In 2009, I was able to secure a job that allowed me to end my 15 year streak of living in Rexburg, ID. I spent my teenage years, college years, and first four years of marriage exploring and playing in the great areas that surround my home-town. It was the Rexburg area where I first learned to climb. It was the Tetons where I became obsessed with snowboarding and became familiar with the mountains.
One of the last adventures that my wife and I decided to do before ending our residency in such a great place was to run Table Rock Mountain. Both of us had hiked it a couple times before, but never did it while running the whole time. So we tied on our shoes and started on the trail, hoping that we'd be the first ones to summit on that day.
We were quickly slowed down to a slow pace during the first mile due to the steepness of the trail. The trail then passes through some lovely meadows before it hits the death-switchbacks that take you up to the ridge and then on to the summit. We found ourselves taking walking breaks more that we ever wanted. This was our first time mountain running and it definitely opened our eyes.
We hit the summit after 6 miles and found that we weren't alone. Some young fellows had camped below the switchbacks and summited to watch the sunrise. After we soaked up the scenery and ate some energy, we began running again...only this time it was downhill.
My wife is a speed demon when it comes to downhills. I felt like I was putting my life on the line when I tried to keep up with her. We did get to slow down whenever we passed the hordes of people who were starting to hike up to the summit. We received many looks, some that said "you're crazy," "I'm jealous," and "I'm glad I'm not you." Many people asked us if we had already been to the top and then coughed on their saliva when we responded with our affirmative answer.
We returned to the car having ran it in a time that made us very happy. It was a great run and I actually prefer running that trail rather than hiking it. Running 12 miles is a lot better than slowly hiking the same distance.
Jennilyn and I recently returned in 2011 and ran the mountain to celebrate our 6 years of marriage. Having ran more trails and hills prior, this time didn't seem so hard and we took a lot less walking breaks. I am very happy to be married to a lovely gal that loves to climb and has kept me running for all these years.