Project Valley

Project Valley singlets we
wanted to buy, the guy is
creepy so don't stare.
Project Valley was the summer running group we organized from the Great Valley class of 2014. We had all returned from college at vastly different stages in our running career from where we left off. One was running for his school team, one just a club runner, one injured, one converted to lifting, one completely quit, and one was living across the country in Washington. 

So we organized ourselves on a spreadsheet and attempted to get back into the swing of things. We began running easy runs together at each other's houses after work each day, and then going out to dinner afterward and spending all the money we made at work.

Damn dam.
We had the goals of competing together. We were supposed to buy matching singlets and sign up for local races and then win them. But we never did. It was hard to stay motivated without a club fee, a coach, or a competition to look forward to.

But we continued to meet up almost every day. We continued to run longer and longer distances and faster and faster workouts. But most importantly, we continued adventure running.

Without mandatory practice, we were free to run wherever. That meant Valley Forge, The Schuylkill, The Perkiomen. Trails that we had all been on and seen, but never truly had time to explore.

The best run we found was a portion of the Schuylkill river trail in Phoenixville. It runs along the
canal from when it begins to when it ends and continues along the river in both directions. There were dams that could be climbed on, giant rocks on trails that shoot off to be run on, and high cliffs to be peered over and looked up at.
Panorama because technology.
Our first run there took us over two hours to complete a mere two miles simply because we veered off onto every path we could find. We threw rocks off of higher up rocks. We found golf balls and bounced them off of cliffs. We skipped rocks into the creek and the river. And we never got bored.

We kept coming back to that section of the trail. We completed a fifteen mile out and back run there even though only a four-mile segment of it is worthwhile.

We extended our high school runs too. We ran past Wegmans on previously unexplored parts of The Path. We ran down to the very end of it in Exton too. We considered returning to the places we "Trespassed" in high school, but they were blocked off even more securely, and our usual excuse of being dumb high schoolers no longer worked if we were caught.

Project Valley hasn't ended yet. I'm hoping to get at least one sixty mile week in. My summer ends with MRun camp, and I really don't want to be on the slow side of the campers.

1 comment:

  1. So touching, it's so nice to see such a dedicated group of friends all striving to achieve similar goals.