I had never done Lansford, but based on location and  time of year, I knew it had to be fairly flat & fast. I had 2 goals - to
finish in under 6 hours and  to not be lapped. I'm pleased to say I succeeded in both! Since I was at the back of the pack, I can't
tell you what happened up front with the fast runners, but here's my random  thoughts as I ran the 7 loops:
Out and Back plus Loop 1:
Ah, what a crisp glorious day! It's a little chilly, but really perfect running weather.  Claude sounds the start in typical RFH
fashion and  every deer in Chester County heads for quieter climes.  The other runners are off like a shot and  I settle into my
official TEAM SLUG pace.  The beautiful course stretches out in front of me like the promise of a new day.  Not too bad as far
as hills go, just the 2 at the beginning.  Finishing up the first loop I hit the section of trail on the canal now - this is gorgeous! So
much to look at, I'm glad the trail is fairly level & wide. Only a couple of stairs here and there. This is gonna be an awesome
run - Life is good!
Loop 2:
Settling into the run now - see a few hunters wandering around. I catch a  glimpse of Alex up ahead every now & then, he's
pretty easy to spot in his ;hunter orange; vest. Â Hmmm....... I think I'll take my white cotton gloves off - wouldn't want the flash of
white to be mistaken for a whitetail deer! The trail section is even better this time - I pick up even a few more details of the
canal.  The rushing sounds of the river are very soothing.  I head to the picnic shelter & admire Claude & Martha for
staying out in the elements to provide the aid station - it's really chilly! Time to grab a  few cheddar goldfish (my absolute
favorites!) & start back around again.
Loop 3:
Still feeling pretty strong, although knees are getting a little achy. Nothing an Advil Liqui-Gel can't take care of. Â Wonder how the
fast runners are doing? Â I still keep seeing Alex ahead on the long straight stretches - my goal at this point is to just keep him in
sight.  Starting to see a few more hikers out enjoying the scenic trail along the river  canal. I check in at the picnic shelter &
grab another handful of goldfish to eat up that first hill.  Wow, I am about halfway done!
Loop 4:
Still able to run the second hill, although the long downhill before the trail is starting to jar my joints a little. The trail is getting a
little more rough - who left all these roots across the trail? Don't these people know that's a tripping hazard? The few steps are
starting to remind me a little of Crowder Mtn. Not a good sign. And would someone please turn that damn river off? It's making
me have to pee like a nervous little dog. Yeah, but here's the picnic shelter & the seemingly endless supply of goldfish.
Loop 5:
A little harder to get going, but I still have enough energy to run up the hills.  I'm now at the point where I start doing pointless
mathematical calculations in my head , i.e. if I give myself an extra 2.75 minutes for the remaining loops I can still finish in under
6 hours.  This passes the time until I start along the trail yet again.  Now the steps are starting to look like Laurel Valley. I start
looking around for Jib the wonder poodle as my ass is dragging so low I'm halfway convinced the damn dog is hanging on it.
Time & distance have become elastic, stretching like the spandex on the customers at a "Blue Light" special at
Kmart.  Ah, but here's the picnic shelter again.... Gee, more goldfish.....
Loop 6:
I finally catch Alex and  at least have someone to talk to. We discuss times & I throw out a few more senseless math
calculations and  theories. Gee, I may be talking a little too much.... In self-defense,  Alex slows down a little & tells me to
go ahead. Hey, well at least it's gotten me along to the long flat about halfway thru the loop. Hmmm....What's this I'm carrying? A
handful of sweaty, slightly mushed goldfish. I must have picked them up at the last trip thru the aid station. Well, a snack would
probably do me good. I name each one Claude before I bite it's little smiley head off.  Yeah, I do feel somewhat better now.....
Loop 7:
 I've decided to put my white gloves back on & am considering looking for a few antler-shaped sticks to carry as I'm
running.....At least if I get shot I get to ride back strapped on top of a SUV...... As I finally reach the last trail section I wonder when
the adrenaline is gonna kick in...... Still waiting.......... When I finally come back from my "happy place" I'm at the end of
the trail where it reaches the river. As I stagger out towards the picnic shelter all I can think of is sitting, no, make that lying
down......... But wait, what's this? I finished in 5:46? Here comes Claude with my hard earned TEAM SLUG tee....And there's a
nice kettle of hot tomato soup that I can float a few more goldfish in.......Ahhhhhhhhhh...........Where do I sign up for next year?