Running Up That Hill

Brattleboro has a distinctive landmark nearby, and it's not even in Vermont. It's Mt. Wantastiquet, which lies just across the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. "Rattlesnake Mountain" looms over Brattleboro and is a familiar part of the downtown view.

Mt. Wantastiquet as seen from Brattleboro (top of Green Street)
I heard that people sometimes RUN up Mt. Wantastiquet, so I made a running-buddy date to try it out! We arranged to meet at 7:30am.

Supplies! I may have overpacked...

I had no idea what to bring. I settled for a hat with brim, sunscreen, two waters, and a whey protein shake (with cooler & ice block to keep it chilled).

Let me review those choices in retrospect. Sunscreen: totally not necessary for a run in the woods. Bug spray would have been a better choice. Water: did not need two bottles. I decided not to carry a bottle, so when we got back down I just drank water that I left in the car. Cooler with chocolate shake: excellent idea. This also stayed in the car. Hat: Easier to keep on than sunglasses, and it covered my frizzy 7am hair.

It wasn't so hard!
We ran up the mountain in 31 minutes. It was not as grueling or as difficult as I'd imagined. Maybe I got a little overamped reading about this amazing 70 mile ultra race report the night before. The steepest bits of the trail were covered with rocks, so I couldn't run up them even if I wanted to. We had to step carefully going up, and try to avoid muddy bits. The rest of the trail was pretty mild incline, or even flattish, so didn't seem hard at all.

I was surprised that we reached the top so quickly! View of Brattleboro from the top.

Down the hill took longer, and looked so completely different than up! It took more concentration to find good spots to step and not to fall on my face. It was another 45+ minutes to get down again.

Would I do this again? Sure! I wasn't sore afterward except for a little bit right inside my shins, probably whatever muscles are needed to keep my knees working on the downhill part. 

Have you ever run up a mountain? Or tackled something you thought might be scary/grueling but it wasn't so bad?

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