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Running During Vacation, 2021, by Chris Troyano

Searching for a trail or pathway to run while on vacation out of state can be a challenge to locate. Maria & I drove 470 miles to a townhouse rental alongside Smith Mountain Lake, about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke. Our rental was by a small branch of the lake in Hardy, Virginia.

We could not find any kind of exercise trail at first, so, we just ran in our area on residential roads that went around a golf course for our first run. Fortunately, the temperature was 77 degrees & quite overcast. After this run, the rest of our 10-day stay had temperatures near 90 degrees. Before our 2nd run, Maria located a Smith Mountain Community Park, 7 miles from our rental.

Our next three run days were on a North Shore & South Shore trail in this park. We also hiked maybe 3-4 miles on easy hiking trails on a non-run day; rented kayaks once & went for a swim on 7 days.

These shore trails presented some challenges, especially with all the above ground roots on most of the trails & some rocky ground, too. There were some scattered small hills. There were lots of scenic views of Smith Mountain Lake, openings along the trails. I always carried a small pocket size camera in a carrying case to record photos of us, the scenery plus wildlife.

Maybe once we saw a cyclist on the trail, no other runners & maybe a couple of hikers. In Maria’s car we kept PowerAde & water bottles in a cooler that we drank in between laps. I also carried an 8-ounce water bottle.

A new running course is always welcome by us, an opportunity for different scenery & new challenges. We enjoy nature trails, especially with mountain/water views & find it fun to run in other states for a change of pace.

Have fun on your runs.

-Chris Troyano

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