I had a really great day running the marathon at Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the busiest National Park in the system getting over 20 million visitors each year. I saw very few people, in fact in the video I discuss not having seen anyone for the first two hours. It just goes to show that just a little effort to get away from the trailheads and campgrounds will reward you with solitude, silence and nature.
I ran a big 26.2 mile loop starting and ending at the Smokemount Campground. Six miles of the run was on the Appalachian Trail. There was over 6,500 feet of climbing which puts Great Smoky in the top ten for overall elevation. For a majority of the run I was in earshot of running water. It was very peaceful and reassuring. The Great Smokies didn’t disappoint with views of the mountains that look like they were on fire.