Journal Inquirer: Conversation with Scott Livingston

An interview I did was published in this weekend’s Journal Inquirer.

Click here for the full link.

The reporter, 

MANCHESTER — It was 1938 when Scott Livingston’s grandfather Horst Liebenstein emigrated from Germany to the United States, where he eventually established what would become Horst Engineering, now based in South Windsor and East Hartford. Livingston, who lives in Bolton, is the third generation running the business and discusses his family’s history and taking over the family business.

Q: Did you grow up in Bolton?

A: I grew up in Vernon.

Q: What was life in Vernon like for you?

A: I grew up on Hickory Hill Road. I started on Taylor Street. My parents moved there in 1969, the same year they got married. They were married Woodstock weekend. My father jokes that he had friends choose the concert over the wedding and wishes he was there himself, but instead got married.

I’ve lived on the Rail Trail all my life; four different locations, twice with my parents and twice since I’ve been out on my own, including where we live now in Bolton. The trails are a central part of my life. Growing up in Vernon was just exploring the woods and the trails. I went to Lake Street School. I have a younger sister, Stacie. She lives in Coventry. She’s not involved in the business, but she’s still an important part of the family. She’s a physical therapist.

Q: Since this is a family business, were you groomed from the get-go to potentially take over?

A: No. My grandfather founded the business in 1946. He had three sons. My father is the oldest of the three. The middle son is Steven, and he became partners with my father, Stanley, early in the ’60s, but wasn’t official until the late ’70s. They had a younger brother, Bert, and he only briefly worked in the business in the ’70s after college; my father, Stanley, and Steven had been really firmly involved with the business for years at that point. There really wasn’t room for all three.

My mother joined the business in the early ’80s, and she’s been here for more than 35 years. The three of them really were the partners that ran the business in the second generation. She deserves as much credit as Steven and Stanley.

I got involved as a kid growing up in the business like anyone else in a family business would. I was exposed to the business along with my sister being exposed to the business. I had the good fortune of seeing my grandfather still working day-to-day until he passed away in 1998. By then I had started there full-time. But there was a period during my high school years going into college where I did not plan to work here. I was looking for something different.

Q: What did you want to do?

A: I wanted to be an Airborne Ranger. I was in ROTC briefly, but because of some medical disqualifications in the early ’90s I wasn’t able to pursue that path. In the subsequent period where I was rethinking what I wanted to do career-wise, I worked here and that exposed me to the opportunity. It also exposed me to the challenges, which I thought I could help my family with. I went back to school.

Q: Where were you going to school?

A: I went to Boston University to start and I ended up finishing at Boston College. If you know anything about Boston schools, they’re opposites. I needed a change of pace and I went from downtown BU to somewhat suburban BC just to get through it. I studied economics and I came back to work in the business full time after college. I went to high school at East Catholic in Manchester, even though I grew up in Vernon. I went to the Middle School in Vernon.

I wasn’t going to work here and I didn’t study engineering. It was my grandfather’s dream that I did work here and all his kids and grandkids would work here because that’s the whole reason why he built the business. He came from Germany and he didn’t do it the easy way. He persevered and got the business to a point where, when Stan and Steven got involved and then with the support of Lynn, they were able to take it to the next level. My Uncle Bert remained involved and had an ownership stake. So once it was clear that I forged a career path here, he and I became allies. It was an opportunity for him. He lives in Florida. He wasn’t involved in the day-to-day running of the business, but he was an advocate in transitioning the business in a proactive and healthy manner from the second generation to the third generation.

My father, uncle, mother, and I; the four of us engaged experts to help us and we’ve invested heavily in family business education over the years. We’ve invested in non-family management to build a strong professionally managed business that still has the qualities and core values of a family-owned business.

Q: What year did your grandfather move to the United States?

A: October 19, 1938, Ellis Island. He came here with almost nothing. His birth name was Horst Rolf Liebenstein and that’s the name he arrived at Ellis Island with. He changed his name. He Americanized it. Horst became Harry, Liebenstein became Livingston. My grandmother was Sylvia Hurwitz and she grew up in Hartford. She was born here. Her roots are also Eastern European but I believe a mix of Russian and Polish.

The German culture is really what dominated the business. My grandfather got a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ilmenau (University of Technology), but he had to leave his life in Germany behind and start from scratch here. He had two brothers, an older brother, Berthold, and a younger brother, Hans, and both of them kept their names and they both ended up in Africa in the mid-’30s. They left Germany prior to Horst. There were German colonies in Africa and Berthold ended up in Kenya and Hans ended up in South Africa.

Berthold passed away at a young age around 1940 so they didn’t see each other again. Hans raised three daughters in Cape Town and I believe that my grandfather reunited with his brother after 30 years in 1964. Ultimately, approximately 15 years later, he moved the bulk of the South African family to Connecticut. One or two end up in Israel. There’s Jewish roots in this family and it’s a big part of the origin story of the business.

Q: Was the tension in Germany part of the motivation to move?

A: Yes. Kristallnacht was in November that year. It was a long process to reclaim the home he had abandoned in 1938. His parents remained behind and perished during the subsequent period. He was the last of his generation in the family to remain there. His parents didn’t want to leave. They weren’t in great health. They operated a small store on the first floor of the home in this town, Bad Liebenstein.

 

The house was returned to us in 1999 a year after he passed away. It was through a formal process with the United Restitution Organization. It was East Germany and what happened was a family moved into this house after the war.

I don’t know the particulars … but the same family that lived there for decades in the house bought it back from us after we got it back. So it was effectively a paper transfer.

Q: When your grandfather came here, how did his business start?

A: His metalworking skills came from working in a bicycle factory in his teens in Germany. He was highly educated as a mechanical engineer, but he also was a tool and die maker. He was a hands-on engineer and he knew how to make stuff. He came from New York to Connecticut around 1940. He met my grandmother. She helped him learn English. They lived in the north end of Hartford and he had this plan to start his own business. There was no intent to work for others after experiences he had gone through. But he needed to learn. He needed to learn the language, he needed to learn the industry in the area. He basically sampled a variety of processes at area shops and manufacturing companies in 1940 and 1946. He worked wiremold (at Wiremold).

He worked at John’s Hartford Tool Company and a handful of other companies over that six-year period. He started to moonlight, and he was doing engineering design work on the side in the evenings.

When he founded the business in Hartford in 1946, he called that Horst Engineering and Manufacturing Company. That’s our full legal name and it was at 602 Garden Street on the second floor of a barn. The business moved to East Hartford in 1950 and we’ve effectively been headquartered in East Hartford ever since.

But his designs didn’t take off enough to pay the bills, so he started making parts for other people and really evolved into a contract manufacturer. There’s so much industry here.

My father really took that to the next level. They didn’t have design engineering capabilities in the next generation. My father brought the sales, supply chain, the front end of the business expertise. My uncle was a disciple of my grandfather and he was the engineer and the manufacturing expert; tool and die maker himself. Their combination, with the support of my mother and HR and finance, allowed them to develop as a contract manufacturer and push into higher precision products because between 1979 and 1989 everything changed.

By 1995 all of the commercial industry was under pressure here in Connecticut. If you were in basic products it first went elsewhere in the country, particularly the South and Midwest and then it went offshore. What remained was high precision, and in Connecticut that’s primarily aerospace and medical. High precision aerospace components are one of Connecticut’s greatest exports and that’s where we really carve out our (spot).

Q: Are you the sole family member now running the business?

A: The three second-generation leaders still work here part-time.

Q: Is there a following generation?

A: They’re too young. My children Shepherd (Shepard) is 13 and Dahlia is 10. My sister has children who are 16 and 13. I have a first cousin from the youngest brother who was involved in this business, and she’s only in her early 20s. She interned here a couple years ago. For the foreseeable future we are continuing with our non-family member (management strategy). We have a lot of families who are in our business that are not Livingston family. That’s common in this industry. We’ve got brothers and sisters. We’ve got fathers and sons, multiple father and son combinations. Cousins, nieces, nephews. It fits in with our core values … and our core purpose. Our core purpose is to help people fly safely. Who knows what the future brings, but we’re making a major investment, and we wouldn’t be doing that if we didn’t see a good path in front of us. We’re expanding. We’re going to be consolidating the three Connecticut plant sites underneath one roof in Prestige Park. We’re renovating a 101,000-square-foot building. It’s a massive project and a big commitment to this community and to the industry.

2020 Bolton Road Race (+ NEAM & Boston)

Our hometown Bolton Road Race returned after a one year hiatus due to last year’s last minute snowstorm cancellation. My records show that I hadn’t run it since 2017. Now, I’ve run it eight times since 2005, the year we moved to town.

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HORST Engineering has been sponsored this race many times, and this race is a family affair for us. All four of us rode to the start on our bikes. Bolton High School is only two miles away. Shepard, Debbie, and I ran the hilly five miler while Dahlia looked after the Schulz kids so their parents could both run.

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Today’s weather was so much better than last year’s race day weather. We have had a very mild winter and now that March has arrived, you can hear the sounds of spring. We had a busy weekend leading up to this afternoon’s race.

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Yesterday, Dahlia and I joined several of my colleagues from HORST Engineering participate in the Women Take Flight event at the New England Air Museum. HORST was an exhibitor. It was a great event. When our “shift” ended around 1:00 P.M., we returned home to meet up with Debbie and Shepard who were at the CCAP Team HORST Junior Squad mountain bike practice at Case Mountain.

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By 3:00 P.M. we were back in the car and headed to Boston for the night. We parked at the Alewife MBTA station in Cambridge and took the shuttle bus to Harvard Square. From there, we took the Red Line to Downtown Crossing and then walked to our hotel in the Financial District. The kids hung out there for the night while Debbie and I visited the Museum of Science. It was my second museum of the day! I hadn’t been to the MOS in years but we were there for a special event.

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The Appalachian Mountain Club hosted a special party to honor Walter Graff for his 45 years of service to the organization. Walter was most recently the Senior Vice President and he has been instrumental in the AMC’s success over the last five decades. I’m a current member of the Board of Directors and Debbie is a member of the Board of Advisors. We have been active AMCers for more than 20 years and that isn’t even half of Walter’s career!

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We saw many great friends and got to explore a portion of the museum. We vowed to return with the kids. Speaking of the kids, we were back at the hotel by 10:30 P.M. We moved our clocks ahead by an hour and then headed to bed. Debbie and I arose early and ran from downtown back to Alewife. We saw a great sunrise over the city and the Charles River and had a glorious eight mile adventure along city streets and paths.

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We returned with the car to pick up the kids and then on our way home, we took a short detour to Central Square in Cambridge where we “refueled” at Veggie Galaxy. That was a treat for all four of us including the 9:00 A.M. Oreo Frappe.

We made it home around 11:45 A.M. and quickly changed into our running gear. If you are wondering (and worrying) about our activity level, well, don’t. This is normal for us! We mounted our bikes and rode to Bolton High School to hang out with many of our running friends. The race started at 1:00 P.M. and by 1:20 P.M. I was hurting. That was at the three mile mark. I realized that the last two miles were going to be total suffering.

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The last mile of the course is a doozy. The signature Brandy Street “hill” comes at 4.2 miles and it is a tough one. I had moved up to 9th place by the top of the hill, and had run most of the race in “no man’s land,” but a young Columbia teen outkicked me in the last quarter mile after attacking on the short descent after the hill that leads to the final uphill finishing drag.

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I was 10th and that’s OK given that I’m just training through every race right now. Shepard had his best ever BRR and he broke 35 minutes for the first time. My fastest ever time was in 2013, but I’m uncertain if I can get back to that level for a short road race requiring so much speed. Debbie wasn’t far behind Shepard.

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Will Sanders, the winner of last week’s Colchester Half Marathon, absolutely crushed the course in 25:41. I don’t know if that is an official record. Thomas Paquette has run pretty quickly in the past. Will averaged 5:09 per mile, and he finished more than a minute ahead of the second place runner, so congrats to him. That’s two amazing performances in the last eight days. The first woman was Linda Spooner in 34:18. She had a nice run too. It was noted at the post-race awards that her daughters were first and second in the U-12 division which means it was a great day for the whole family.

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We returned home by bicycle and that last little bit of exercise capped an excellent weekend of activity. Thank you to Race Director Brian Miller, key helper Kelly Taylor Catlin, and all of their “staff.” The volunteers were very helpful and I’m sure the 270 runners who finished appreciated their work. Along with HORST Engineering, there were many other great sponsors. Some of the proceeds supported raffle prizes, and I know that some will support the Bolton Booster Club. I’m glad that this year’s race wasn’t snowed out!

Race Results

2020 Colchester Half Marathon

Today I awoke with stiff and sore legs and it was a good feeling. Yesterday, Debbie and I had our first solid training day of the year. The fact that it was Leap Day made it even more fun. We rode from our home in Bolton to the Colchester Half Marathon, ran the race, and rode back. HORST Engineering was closed for the day so I could put work out of my mind and focus on five hours of movement.

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With the ride to the race, warmup for the race, race, cool down after the race, and ride home, we covered more than 50 miles on a very cold and blustery day. Our kids spent the day with Debbie’s parents, so we had extra time to execute this adventure. A shout out to Tony Bonanno who did THREE laps of the course with a little extra to get a total of 40 miles. That’s impressive. One of the things that I love about endurance sports is that just when I think that we put together a tough workout, there is always someone who is just a little more crazy.

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The Colchester Half is known for frightful weather. I’ve run it in 2007, 2010, 2015, and now in 2020. It looks like I’ve fallen into a pattern of running it every five years. I checked my blog and the 2010 and 2015 images look like those were snow years. I also recall that 2007 race and it was cold, snowy, and muddy. In that edition, I pushed our son in the Chariot CX-1 jogging stroller and it was quite the challenge as he didn’t really want to go that far on that day and the tires were sinking into the mud which made it even harder.

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The winter of 2019-2020 has been extraordinarily mild, so there was no evidence of snow  on the course. Ironically, minutes after we got home, a massive snow squall hit but I was safely inside standing by the fireplace. The Colchester course is known for being hilly (about 1,100 feet of elevation gain) and also for having two sections of dirt road that cover a few of the 13 miles. The footing and traction are often dicey, but yesterday’s surface conditions were perfect with no ice to speak of.

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My fastest ever edition was in 2010, so it was satisfying after 10 years to “only” run three minutes slower. I’m sure I trained more specifically in 2010 and I know I didn’t ride 18 miles as a warmup. Even still, I always want to go faster. The last two miles of the course are notoriously difficult as it is a long straightaway with a series of hills that grind steadily upward. Most people run their slowest miles on this section of the course and I was no exception. I feel like I faded badly though the data shows I only faded slightly. I felt terrible and gave up two spots in the last miles, which sucks because I’m overly competitive.

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I ended up running 1:28:27 for 20th, which is very good and I’m happy. There were 676 finishers which was remarkable. That has to be the record. This race is one of the best values around. The $14 entry fee created massive demand and people came from all over New England and some came from even farther away. The female winner was Alayna Bigalbal, and she came from Virginia. She did say that she grew up in New London and had family in Connecticut. I was with her for the first half of the race and by the end, she was gaining on me. She only finished 14 seconds behind me and she appears to be a very strong runner.

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I can’t overstate the value of this race. Longtime Race Director Rick Konon was all over the course, running around and cheering for everyone like a madman. He has infectious energy and passion and it shows. I always enjoy watching him in action. Debbie handled our pre-registration but I don’t think there were any additional fees. The online registration cost was included, which is remarkable. There was also pre & post race massages, a post race party (complete with multiple vegan options) in the Bacon Academy cafeteria, and ample non-alcoholic beverages. The website also says you get “results, excuses, tales of woe, and camaraderie.” It’s also worth pointing out that there were several volunteer-manned aid stations with fluids. All of the folks affiliated with the race were enthusiastic and helpful. I’m not sure what they do with the race proceeds, but I imagine they are put to good use.

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In an era where some 5K’s cost $40 or more, Colchester is a throwback, and if this race cost twice the current price they would still get 500 people to run it. I’m not suggesting that they charge more because the low cost makes lot of people happy. The Shenipsit Striders approach the promotion of the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race the same way, so if you want a trail version of a half marathon that is also a great value, check it out and we will see you in May. Full disclosure: Debbie was the Race Director for more than 15 years and we still have a vested interested in seeing Soapstone succeed!

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The men’s winner was Will Sanders and he absolutely crushed the Colchester course record, running 1:10:20 which is amazing. As noted, the surface conditions were excellent, but the temperature was only 25 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was a factor, so conditions were not ideal and he still had a great day.

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I dressed appropriately. After the bike ride, I had a complete change of clothes which included Patagonia Capilene underwear, undershirt, and long sleeve shirt. I wore Darn Tough socks, Altra Impulse shoes, CEP compression sleeves, Cw-X tights, gloves, a Capilene bonnet, Rudy Project sunglasses, and my Shenipsit Striders trucker cap. I also wore my UltrAspire waist belt so I could carry my iPhone and a bottle filled with UnTapped MapleAid. The first few miles were chilly and I was wishing I had a high collar or something on my neck, but by the halfway point, I warmed up. For a period of time, I actually pulled up my sleeves. I also removed the bonnet and shoved it in my waist band.

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The sun came in and out for a while, but after an hour or so, it went in for good. The skies clouded up and the breeze picked up. It was cold and raw but still good conditions to run in. I mentioned my suffering on the finishing stretch, but overall it was a good race. My pacing was good. I avoided a fast start and ran for several miles with Olivia Mondo. She is training for the Boston Marathon and sometimes we are evenly matched Lately, in the shorter races, she is much faster…but I’m more than twice her age so I have an excuse! She only finished a minute or so behind me, but she looked much better at the line. I was doubled over and my legs were already seizing up. I doubt that she will be walking like a duck (like me) today. I bet she even goes for another run. I won’t!

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Debbie had a good run and we saw a lot of friends. I mean, a LOT of friends. Between the Shenipsit Striders, Silk City Striders, and other folks from the running community, I bet we knew 200 people. It was a great way to kick off the 2020 season. After the post-race meal, we changed back into our cycling kits. I should have brought another pair of socks, or at least I should have changed back into the socks that I originally rode in. I was lazy and kept on the socks that I ran with and that was a bad call. They were damp and once the cold air penetrated my cycling shoes, I paid the price. The ride back took longer and it was colder. We suffered but made it home by 3:00 P.M. and before the precipitation started. By 5:30 P.M., we were back in Prospect to pick up our kids. Debbie’s Mom rewarded us with another home cooked meal followed by blueberry muffins that our daughter helped bake. All things considered, it was a really good day.

Race Results

Park City, Utah

Over the Presidents’ Day Weekend our family made our first ever western ski/snowboard trip. We have been to the mountains of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Washington but never together in winter.

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I’ve had the good fortune to ski at Deer Valley, Park City, Telluride, and Vail, but Debbie had never been west for snowsports. That’s odd because she has been snowboarding since her youth and I just came to skiing as an adult.

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It hasn’t been easy for me to learn as it didn’t come naturally like skating, running, or cycling. For me, skiing has been more like swimming, another sport that I didn’t groove as a youth.

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Our kids learned snowboarding from Debbie on the smaller slopes of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, but they are still progressing. It was a real thrill for them to ride the massive Park City resort.

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We stayed in Canyon Village which was merged into Park City. Park City is part of the Vail Resorts portfolio and in the Epic Pass program. It’s a wonderful mountain town. I’ve been there twice in winter and once in the summer. Debbie and I were also on the other side of the mountains at Snowbird when we did the Speedgoat 50K.  Snowbird is on my winter adventure bucket list.

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This would have been an awesome year to go as they just got more than three feet of snow two weeks ago bringing their season total to more than 400 inches. A friend of mine skied there a few days before we arrived in Park City and he said it was spectacular. He said that Little Cottonwood Canyon (the road) and all the resorts on that side were closed for three days because of avalanches, but he was fortunate to get to Snowbird the day they reopened.

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Canyon Village was a good spot. Every day, Debbie and I ran down to the bike path that connects the Old Town and Kimball Junction. There is more than one path, but we mostly went back and forth with a few small loops as we wanted to keep building our running fitness for the upcoming trail season.

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We skied/snowboarded from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. each day with only a brief stop for lunch. We stayed at the Grand Summit Hotel and our room was conveniently located at the base of the Orange Bubble lift. Saturday was partly sunny and mild with good conditions. Sunday was snowy all day long. In the afternoon, it sleeted a bit.

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Conditions in the morning were good with fresh powder, but by afternoon, the snow was heavier and the wind and cold made for challenging conditions. We toughed it out. We were rewarded on Monday as the the precipitation switched to all snow and it came down all night. We awoke to more fresh powder and incredibly blue skies. This is the true definition of a “Bluebird Day.” Bluebird Day’s aren’t just any sunny day, but particularly one after a big snowfall.

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It was much colder but the sun was brilliant. The conditions were fabulous and that lasted all day long. By the end of the three days, both kids had improved their skills immensely. We went to Old Town twice and had lovely evening meals.

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We walked around, visited the Park City Museum, and checked out some of the galleries. The other two nights we ate at the room where we had a small kitchen. The Whole Foods at Kimball Junction was fabulous and we used the convenient and free Park City mass transit system (bus) to get around.

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There are so many other great resorts to visit in the USA and Canada, but I would say that we would return to Park City in a heartbeat.

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2019 Scrooge Scramble

Our Christmas Day tradition of running the Scrooge Scramble 5K in Rockville continued. Debbie and I have run this classic 14 times since 2004. Once again, Shepard and Dahlia joined us for this festive affair that benefits the Cornerstone Foundation.

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As usual, we saw many old friends. The Silk City Striders and Shenipsit Striders always have a good turnout. Todd Brown and the Wilson Family have become an integral part of our Christmas morning celebration.

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This year’s course as again a loop affair. We lapped it six times. The twist was that they started the “elite runners” 15 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack so that we had more open road to run. That made me chuckle since the only elite runner I saw was the winner (aka Santa). The rest of us in the first wave were good, but hardly elite! We did have fun.

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It’s true that with a 1/2 mile loop and 200 people, it can get crowded, but that’s all part of the fun. Shepard and I stuck together and didn’t have to weave through the crowd until our last lap.

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Debbie wasn’t far behind us in group one and Dahlia ran with group two. That meant we could cheer for her. After the race, we mingled a bit and then I changed into my cycling kit. I took a lovely 30 mile route home and nailed my 4,000 mile 2019 goal with a week to go.

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Now, I can shift from riding to running and see if I can hit a distance milestone on my feet. Debbie and the kids returned home and they spent some time with their gifts. Debbie and I are grateful for the ability to provide for our family and to support organizations like the Cornerstone Foundation.

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Race Results

2019 The Ice Weasels Cometh

The 2019 cyclocross season came to an end today, a day later than planned. In the end, the postponement of The Ice Weasels Cometh was better for me. I didn’t even have to wash my bikes! They will need an end of season cleaning at some point, but for now, they are happily hanging in the basement without another race to attend.

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While the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships were going on in Lakewood, Washington, the unofficial championships of New England were going on in Medfield, Massachusetts. Weasels was  fitting end to a good cyclocross season.

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I did the singlespeed race at 3:00 P.M., which was the finale of the 2019 Zanconato Singlespeed Cyclocross Series. I did eight of the nine races in the series which started back on September 9th. This was my 15th cross race of the year.

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Yesterday was a total washout, so the promoters let everyone know on Friday that the race was being postponed until Sunday. Thankfully the course drained well. The wicked winds also helped dry things out. The temperature was mild, rising to the mid-40’s by mid-day. By late afternoon it had dipped back down to 40 and the wind was whipping.

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I felt pretty good and managed 6th place after battling with Keith Burgoyne, Eric Wyzga, and Henry Lord. The four of us have fought all year-long. Keith is surging and capitalized on his late season form, pulling away from us with two laps to go. Eric, Henry, and I remained locked in battle as we worked our way through a lot of lapped traffic. The Zank  SSCX race was run in conjunction with the fat bike race and between us, there were more than 100 people on the course.

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I managed to take the lead amongst the three of us with 1/2 lap to go and led them through the worst of the lapped traffic. This was to my advantage and I was able to hold them off as we blasted up the final asphalt straightaway to the finish line.

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Several of my Team HORST Sports mates joined me at the race. Art Roti, Brett Chenail, Boden Chenail, Keith Enderle, and Dave Geissert all wrapped their CX seasons with an Ice Weasels finish.

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I’m very happy with my season, but also very happy that it is done. I was feeling the burn  as we approached the December races and was just hanging on. I was able to get motivated for today and was happy that it wasn’t muddy. I was able to ride strongly and spend time with my cyclocross friends. To celebrate the last race of the year, I had pancakes for breakfast and then again for dessert after dinner tonight. On to 2020.

Race Results (will be posted when online)

2019 Santa’s Run

Today we returned to the Glastonbury Santa’s Run for the first time since 2011. It was my 9th time running this local 3.5 mile race. I first did it back in 1989. This year’s race had 912 finishers. The low entry fee and community vibe have always made this a fun one for runners and walkers of all abilities.

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This was the first time for the kids, though I’ve pushed them in the jog stroller before. I knew that my legs would be heavy after yesterday’s NBX G.P. of CX, but I still pushed hard. I had to stretch my legs on the final 1/2 mile uphill to hold off Laurel Manville who went out hard. She finished second behind Lindsey Crevoiserat who had a strong run. Olivia Mondo was hot on Laurel’s heels, finishing only two seconds behind. In recent years, Melissa Stellato has had a lock on the top spot, but she didn’t run this year as she is pregnant with her second child.

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The top men were Philip Mitchell, Pat Dennen, and Nick Blanchard. Special mention goes to Brett Stoeffler who was 5th. At 52, I’m still chasing him! He runs such a smooth pace, its maddening. I kept him at 15-20 seconds for the first two miles but then he pulled away. Of course, he didn’t speed up at all. I just slowed down!

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Debbie and Shepard each won their age groups. Shepard had to hold off hard charging age grouper. His legs were a bit weary after giving it his all at NBX yesterday, but he too persevered and had a strong run. Todd Brown and Debbie had a great battle up the final climb and all the way to the line. Debbie needed 10 more feet to beat him, but he survived. Dahlia also had a strong run, breaking the 10 minute per mile barrier for the second race in a row.

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We saw a lot of other friends. Now that cyclocross season is coming to a close, we will likely return to running more races, though I expect we will focus on trails. The Santa’s Run always gives an ornament to each finisher, so we plan to get our Christmas tree this afternoon and now we have four more ornaments to decorate it with.

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Race Results


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#running #boston
Fantastic evening with many @appalachianmountainclub friends @museumofscience to celebrate 🎉 Walter Graff’s 45 years of service. 🎒#boston
It’s a Livingston Family tradition to attend the @banffmountainfestival World Tour. @thebushnell in #hartford is a great venue. #banffworldtour @banffcentre
I love watching the kids climb @stoneagerockgym It’s awesome “offseason” training and they get better and stronger at every session. #rockclimbing #teamhorstjuniorsquad 🧗‍♀️
One snowy evening and two events at different bike shops. @pedalpowerct we heard from the wise Mullaly and Gunsalus women as they spoke of inspiring girls to ride and run. Then we celebrated 23 years of #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct
Last month I recorded an episode of the Made in America with Ari Santiago podcast. I put a link in my profile. It was stimulating fun and I recommend listening or watching other episodes. Ari has hosted many fantastic guests. #madeinamerica #madeinusa #manufacturing #precisionmachining #familybusiness
Another fun The Ice Weasels Cometh to cap the 2019 #cyclocross season. #iceweasels #iceweaselscometh #teamhorstsports #zanksscx #necx @zanksscx #teamhorstjuniorsquad @horstcycling #crossspikes #crossisboss
Moist ride! #teamhorstsports #sevencycles @horstcycling
#Cyclocross season is winding down. It’s time...but I will still miss it when it’s over. The race days/weekends spent with the @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad has been awesome. Yesterday’s @nbx_bikes G.P. of CX was another great day. The conditions were fun and challenging and the racing was fierce. @horstcycling #teamhorstsports #crossisboss #nbxgp

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