Now that we’re living in Raleigh, we’re exploring Greenways that are close to our new home. For our longer weekend run and a change of scenery, we decided to check out a new Greenway, Reedy Creek. Even at around 10 am, there was plenty of parking at the North Carolina Museum of Art, giving us easy access to the Greenway entrance. Since we had gotten out a bit later than planned, we opted to run north to and through Umstead State Park, hoping for a shady route.
We wore our Nathan hydration vests for the first time since the Richmond Marathon! The hydration vests were essential for our 10 mile run, especially since there weren’t any drinking fountains along the route.
The first two miles were fairly downhill and on unshaded sidewalks. I knew this would be a challenge heading back, during miles 8-10. After about a mile, despite being in Raleigh, it felt like we were in the country.
We continued on a more shaded and scenic sidewalk along Reedy Creek Road, with a farm on one side and Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest to our right. After a short uphill, we hit the entrance to Umstead State Park and a welcome downhill.
We ran on the wide, gravel Bridle Path for 2.5 miles before turning around. For the most part, we didn’t have a problem running with regular, non-trail sneakers, on the gravel. But we avoided sections of the path with larger rocks. Most of the path consisted of small, crushed stones or packed dirt.
Although beautiful, the hills were challenging! We reached our highest elevation gain for a run of 10 miles; this was our 12th hilliest run from the past 2 years!
In the future, I’ll bring a zip-loc baggie for my used Accel gel. I ate it at mile 5 and carried it back to the park entrance where we found a garbage can.
As expected, the last mile and a half was pretty difficult. It was hot out and my legs felt exhausted after the Umstead hills. I ran a bit under 10 miles because I walked the last 0.2 miles up the hill to the parking lot. I’m pretty happy with our pace, especially considering the heat, the distance and the hills!
A great thing about parking at the Art Museum for Reedy Creek Greenway is that Guasaca is just around the corner and perfect for lunch! Chips, guasaca sauce (like guacamole), and a chicken arepa hit the spot after a 10 mile run!