Flashback to One Year Ago. The Riverfront Trail was covered with a mother lode of snow. It was a record breaking year for us, with Mother Nature blessing us with over 14 feet of snow.. most of it in February and March. If snowflakes were pennies, there was easily a billion dollars in my back yard or maybe a gazillion! It was not a good winter for running. But I did anyway.. just because I can.
A small portion of the trail is kept clear and it sees a lot of pedestrian traffic even in the winter. 2015 was a tough winter and the snow removal people faced a lot of challenges because it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing. The tractor tire tracks froze into solid ruts that threatened to break an ankle , or worse! I only attempted a run on this once.. in mid-February. The view along the Peticodiac River was spectacular with the sun shining on the frozen snow but it was just too risky. I might be an Idiot but I ain’t Stupid!
This winter has been gentle. Yes, we have had snowstorms and blizzards and -35c temperatures, along with freezing rain and ice storms . We do live on the East Coast of Canada after all. But between those isolated crappy days we have had mild temperatures, rain and… melting snow! The ground has a been bare since the first week of February and I have been on the trail several times. On some days it has even been mucky! But check it out.. it is bare. Part of the trail is right behind my workplace so it’s a great opportunity to log some miles right after work.
At Group Run last night we made a decision to try our regular Summer Route. It is a 7k loop that takes us east on the Riverfront Trail until we cross a bridge and then turn west and run 3k and cross a causeway which allows us to loop back to our starting point. It’s a great route with well maintained trails but traditionally we don’t run here in the winter because only a short portion is cleared. To our delight we were able to get all the way around. And we didn’t even get our feet mucky because the temperature was just below Freezing.
The great thing about running at 5 pm is that every week we can see how much longer the daylight is lasting compared to the previous week. Two months ago it was completely dark at 5pm. Now we can complete our run and still have some daylight left over. Spring is coming.
Who know’s what March will bring? But who cares? It might be Winter or it might be Spring.. or maybe somewhere in between. You can’t do anything about it… except adjust your layering strategy… so you might as well just enjoy it. Whatever happens, I will never forget the Magic of running the Loop in winter with some very special people.