Winter Solstice Moonlight Mountain Trail Run

What do you call a winter night with about 40 other runners wearing headlamps, running through the foothills of Boise? A moving Christmas party, baby! Tonight was a blast! We headed out to the foothills to celebrate the Winter Solstice and enjoy the full moon (though it was covered in clouds for most of the run.) So much chatting, hugging, laughing and of course – trail running in the snow, slush and mud!

I loved looking ahead and seeing all the headlamps…some red, some white…glowing like little lovely bobbing Christmas lights ahead of me as I ran tonight. It seemed kind of magical somehow. The first three miles were nearly all climb and my calves were on fire, but having the company of my good friends made it all seem just fine.

At the summit there is a huge makeshift rock pile about 3 feet tall and we each posed for pictures on it, giggling like a bunch of school children about how crazy we all were to come out on a winter night and do such a thing. The city lights in the distance twinkled like a thousand diamonds against the velvety black sky. It just took my breath away.
Heading back down the mountain was my favorite part (as always.) I get such a rush running downhill — even in the dark — even when I can barely see the path in the snow and slush. This was only the second time I’d ran with a headlamp. Normally I just follow others who have them when I’ve done night runs or early morning trail ones in the dark. Mine wasn’t as bright as I would have liked and that became a real problem when heading downhill like a lightning bolt. It bobbed and and slid down my face, blinding me several times. Luckily I didn’t go sailing off the side of the mountain and turn into a giant snowball. That would have been interesting.  I did end up on my own for a couple of miles out there and I just had to stop and savor the stillness and beauty of being outside at night on a run. I didn’t feel afraid. I felt serene, happy, perfectly settled. I didn’t want it to end.

Many hugs and laughs and wishes of “Merry Christmas” followed at the bottom as we regrouped. We headed out for warm drinks on the way home and I just had to smile to myself at my many blessings — such good friends, good health and a good family who allows me to follow my own path (even in the mountains at night!) Thank you to all of you! <3

Elevation Gain: About 1,358ft of climb

Stats: 6.17 miles Felt: Happy as a clam  Time: About 1:33 (never stopped the Garmin – just stopped to chat and enjoy the friends and hiked some of the toughest uphill sections.)

A photo I snagged from the internet just to share with you how beautiful my little foothills are.

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