Starting Location: Lost Valley Hiking Trail, Lost Valley Trail, Defiance, MO 63341
Parking Information: The parking lot for this trail head is not marked but is roughly 6 miles off of Highway 94 heading southwest from Highway 64/40. Drive past Francis Howell school, Lewis & Clark trail head and the Weldon Springs Katy Trail entrance. Once you have gone by a Law Enforcement Training facility you go down a hill and the parking lot will be off on your right, it is a gravel lot.
Course Description: 2.25 hr run (2 hour 15 minute)
The map below highlights 3 short loops you could do if you wish to come back to the cars at various times with the approx mileage of each...or you could simply run long by combining the loops or simply running the perimeter and such. The trail itself is very straight forward and marked with trail markers....it will not be marked by ribbon for us, FYI. Simply run for time but you might want to challenge yourself a bit and make it a pace run: run the first 30-40 minutes as a warm up to loosen the legs and get into a groove. Then after that run the next hour at what your marathon pace is and slow it up 2-3 minutes.....so if you run 8:40 per mile for the marathon then run a steady state pace for an hour at 10:40-11:40 effort. If adjusting your marathon pace puts you over the 15min pace that is okay - the 8 hour cut-off for the race is a 15:26 pace, but remember that first loop is a 15:09 pace....so in this case I would aim for a 14-15min sustained effort for the hour if you can to start getting a feel for this.
The trail here will provide you enough hills and single track trail to give a challenge but still be doable along with enough of the old fire road that you can easily use those portion to help if needed. These longer runs it is very tempting to go fast early on when we feel the freshest....hold yourself back! These are designed to help you get time on the feet and at times work on pacing when needed. What might feel great for 90 minutes might have you rethinking it come the 2 hour mark and so on. Mixing it up with some of these pace type runs can also help break up the time into smaller chunks.