Scenic Run: Tackling more hills on Westminster’s Wakefield Valley Trail

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I took this photo on the way back from my more-recently-discovered section of the Wakefield Valley Trail, near Tahoma Farm Road. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The day after my hilly run on the MA & PA Heritage Trail in Bel Air, I ran an even hillier route.

Although I don’t run it often, the Wakefield Valley Trail has become a go-to running spot for me when I’m in Westminster, Maryland. My sister lives in downtown Westminster, and it is only about a mile to get to the closest trailhead at West Main Street, across Route 31 from the McDaniel College campus.

Although it’s not right alongside Route 31, the paved trail stays somewhat parallel to it, and there are a few cross streets.

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Here’s a view from the Wakefield Valley Trail. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I didn’t go back and check, but I think I’ve run on this trail four times. I detailed one of my runs there in an earlier post. The last time I ran there, I discovered a new-to-me section of the trail by heading up Tahoma Farm Road and crossing a bridge. (There’s also a parking lot off this street.) This section of the trail includes switchbacks up a hill and continues to Long Valley Road.

 

The hills were tough, but my main problem — TMI alert — was the chafing. I mentioned this in my last post, and trying to run on already chafed thighs isn’t exactly fun. I think it would have been a much more successful run, pace-wise, if I wasn’t dealing with that issue.

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Here’s another view from the Wakefield Valley Trail. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Even though my run included a decent amount of walking, I was still happy to have another high-elevation-gain run. I ran 9.5 miles and up 836 feet. This wasn’t all on the trail — it included a stretch of Route 31 that I ran as part of a loop after getting to the end of the trail, and a trip up to a shopping center where I bought a water bottle.

 

I scrolled back for a while on my Garmin Connect app, and I hadn’t had a higher elevation gain for a very long time — certainly not this year. (I stopped scrolling before I found a higher number.)

This brought me to a total of 1,524 feet of elevation gain for the weekend. I didn’t get in the 16-mile run I’d written down on my training plan, but I did give my legs a challenge and ended up with 30 miles for the week, not far from my goal of 33. Also, my chafing has now healed enough so that it isn’t painful with every step.

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