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As a part of my pre-moving plan I dedicated myself to doing as many trail runs as possible. With Elephant, and the other three beasts, so close to my house I ended up doing most of my runs there.

Sat 11/14 8.10 Miles (Elephant Mountain)

After climbing up what felt like 1000 steps, I finally reached Elephant Mountain’s summit. It overlooks Xinyi district, and allows for a good 101 photo-op. Unfortunately I had committed myself to going all-out after cresting each hill. Thus, I continued on the rock trail that lead to the other four beasts. In the spirit of wandering, I just made random turns when I felt like it. This led me to a cross section that had a trail going to Muzha or one of the other beasts. I opted for Muzha.

The trail was a narrow, mostly dirt and rock trail that also had a few technical sections. The terrain was absolutely perfect for hill intervals and downhill technical work. The trail also features more than one good view of 101.

If you end up following the trail to the very end, you will come upon a set of stairs that takes you to a mountain road. If you turn left and follow the road down you will eventually end up back at Xinyi Road.

Sun 11/16 6.54 Miles (Hong Lou Di-Hash Run)
This run was hosted by CH3 and hared by two of my favs from my running crew: Will and Levent. Thanks to my zero-drop Inov-8 shoes, I was able to run through each section of the race, including the shiggy parts.

As for the details: we started the run in the parking lot, and then ran down the set of stairs posted here. We’re standing around due to our group’s collective inability to find the trail. After 20 minutes of checking, someone finally called on-on and we all sprinted down through a bus station.
We then ran through a local temple–can’t get enough of those in Taiwan.

Following that we ran up through a shiggy section with a few mud-slide areas. Thanks to my Inov-8 shoes and a few well-placed trees I was able to claw my way up. 
Some people took to trying to pull themselves up backwards, which apparently worked.

All-in-all it was an amazing run. I ended up coming in FBI, and 10th or so overall.

Look forwards to part II of my adventures–coming tomorrow.