Motivation Monday: Create your own adventure run

I have a confession: I’m maybe the only runner in the world who’s not into those adventure races. You know the ones I’m talking about—the ones whose courses have you run over some large, wooden obstacle course, through a man-made mud pit and maybe even over a fire, after which you are rewarded with a fuzzy Viking helmet and a turkey leg.

I know I’m in the minority here, and I’m not judging anyone for their love of man-made mud pits and fuzzy Viking helmets. I’m just saying that it’s not for me, and my trip to the Monongahela National Forest last weekend reminded me why that is.

We went to the Cranberry Wilderness Area, which is essentially one big bog. That means the ground beneath us was soggy and mucky—not because someone filled a pit with mud, but because a glacier created a cool little microenvironment when it plowed through thousands of years ago.

We didn't stomp through this particular bit of soil/peat, as it was within a protected area. But it gives you an idea of the conditions.

We hiked through seas of ferns and spruces that made us feel like we were in a northwestern rain forest rather than a West Virginia bog.

Brilliant-green ferns brushed our ankles throughout our trip through the Cranberry Wilderness Area of the Monongahela National Forest.

We sidestepped our own version of those wooden obstacle courses in the form of falling-apart footbridges.

Falling-apart footbridge in the Monongahela National Forest.

On our route, there were two spectacularly dangerous footbridges to hike around—which meant “fording” the small streams the bridges went over.

This photo is totally out of focus, but you get the idea.

We even fought our way through tall grasses when our path carried us through overgrown meadows.

This was actually really hard work!

We were rewarded with the peace and solitude that only comes from not seeing another soul for 24 hours or more …

Spruce forest in the Cranberry Wilderness Area of the Monongahela National Forest.

… and with some stunning vistas.

Pictured: Me, and gentle rolling hills in the Cranberry Wilderness Area of the Monongahela National Forest.

We finished the three-day, two-night trek covered with mud, and full of peace—a prize I’d choose over a fuzzy Viking helmet any day.

What’s motivating you this week?


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3 responses to “Motivation Monday: Create your own adventure run

  1. I love West Virginia. It’s a whole other world just a few hours away! Looks like a great adventure. And I have to say, backpacking is totally HARD! Love the photos.

    • Also, I concur on the fake mud runs and was recently opining on this very subject. However, with races of all kinds selling out so quickly these days, I’m glad so many people have these adventure races as alternatives to the ones I want to run!

  2. lizard151

    I’m with you. I couldn’t care less about those adventure runs. I’m not much of a camper either though 😉

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