Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saunders Spring, Radcliff, KY

It’s a bit late, but back in early March, while on a work trip to Kentucky, I did a grueling, but fun  2.1 mile run through Saunders Springs, just outside of Fort Knox.

Location: Saunders Spring Nature Preserve is a small park located in Radcliff, KY; just outside of Fort Knox.  Historically, the location was a water supply for Fort Knox, but discontinued it’s use in the 1930s.  After that it was used as a water supply for Radcliff until the 1980s. Since then, it has functioned as a nature preserve.

Route: The park has numerous trails, but I was unable to find a good guide of them all before going there.  So I just took off without a destination path. 

The park is extremely hilly, with parking towards the top, and much of the park itself below.  The paths themselves were, for the most part, well maintained, with either gravel, well worn dirt, or, in some cases, wooden stairs or bridges.  Towards the bottom were several pond areas with streams joining them.  The entire park location is fairly compact area-wise, but the steep elevations make for a unique and challenging trail run. 

The Experience:  Overall, the experience was wonderful.  The steep paths were a refreshing, if not tedious, change from my typical flat courses.  I tried to maintain a 1:30/1:00 interval, but it was difficult with some of the elevations. 

At the time I was there, it was mildly crowded.  I saw a total of probably 50 people, making it somewhat social, but not cumbersome to navigate through.  Occasionally I got stuck behind someone climbing stairs, and was at the mercy of them until I could get around, the trails are single file.  The majority of the run was wonderful.  I enjoyed the park and it’s sights, and the run was difficult, but not unyieldingly tough. 

The one negative to this run was at the very end.  I’d traversed the entire run without any pain or accidents, until the last few feet before returning to the car.  I stumbled slightly where the road and gravel met and slightly tweaked my left ankle.  It was sore for a few days, but has healed up and didn’t hinder my half marathon a few weeks later. 

In hindsight, this location would be perfect for training for my Golden Gate Trail Marathon training.  I’m hoping to find someplace with similar characteristics for the training.








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