Wednesday, September 23, 2020

That's so 2020

Sam Houston Jones State Park post Hurricane Laura

It will come to be understood as being the same thing as saying, "Whatever could go wrong, will"  also known as "That's so 2020".  As we approached our first year of hosting No Man's Land Trail Race in the beautiful Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles, Louisiana, we were watching updates from the governor and local officials about Covid guidelines and became hopeful that the only real effect on the race would be limiting our capacity.  No big deal since it meant we were able to have an ACTUAL in person event.  Then a very unpleasant lady named Laura introduced herself and threw quite the tantrum right over southwest Louisiana.  Lake Charles and surrounding areas were hit pretty hard.  Homes were almost completely destroyed due to the severity of the winds.  Trees and power poles blocked the roads, and all types of housing materials could be found littering the landscape.  Where there were once beautiful live oaks, now there were cleared fields.  The devastation of this storm is hard to describe, and hard to believe if you haven't seen it in person.

Naturally, being in the heart of the storm, Sam Houston Jones State Park, the home of No Man's Land, was hit pretty hard.  It will take months just to get access to everything, and years to get back to some semblance of normalcy.  The cancellation of the race was sad for us, but so very minor considering what our friends and loved ones are facing.  The people of southwest Louisiana are used to rolling up their sleeves and taking care of business, so they will rise again as they have before.  We are already looking forward to No Man's Land on October 23, 2021.  We are offering our Lake Charles and SW Louisiana friends impacted by the storm half price entries into the event (just enough to cover our costs).  Before you sign up, if you are from these areas, send me a message and I will send you the code.

After already having to cancel Chicot Challenge last March, in the early days of the pandemic, this was another blow.  But, now we shift our sights to the 4th annual Loup Garou Trail Run.  Here's a look at an early video with views of the trail.  Click the picture. 

All of the permits are in hand and I am in communication with our state park officials as well as the park managers, and the race is on!  Currently, there are a few elderly Covid patients being housed in the park, so a portion of the trial is closed.  Since it is a loop course, we have a "plan b" route in place should that still be the case in December.  The State Parks representative I am talking to doesn't think that will be an issue by race time, but he suggested a backup plan just in case.  

That is all set and approved by the park manager, so one way or another we run.  If we do have to follow the "plan b" route (which by default means out and backs, since the course is a loop), we will have to come up with special tshirt designs or something to commemorate the (hopefully) once in a lifetime event.

Following Loup Garou is Red Dirt Ultra in the beautiful Kisatchie National Forest, which also took some damage from Laura.  No one can say she wasn't thorough.   But, our fantasic Forest Service Representative up there assures us that the trail will be cleared by race time, so that is a go as well.  Man it will be good when things feel normal again.  

Here is a short video with pictures from the Red Dirt trail.  Excuse the music being splotchy - I am a trail runner not a video editor :-). Might want to mute it and just enjoy the pics. Click the picture for the video.


Then, we wrap up the year with our end of the year trial party, Chicot Challenge 60 mile relay. This is always a great weekend of celebrating our race seasons and spending time with our favorite people - trail runners!  At Chicot Challenge, you can choose to build a team of 2 - 5 people to cover the 60 mile distance, or run the 20 miler all on your own.  Either way, there is hot food and cold beverages waiting for you when you finish.

With us still under the Covid guidelines, our volunteers will follow all of the necessary precautions to keep themselves and you safe - gloves, masks if close contact is necessary, all food in individual portions, etc.  We are outlining those now to be sure that everyone can feel safe coming out and running in nature, and feel "normal" for a while.  Who would have thought that normal would sound so appealing?

Any questions about the races or trails above, shoot me an email at:  PaixRunning@gmail.com

Happy Running! 

Edie



 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Go away Covid

 What a crazy year for all events, trail races included.  With so many cancellations and "virtual" events (I have developed a strong dislike for that word) -- it is refreshing to be able to plan actual in person, physically present events.  Since the group camp area at Chicot State Park was being used by the state to house elderly Covid patients to keep them safe, the trail was closed out of a abundance of caution to keep the public well away from any potential infection.

As things start to relax and the cases in Louisiana continue to plummet, our parks are breathing a sigh of relief as all of the people who use the trails regularly are once again able to get outdoors onto the trails to find their peace and escape the chaos that is our current reality.

Looking forward to our 2020/2021 events, we know that they will look a little different this year, but the spirit of the events will remain the same.  The camraderie that is present at these events will not change, even if we are a few feet apart.  And really, this might be a good excuse for my non-hugging friends to avoid a post race sweaty hug from me - for now.

So, keep your fingers crossed and send some positive juju to all of your favorite race directors that we are all able to host the awesome events that you guys make so much fun! 

Stay healthy, and Happy Running everyone! 

Edie

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Paix Running Family is Growing!

I am excited to announce that I am adding one more opportunity to bring our Paix Running family (new and old members) together for a little fun in the woods!  This October, we are adding a new member to the family - the No Man's Land Trail Race (formerly known as the Danimal) in Lake Charles, Louisiana! 

Check out the details here:  www.NoMansLandUltra.com

More information will be released soon, but mark your calendars for Saturday, October 24th to join us in Sam Houston Jones State Park for distances of 7.78 miles, 25k and 50k on a beautiful trail!


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chicot Challenge is next!

Spa 21 on the Red Dirt course in all her beauty! 

It has been an incredible race season so far!  Both Loup Garou and Red Dirt were huge successes and so much fun, and now we are looking forward to our end of the season trail party, Chicot Challenge 100 Mile Trail Relay. We have made so many new trail friends, many of whom are planning on joining us at CC where we get to spend some real time visiting and making sure no one leaves hungry.  I can't wait for another opportunity to hang out with you guys!  Hope to see you all out at Chicot Challenge for a fun weekend! 

Loup Garou Runners navigating the mud at Chicot this year.








Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Upcoming group run, and other stuff

A group of us are going out to Chicot State Park this Saturday, December 22nd for a group run of different distances, and all are welcome to join in! We will be meeting at the main trail head at 7:30 am, ready to run.  If you have questions, email me at PaixRunning@gmail.com. 

With Loup Garou being out there last weekend, I want to do one more loop just to be sure we didn't miss any trash or trail markings.  I doubt we did, we scoured every inch of that course, but I want to be sure that we are leaving it better than we found it.  And, I have a 100 miler in April so I need to run anyway, so why not do it on my favorite trail?

Speaking of that 100 miler - I am super excited about it, and I wanted to share it with all of you.  It is called the Screaming Monkey 100 and it is hosted by the GOATS (Get on a trail, Shreveport).  These guys are super enthusiastic trail lovers, and I have now doubt that this will be a top notch event.  They have a variety of distances available, so everyone can find one that fits their needs.  Here is their description:

The inaugural Screaming Monkey 100 will kick off at Eddie D. Jones Park in Keithville, Louisiana. Eddie D. Jones is unofficially known as The Monkey Trails due to its proximity to a National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Monkey Trails is a Top 10 Mountain Bike destination in Louisiana and is large enough to support sizeable loops; runners will have the option of a half marathon, or ultra distances of a 26.5 miler, a 100k and a 100 miler all happening on Saturday the 6th. 

The course itself will feature miles and miles of undulating, technical single track and a section of wide-open equestrian trails. Runners will hear the nearby primates during many sections of the trail. The terrain varies from technical forest track to pine-straw-covered, rolling red-clay hills. There is even a ravine section that will make you wonder if you're still in Louisiana. Both the 100M and 100K participants will go through the gates of a Louisiana State Prison that shut down in 2012. Just imagine what that aid station will be like... 

The race is a true trail festival. On Sunday April 7th, a 5k, and a 10k are being offered. This will serve to bring new energy to the race as the 100 milers will be nearing their final push to finish at that time.

Looks fun!!
Also, find them on Facebook to keep up with the latest race details.  This will be a fun one, and I hope to see all my trail friends out there!
Happy Running!
Edie



Friday, August 24, 2018

Upcoming Group Runs

Saturday, August 25th  7:00 am.  Louisiana State Arboretum Trails
4213 Chicot Park Road, Ville Platte, Louisiana

  • Meeting at the front gate, ready to run by 7 am.  There are bathrooms and a water fountain at the trailhead.  The whole loop is 4.7 miles but can be shortened with cut across trails.  There are maps available at the trailhead.  You are responsible for your own nutrition and hydration for the run.  Mildly technical (rooty) in spots, and some climbs.  Walker friendly, but no pets allowed in the arboretum. Human families welcome though.  :-) 
Saturday, November 17th 7:00 am   Red Dirt Group Run / Camping Trip
Lotus Camp, Kisatchie National Forest  Provencal, Louisiana
  • We are heading up to the Red Dirt trail this weekend to run the trail and camp. The weather should be perfect! I will need a 35 mile training run, so I will be doing the whole loop, but you can choose any distance you would like by doing an out and back, or just stay back at the campsites and enjoy this beautiful park! We generally camp in Lotus Campground, right on the trail. More details to come as it gets closer. Mark your calendars. Families welcome.
Any questions about these, email Edie at PaixRunning@gmail.com.