Bolton Summer XC Series

I was really bummed to miss tonight’s Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon. I’ve done it five years in a row, but with my foot hurting so bad, triathlon has been deferred to 2015 at best.

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 414

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 6

So, the next best thing was Race #3 of the Bolton Summer XC Series with the family.

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 287

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 459

I’ve made all of the first three races as a spectator and photographer. It is such a joy to see the young children run and equally as inspiring to see the older adults.

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 197

This race is a jewel and it’s within walking/riding distance of our house which makes it that much sweeter.

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 259

The Bolton Heritage Farm (aka Rose Farm) is such a nice venue. I cherish these evenings with Debbie, the kids, and our community.

2014_Bolton Summer XC Series Race #3 450

4th of July in the White Mountains

Last weekend, we got back to our beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire for some family hiking. With a busy summer schedule, it was a quick trip to the northern Presidential Range that reminded us what we have been missing here in Connecticut since we were last there a year ago.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 6

You just can’t find hills like that around here, so the periodic drive north is well worth the effort. We made our usual stops in Vermont on the way up I-91 on Friday morning and arrived at the Appalachia trailhead around noon.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 104

 

2014_Madison Hut Trip 137

Since our 4-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son were with us, we opted for the direct route via the Valley Way Trail. Our destination was Madison Spring Hut, where we spent the night. Debbie and I have been taking our kids to Appalachian Mountain Club Huts since our son was nine weeks old.  The only hut that the kids have yet to visit is Carter Notch, and that is next on our list.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 106

Debbie and I have had many duo adventures in the White’s. We climbed all 48 New Hampshire 4,000 foot peaks back when we were kid-less, and in recent years, have fed our mountain desires with one day Hut Traverses in 2011 and 2013.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 92

Madison Spring is the oldest hut (126 years) in the system, though it was rebuilt in 2010. It was our first overnight since the reconstruction, which was neat. Both kids grabbed bunks that were three high and they wanted the top. Our hike up was warm and humid, though our little girl went the entire four miles on her own power. We were darn proud of her, but knew she would be pooped from the exertion.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 69

We didn’t arrive until 5:30 P.M. so it was a quick break to wash up and then dinner. We retired early and awoke to a fun breakfast. Overnight, remnants from Hurricane Arthur, which was offshore of the Canadian Maritimes, delivered intense rain and a lot of wind. In the morning, it was dry with patches of low clouds and fog, but the wind was whipping. It was gusting over 60 mph on Mount Madison. That made the 35 degree Fahrenheit temperature feel like 10 degrees, which is darn cold for July. We were as prepared as you can be with the right gear.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 114

2014_Madison Hut Trip 126

We wanted to give the kids a taste of that weather, so we went part of the way towards the summit before retreating. It is 1/2 mile from hut, but we were making slow progress and it was pretty sketchy. We had to hold them down when they were exposed to the sustained wind. Both kids were wild eyed as a result and its was a family decision to return to the hut to warm up, eat, and prep for our hike back to the valley.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 150

Our daughter walked on and off, but Debbie carried her most of the day. I had the responsibility of carrying most of the family gear, though our son is pretty self sufficient. My sore foot was hurting, but I got through the trip without doing any more damage. Of course, just using it is a setback in the recovery process.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 125

After returning to the parking lot, we headed over to the Highland Center in Crawford Notch. Debbie and the kids spent several hours at the playground and exploring the lodge while I went for a road ride. I pedaled on Rt. 302 to the junction of Bear Notch Road and back. The ride served its purpose and gave me some thinking time. It was early to bed after dinner and on Sunday we continued on to Loon Mountain for the USA Mountain Running Championships.

2014_Madison Hut Trip 140

Traffic on the drive home was horrendous, which is the price you pay for traveling on a holiday weekend. Bridge reconstruction in Brattleboro forced us off of the highway. The only silver lining was that we got to eat at a new vegan restaurant called Super Fresh Cafe.

Despite the traffic and the hectic nature of the short trip, we can’t wait to get back to the mountains.

2014 USA Mountain Running Championships/Loon Mountain Race

Yesterday, we returned to the Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This was the second year in a row that Debbie has run this event and this year, it was even more competitive given the fact that it was the USA Mountain Running Championships.

2014_Loon Mountain Race 33

2014_Loon Mountain Race_Post Race 111

With some big dough and bragging rights on the line, the race attracted many talented New Englanders and their western competition from mountainous states like Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington, and California.

2014_Loon Mountain Race 100

With bigger objectives this month, the 4.8 mile /2,700′ elevation gain women’s race was a tune-up for her longer runs to come. The summer heat was also good training. We had brilliant sunshine and fantastic views from the top of the gondola at Loon. The race finished higher up at the summit, but we watched the women and then the men (7 miles) come through that big aid station.

2014_Loon Mountain Race 187

2014_Loon Mountain Race 322

The kids and I had a ball. There was a playground right at the aid station, which is perfect planning! I was able to take pictures and the kids got to play on a literal “mountain playground.”

2014_Loon Mountain Race 162

 

2014_Loon Mountain Race 269

After the race they searched for the lost Loon treasure in the caves and we hung out. We saw a lot of people that we knew and socialized for a while before riding the gondola back to the base lodge.

2014_Loon Mountain Race 412

2014_Loon Mountain Race 402

We hung out some more at the river before grabbing lunch in Lincoln and rolling home. It was fun to watch some of the top men and women competing on some of the challenging terrain that the White Mountains are known for. It was good to see some of our New England friends holding their own against the western competition, though first male was Joseph Gray, and first female was Allie McLaughlin, both from Colorado.

2014_Loon Mountain Race 414

Gray won the venerable Mt. Washington Road Race last month and he looked to be in fine form at Loon. McLaughlin had an equally as large lead when I saw her go by. Selections were made for the 30th World Mountain Running Championships in Casette di Massa, Italy this September.

2014_Loon Mountain Race 455

2014_Loon Mountain Race 469

Race Results

2014 Keith Berger Memorial Criterium

I hadn’t been to the Keith Berger Memorial Criterium since 2010, but returned this year as a volunteer and spectator. Today’s race was the kickoff of New England Crit Week.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 249

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 95

This race is a memorial to Keith Berger, who was a fixture on the local cycling scene. He was a fierce competitor who I enjoyed battling with. He raced on several area teams during his career, including the Capital Velo Club. Sadly, Keith was a victim of cancer at a very young age. Racing hard is the best thing that many of us can do to remember Keith. CVC used to promote this criterium at Founders Plaza in East Hartford, Connecticut; but this year, the race was taken over by the Horst Engineering Cycling Team and the Expo Wheelmen.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 148

Race Directors Max Accaputo and Trent Sullivan did a fantastic job at marshaling the resources, sponsors, and volunteers necessary to save this race and keep it on the New England cycling calendar. It was in danger of going the way of the dodo, which is the same direction that many of our best road races, circuit races, and criteriums have gone.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 192

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 184

Thankfully, with a combination of hard work and teamwork, we pulled this  one off. Many volunteers came together, including members of both Team Horst Sports and the Expo Wheelmen, to put on a great show. We had gorgeous June weather for the first full day of summer with brilliant sunshine and beautiful white puffy clouds dotting the bright blue sky. That helped us with a record turnout of 320+ riders in six categories. There were category 4/5, 3/4, 40+, Juniors, Women’s, and 1/2/3 races.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 76

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 229

There were some minor crashes, but no terrible incidents. The races were fast, but relatively safe for this four corner rectangular course. My son and I spent the whole day at the race and then Debbie and our daughter joined us in the afternoon. I ended up joining Max and Trent as an official race announcer, which was really cool. I’ve always wanted to be a disc jockey, so this type of gig always suits me well.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 142

 

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 210

The racing was animated throughout the day. Our team had a good showing in the 40+ race with eight team riders in the field. Laura Summers, a former teammate (on Team Horst and the Boston University Cycling Team), had a fantastic finishing sprint to win the women’s race in style. The 45 mile main event, the men’s 1/2/3 race was raced really hard with lots of action. We raised $103 for a halfway prime that really animated the race.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 232

It was great to see so many teammates (Arthur Roti, Wade Summers, Pat Cunningham, Max Accaputo, Trent Sullivan, Wayne Prescott, Paul Nyberg, Thom Reid, Ted D’Onofrio, Matt Domnarski, A. Zane Wenzel) and so many old friends.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 108

I haven’t done much on the road scene is recent years, but it used to be my main endurance sport. I cycled exclusively from 1991 until 2001 with cyclocross and mountain biking mixed in with all of the road riding. It wasn’t until I met Debbie that I returned to running, started adventure racing, and then turned my focus to triathlon.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 258

I’m keen to go back to cycling as my main sport, especially as the impact of running has slowed me with a variety of injuries. After today’s race, I’m pretty fired up to get back on the roads. It will be great training for this fall’s cyclocross season.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 239

Keith Berger was honored with some excellent racing on the streets of East Hartford. Several Berger Family representatives were part of the action, including Keith’s brother, Chris, who did some of the announcing and organize all of the primes. It’s hard to put on road cycling events. The costs are very high. More than half of the costs goes to the police who keep the streets closed and safe. Other major expenses include timing, officials, and supplies. It used to be that every USA Cycling Club was required to promote a race. I don’t know if those rules have loosened, or if it is the option to host a cyclocross race in lieu of a road race, but the number of road races promoted by clubs has dwindled.

2014_Keith Berger Memorial Criterium 63

Today, I saw how challenging it is to pull off one of these events on public streets, but I also saw how fun it can be. I was also encouraged by the 30 junior boys and girls that competed today. They are the future of the sport. Many of them were racing for CCAP, and organization that I have written about before. That group is doing a lot of good to keep the spirit of junior racing alive in Connecticut.

I’ll do my part to ensure that the Horst Engineering Cycling Team puts on more events like this in the future.

Race Results

2014 Mt. Greylock Trail Races

Today we were at the 30th anniversary of the Mt. Greylock Tral Races. Greylock was the 6th race in this year’s New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series. It was also the 16th year in a row that Debbie has run the race, which is quite a streak. Next year, she enters a new age group, but I’m sure the streak will continue.

2014_Greylock Trail Races 40

2014_Greylock Trail Races 50

It was fitting that today was Father’s Day. My last time on Greylock was earlier this year when my son and I had a Father/Son adventure. I’ve run Greylock many times, but took 2014 off. Our son did the short course, and thank you again to the Carew Family, who accompanied him during the race like last year.

2014_Greylock Trail Races 2

2014_Greylock Trail Races 18

I spent time hanging out in Greylock Glen with our daughter, Kim, Jackson, and Lacy Brown. We had a ton of fun.

2014_Greylock Trail Races 80

2014_Greylock Trail Races 88

I’ve been to 14 of those Greylock’s with Debbie. It was her first “real” trail race in 1999 and she has done many since. Her first was before we met that October. It’s great to return year after year with our family. Some faces have changed, but many have stayed the same. It was great to reconnect with our trail runner friends.

2014_Greylock Trail Races 229

The weather was a bit rough when we arrived. It was cool, overcast, and windy. It remained that way until early afternoon, when the fun finally warmed things up a bit. I’m looking forward to running again at Greylock in the future.

2014_Greylock Trail Races 142

2014_Greylock Trail Races 249

Race Results (will be posted when available)

Leica Camera AG: Open Day at Leitz-Park, Wetzlar

It was just chance, but the day that my friend Christian and I were traveling from Dusseldorf to Bad Liebenstein, was also the Open Day for the new Leitz-Park in Wetzlar. This is now the new home/main factory for Leica Camera AG.

2014_Germany Trip 111

 

2014_Germany Trip 115

When I was in London last month, I got an e-mail that Open Day was happening. I checked the calendar and couldn’t believe that it was the same day that I was going to be in that part of Germany. I’ve always wanted to visit Wetzlar, the historic home of Leica.

2014_iPhone Photos 151

Leica is one of those iconic brands. I’ve been a Leica M system owner since 2005 and shooting with the M is my favorite kind of photography. I’ve been a long time member of the International Leica Society (LHSA) and am an overall fan. I In recent years, following a restructuring, the camera company has seen a resurgence under new ownership and leadership. I enjoyed seeing precision machining, lens grinding, and assembly all under one roof.

2014_Germany Trip 132

The new plant in Wetzlar is a shrine to that resurgence. It is nearly all white, which was interesting. It would be hard to keep Horst Engineering clean if our floors, walls, and ceilings were bright white. We give a lot of tours, but then again, they aren’t a key to our image in the marketplace. Leica has worked hard to cultivate its brand and during the resurgence has focused on its luxury status. That has alienated some purists, but arguably, it has kept the German company alive in an era dominated by Japanese technology and Chinese production.

2014_Germany Trip 137

The Open Day was crowded, which was a bummer, but we still enjoyed ourselves. We did a loop of the factory and then popped into the jam-packed store. In the crowded lobby, I spotted Dr. Andreas Kaufmann,  the Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and a part-owner of the company. He had a new Leica T slung around his neck and I was wearing my M. I introduced myself and we chatted a bit about my visit. He hassled me about my iPhone photo and made the point that it was not a camera, but rather it was a “device.” I agreed and congratulated him on the success and then we were off. I’ll have to return to Wetzlar when I have more time to look around and when there are fewer people to look around.

New England Trail

Last weekend was Trails Day Weekend. In Connecticut, we had a fantastic two days of activities capped off by an awesome New England Trail Gateway Dedication in Guilford.

2014_NET Gateway Dedication 19

On Saturday, the Livingston’s participated in two events in our hometown of Bolton. Both were well attended. Connecticut Trails Day is coordinated by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA). I am a member of CFPA’s Board of Directors and Horst Engineering is a long time supporter.

2014_NET Gateway Dedication 28

The Gateway will be built just off the beach at Chittenden Park where the New England Trail begins/ends depending on your perspective. Most consider the southern terminus to be the start, so we will assume that the Gateway is at the beginning.

2014_NET Gateway Dedication 7

The entire CFPA staff and many volunteers put countless hours into both Trails Day Weekend and the Gateway dedication. It was a wonderful weekend for CFPA.

2014_NET Gateway Dedication 3

The NET is a wonderful trail. I’ve been on it several times in 2014. The Traprock 50K uses portions of the NET that pass through Penwood State Park. The 7 Sisters Trail Race is out and back on the NET in the Mt. Holyoke Range of Massachusetts. An end-to-end hike of the 215 mile NET is definitely on the “to do” list. There aren’t many overnight accommodations, but that should change over time. The CFPA and Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)are both seeking solutions to this problem. It was great to see two of my favorite organizations, CFPA and AMC working so well together.

Stay tuned and get out on the NET!


Livingston Photo & Word

Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Instagram

I think I'll run 101.5 miles, drive/fly/drive home, and then do a triathlon to accelerate my recovery. #trt100 #tahoerimtrail100 The #tahoerimtrail100 #trt100 awards ceremony was cancelled due to the unprecedented storm that is rolling through. Thankfully all runners had finished before the violent rain, hail, and lightning hit around 2:30 P.M. With 90 minutes to go before cutoff. I tracked down Debbie's drop back during the tempest, placed an order at the burrito truck, and also got her buckle. It wasn't ready, so they made it while I waited in the driving rain. I would have preferred a sunny ceremony by the lake. But this was an EPIC finish to an EPIC week. Wow! Debbie finished in 27:19ish. It was a tough race (understatement) but she got it done with support from pacer, Daniel Roy, her crew, family, and friends. So good to come back a year later and finish what she started in 2013. Thanks for following my posts. She and I will have full race reports later in the week and I have much better photos to share. The iPhone can only do so much, but it still is one heck of a journalistic tool. #tahoerimtrail100 #trt100 #pursuitstrong #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamlivingston Debbie weighing in back at Tunnel Creek AS after the 6 mile Red House Loop. She is feeling "peppy" according to Dan. Ready to make a charge! Thru 67 miles in 17:32. #trt100 #tahoerimtrail100 #pursuitstrong #ultraspire #teamhorstsports I was just treated to the most amazing #laketahoe sunset from the Tunnel Creek Aid Station at the #tahoerimtrail100 #trt100 This image doesn't come close to capturing the beauty. This is only one reason why we do this crazy stuff! Debbie has hit the Tunnel Creek Aid Station again, at 61 miles in 15:22. She arrived describing the crazy hailstorm that she ran thru. The T-Storms have been crazy. Cooling off now as the sun sets. Danny just started his pacing duties. I'll see her in 6 miles after the Red House Loop. Then I'll hike the 3.5 miles back down to the lake and drive to Diamond Peak Aid Station to see her at 80. Not sure if her place, and time doesn't matter. She is hell-bent on getting to the finish. #ultraspire #pursuitstrong #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #trt100 #tahoerimtrail100 Debbie leaving the 50 Mile Aid Station at #tahoerimtrail100 #trt100 She is focused and her foot is a bit better. Long night ahead. We will see her in 3.5 hours. Headlamps are ready. #pursuitstrong #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstsports #horstengineering Team Photo!! The crew at the #tahoerimtrail100 #trt100 So fun to have our California Family helping Debbie! Shoes changed. We will see if it made a difference when we reconnect in 20 miles. First she has to climb the fearsome Diamond Peak with 2,000 feet of vertical gain in 1.8 miles up to 9,000+ feet. It's hot now. #tahoerimtrail100 #trt100 #pursuitstrong #teamhorstsports #ultraspire

Follow me on Twitter

Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 121 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 121 other followers