This is a new record for me, joggling 20.5 miles. It took me 3 hours and 42 minutes to complete this journey yesterday. The magenta line on the map above was my path, starting in the south in northern Mount Vernon then following the South County trail(A former rail line) all the way up almost to Elmsford and back to Mount Vernon. The weather was dry and mostly sunny, with the temperature rising from just below 75 F(23.8 C) to almost 80 F(26.6 C) toward the end of the run in the early afternoon. I brought juice with me and had a very short break from juggling(but not running) to drink it on the return trip.
Even though I went further than my 18 mile adventure to White Plains, my overall pace has improved: 10 minutes, 50 seconds per mile this time, versus 11 minutes, 40 seconds per mile on the White Plains run. To improve my speed, I did no tricks except for “tennis” occasionally, and I dropped the balls only once during the entire run. This is yet another record, since I went 2 hours and 35 minutes(about 15 miles) before my first drop.
The South County trail is great for running and cycling. The entire trail is paved and smooth, unlike most of the Croton Aqueduct trail, so a lot of cyclists go at maximum speed. It stretches 14.1 miles from the Bronx all the way up to Elmsford in the north. It runs parallel and very close to the Saw Mill Parkway much of the time and at times highway 87. From Yonkers to about Hastings, it runs through some light industrial areas, but becomes more forested as you go further north. The trail does occasionally cross some streets, and there are few steep hills. Overall, it is less picturesque than the Croton Aqueduct trail which overlooks the Hudson river in some areas and is to the west.
The North County trail(which I am less familiar with), and South County trail, which is the one I ran on, are really the same trail, separated by a gap in the village of Elmsford. I believe they are currently working on connecting them, since the entire trail is built on an abandoned rail line. Once they are connected, this means a bike trail connecting the Bronx to Putnam county!
I’ll be drinking a lot of cherry juice, and eating a lot of nuts to help me heal from this very long run. As usual, my legs feel a more sore than my arms.