Ghost Road Trail 8-mile event

For today’s event, for the first time, I was going to be the sweeper at the Ghost Road Trail Run event. The sweeper is the last person/runner in the event to come in, making sure other runners are safe and that they all make it to the finish line. Since I am still training for Umstead 100 and I needed to complete some additional miles. I arrived about 2 hours before the event to cover a few miles and use those miles to get familiar with the course as well as get a good warm-up; I decided to complete a couple of loops without the short out and back for the warm-up. I returned to the start area, and after a few announcements, the National Anthem, off we went.

Mile 1: Very uneventful initial mile; temperatures were awesome. The clouds offered very nice coverage. I started walking with some of the runners that were tackling the 4-mile distance option of the event. The route is very wide, mostly downhill old abandoned road. You then hit the aid station with plenty of water available before you turn into the single-track portion of the event.

Loop 1:  Excellent single track for people that wants to try trail running in a safe environment. The trail, located at Forrest Ridge Park, does offer plenty of turns and a nice view of the lake. While providing from time to time some roots and rocky segments of the trail, allowing the participants to experience what it is like to run and race on trails. I continued to jog around the loop, talking with mostly a few runners that were tackling the 4-miler. After 3 miles of single track, you hit once again the aid station and again after a small out and back before starting the second loop.

Loop 2:  By the start of the second loop, I grabbed a trash bag at the aid station to have with me in case that I needed to pick up garbage along the trail. But the running community is amazing, as I did not find any items left on the trail. I did find one birthday aluminum ballon on the ground that had been there for weeks, based on the condition, a few steps from the trail, which I decided to grab and remove from the trail. The last 8-mile runner was just ahead of me, and I was making sure to leave enough space for them to do their thing without worrying that the sweeper was closing in. I continued to pick up some of the markings and flags that were helping guide the runners while on the trail. But those, in my opinion, were not needed as the trail is a very well-established trail. I dropped the ballon and the markings that I was able to collect at the aid station before heading back to the start area.

Last mile to finish: The final stretch is mostly an easy uphill. As I knew the last 8-miler runner (Other than me, of course) was well ahead of me, I pressed the pace a bit more to get to the finish line.

A very well-organized event that I would recommend for beginners and veterans if they want to test single-track trails and practice trail racing. I hung around for a bit at the finish line area, talking to a few people before I headed home.

Jan22Ghost Road Trail RunNCMisc2:05:33

Event Highlights

Course: Great ample trail for the 1st miles, then narrows to single track. Mostly flat or rolling hills. Very nice view of the lake. Excellent for new trail runners that would like to experience single-track running in a “safer” environment.

Venue: At a park area, good parking area with an open start/finish area.

Expo: No Expo.

Weather: Mostly cloudy skies, 47º with 87% humidity.

T1D: Sugars within running range on the high side and stable throughout the event.


Pre-Race: 1 serving of Hot Cereal, latte, and banana.

Race: E-Fuel & Tailwind mix that I carried on my hand bottle and water at the station.

Post: Protein Shake within an hour of the event.

Learning Points:

It is fun to volunteer and help other runners

Having no pressure to maintain a pace or effort makes for a pleasant, easy event.