Nipmuck Trail Marathon–Celebrating 25 Years of Muck!

Today was the 25th annual Nipmuck Trail Marathon. What a day! That great trail running vibe was in the air on this first day of June. It was a festive affair and a celebratory one too. Nipmuck is the grand-daddy of New England trail running races. Race Director, Nipmuck Dave Raczkowski, deserves a lot of credit for organizing, promoting, and running so many great races over the years. Connecticut’s Blue Blazed Trails are all a wonderful asset for the community, and the Nipmuck Trail is one of the best.

The Nipmuck Trail.

Nipmuck Dave\'s welcome.

A full field ran today’s race on a course that was in beautiful condition. It has been dry lately, though we had some tremendous thunderstorms last night. The dampness made the trail tacky in most spots, though muddy and slippery in some sections. Overall though, conditions were fabulous for running. The 8:00 A.M. start-time temperature was in the low-60’s F and in the low-70’s F by noon. It was a little humid. Shep and I were crewing for Debbie again today, but I was still able to squeeze in some serious photography. We were all over the course and we had a blast!

Nipmuck Dave and Michelle Roy before the start.

That famous race number.

Ben Nephew led all comers home in about 3:23. I didn’t get a look at the results, but will add the link when the results are available on-line. He was chased at times by Glen Redpath, Jack Pilla, and others. Debbie Livingston led the women in 4:03 or so. She had a good race and ran her second fastest time on the course. It looks like her form is shaping up nicely with some big races coming up, including the Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge and the Jay Mountain Marathon, both in Vermont. Ben and Debbie claimed the winners apple pies.

Ben Nephew crests the Oakes Road climb.

 Shep and Deb savor the winners apple pie.             Rich Fargo carries on the tradition.

I noticed that there were a lot of women running today. It seemed like more than normal, and that is great. There were also some nice groups running together, though later in the day, the distance, pain, and suffering took its toll, and caused more than a few splits. There was a crew from Germany and even a fellow from northern Scotland via South Africa. I heard that one of the runners was completing her 50th marathon in 50 states. She picked a great one to complete her epic adventure. 

2008 Port-o-Pottie decor.

Nipmuck Dave honored three people at the start. First, he recognized Rich Fargo, who won the first seven Nipmuck’s, and 25 years later, is still running in the top 10. Rich is simply an amazing runner. Dave also introduced Christy Cosgrove, a past winner and the women’s course record holder. Lastly, he introduced the official timer who was his high school cross country coach (I missed his name), and was the source of his early running inspiration.

Every finisher gets a log.

Who knows if there will be 25 more Nipmuck Trail Marathons? Who knows if there will even be a 26th? There is no question that Nipmuck Dave has done a yeoman’s job as steward of this race for a long time. His unique style and humor have made the event consistently fun for a long time. Inevitably, someone is going to have to take the reigns. He has had a fabulous dedicated crew of volunteers stick with him over the years. I always say that it is the volunteers that are the key to a great event. There is no point in worrying about another Nipmuck next June. Right now, everyone, including the runners, volunteers, and spectators, should cherish today’s race. It was a special one.

Race Results

Race Photos

5 Responses to “Nipmuck Trail Marathon–Celebrating 25 Years of Muck!”


  1. 2 frankgiglio 4 June 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for taking photos!
    Do you know who did the video taping and if it will be available to view?
    See you at the Bluff!

  2. 3 turboseadoo 5 June 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Enjoyed the report. Great pics too. Congrats to Deb. Can’t believe how fast she runs down hills!


  1. 1 Western States 100 Cancelled « Life Adventures Trackback on 26 June 2008 at 9:35 pm
  2. 2 2013 NipMuck Trail Marathon | Life Adventures Trackback on 6 October 2013 at 8:25 pm

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