light, unperturbed by my presence.
I did a small portion of the campus loop and popped back out at the Y to see a small group of Trail Monsters gathered. After a few minutes of chatter, we took off, with Ian and Andy in the lead. Never a good thing :) John trailed behind the group with myself and Jess, the only other woman runner for the morning. It was soon clear that the men were just going too fast to keep up, and John drifted off in their direction, leaving Jess and I chatting away as we ran along. Ian was leading us on the course in reverse, and along the way, there was a long stretch of trail lined with 100s of jack-o-lanterns for some sort of haunted hayride.
When we crossed the street, we continued along the course in the correct direction, meaning we ran into the guys as they were coming down the hill by the yurt as we were walking up. Jess had just run the BBU 50k, so we did a fair bit of hill walking as we headed back to the Y, but that was fine with me.
Back at the Y, I had another 45 minutes left to run before Ryan and Sam met me at the Market, so Jess and I crossed back over to the Oak Hill side. There, Ian caught up with us, and he and I chatted away as we ran along. I was happy to be able to run up Gloucester Hill this second time, as well as the first, and felt pretty good as I finished up the run with exactly 16 miles in 2:44.
After a quick change, Sam and I had a snack with some of the group, while Ryan headed out for his run. Then Sam and I went back to the Y and we walked out onto the pumpkin-lined trails for a short walk. She thought the jack-o-lanterns were hysterical, so that was a fun end to a Pineland morning.