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Dec 15, 2013

Pontiac Lake Trail in Winter

Me on the left, Kevin in the right
I'm bound and determined to run the trails all winter long but we will see how it goes.  Yesterday, Kevin and I made our way out in snowy weather to run the Pontiac Lake Trails with the Stay in the Shade organization.  Karl, the organizer, puts on some regular training runs here.  I've talked about the trails before and been on them several times.  One thing great about Michigan is that, for trail running, you really do get a different perspective in the different seasons.  Winter is certainly no exception.

This is already a pretty difficult, rocky, technical, hilly trail to run but add into it lots of leaves and snow and it makes for a real workout.  Almost immediately you start with the hills.

I really like single track because for the most part it's very difficult to get lost on them.  There are a few options for ways to run it but for the most part, if you follow the bike path, you will be fine.  It also helps when there has already been others out there so you can see the tracks in the snow.

A couple miles into the run and you are greeted with a great view:
Highest elevation on the path - yesterday's run
Same area in May - big difference!
Of course, that was the highest elevation on the route so what goes up must come down.
I'm actually glad that I've run this route several times without the snow because I knew what to expect and sort of what to watch out for.  The downhills are much harder in the Winter since it's so easy to slip.  Fortunately, I didn't fall once today.

There were about 10-12 of us out there this morning, more than I ever thought would come.  I was telling Kevin I would not have been surprised if just him and I showed up but we had some company which was nice.

I kept stopping at points along the run to get some pictures of the land.  I'm not sure when I'll be out there again during winter.

The one thing that doesn't change is the hills.  Yup, they are still there and make for a tough route with the snow and leaves.

I took the lead for a little bit with the group we were with and got a nice view along the way.  I will say that it is a little unsettling to be looking forward and not seeing anyone but I knew there were others behind me following.
Below is pretty much the last hill on the course with an open area.  It snowed the entire time we were out there.
Run in May
After I finished, Kevin was about a minute or so behind, so I ran to the lake to get a quick picture of it.  They already have ice shandies out there!  I know it's been cold for quite awhile but not sure I'd want to take a chance.
Pontiac Lake
Elevation per Strava - hilly!
Map/splits per Strava - click to enlarge
Overall, another really enjoyable group run out at Pontiac Lake State Recreation area.  I can't wait for the next one.

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!


  1. That looks like an awesome place to run!! Great pictures Jeff!

  2. Running in winter with my group and getting frozen Pontiac lake!It's so adventurous!I've wanted to go there since I were a child.I always have dreamed of going there with my favourite pair of best crossfit shoes