Yes, the loops work. Adjusted the start time for the Pacers by 10 minutes for the second and third loops and it worked out very well today.
What are you talking about?
Okay, let me step back a bit. The Pacers routes on Sunday shifted from our fall location to our winter location for a variety of reasons (change, variety, convenient coffee shop, etc.). What had been successful about our fall routes was that there were two loops, a small one (3.4 miles) and then a longer one (7.1 miles). Both started and finished at the same location. We offered three runs; 10.5, 7.1 and 3.4. Hence those running 10.5 could start with the small loop and make it back to the start to pick up those starting the 7.1 loop. This provided additional folks to run with. Those who started later for the 3.4 miles could join the 7 and 10 miles for the last 1.5 miles depending upon the pace of each group.
So shifting to the new location, we wanted to try and continue this loop concept and see if we could improve on it. Hence, some craftiness might get me labeled as "loopy".
So how does it work?
We devised four loops; two each at 3 miles and 2 each at 3.5 miles. All loops start and end at the same point; the Franklin Village plaza which has a Panera Bread that happens to open at 7:00 AM on Sunday. So if you need to make a pit stop before starting, you have a good place to go. Beats the woods anytime!
The 10 milers start at 7:00 AM and do one of the 3.5 mile loops. Calculating a 10 minute mile pace (which also allows for a sometimes late start), the group should get back about 7:35 AM. Time to pick up the 6.5 milers and head out on one of the 3 mile loops (one hilly and one rolling). They should get back about 8:05 in time to pick up any 3.5 milers for the last loop (the other 3.5).
We made the "official" start for the 6.5 milers at 7:40 AM and 8:10 for the 3.5 milers.
So what happened today?
One other Pacer joined me for the 10 mile run. We left on schedule at 7:00 and came back at 7:37. A little slower due to the snow but otherwise well calculated. We picked up one other Pacer looking to do 6.5 and choose the rolling 3 mile loop. We headed out and got back at 8:04 in time to pick up one other Pacer for the final 3.5 miles for all us. We altered the third loop to be an out and back course instead of a loop to avoid going three times on the one final stretch. (Yes, if we had done the 3.0 mile hill loop this would not have been a problem, but...)
As a side bonus we saw two other Pacers out on their own. We had not expected to see them as both are recovering from injury so it was a pleasant surprise.
Anyway, the four of us made it back together to the finish having done our three loops successfully joined together completing 10 miles, 6.5 miles, and 3.5 miles respectively. Now, how cool is that?