Litchfield Hills Road Race

We traveled out to Litchfield County, Connecticut today. We had three objectives: 1) attend a birthday party 2) visit the White Memorial Foundation and 3) see the 32nd Litchfield Hills Road Race.

Litchfield, CT

It was hot. Real hot. 

The temperatures soared into the low-90’s F.

Before the party, we were able to complete the other two objectives at the same time. The road race course goes right through White Memorial. The nature preserve is one of our favorite places. It is beautiful and is where Debbie and I were married in 2001. Seeing the spot where we exchanged vows was cool, but the race was the highlight of this day. We weren’t running. Nope, we were taking a break and were happy about that, given the conditions. It was brutal. The 1:00 P.M. start didn’t help matters. That was right in the heat of the day, though fortunately, before the wild thunderstorms that we had later in the afternoon. 

Results for the race are up and I haven’t analyzed them, but there was a large African contingent and they did very well. Litchfield always draws a top field. Philip Koech improved on his 2nd place finish in 2007 by taking the top men’s prize. His address is listed as West Chester, Pennsylvania, but I think he is Kenyan. He was running very strong when we saw him in the park. The first woman finisher, Florence Jeposgei, is also a Kenyan. She was also flying when we saw her. Seeing these elite runners in person is a treat. Usually, we are running, and well back in the pack. The gaps just amazed us. Koech ran sub-5:00 minute miles on a tough course in bad conditions. 

Philip Koech leads the pack. 

Florence Jeposgei leads the women.

Litchfield is known for its hills and for the dirt road sections in White Memorial. This year, it will be remembered for the heat. We saw the temperature take its toll on a lot of runners. One elite female collapsed right near us and looked to be suffering from heat stroke. It was pretty scary. Fortunately, the paramedics were quick to respond and were doing everything they could to cool her down while waiting for an IV. I hope she is OK.

I got some good photos and enjoyed watching. This race is definitely on the list for Debbie and I to run some day…maybe next year.

Race Results

Race Photos

The heat took its toll.

3 Responses to “Litchfield Hills Road Race”

  1. 1 Wayne 9 June 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Nice photos, Scott. I spotted about a dozen current and former students and I just skimmed through the shots. I’ll let my students know about your pics tomorrow, and maybe I’ll sell you a few!

    I’ve run LHRR about 7 or 8 times in the 14 years I’ve taught at Litchfield. The first year I ran (1994?) I broke 40 minutes but by the last year I did it (probably 4-5 years ago) my glory days were over. There were a couple pretty warm years, but nothing like yesterday. I was talking to a couple X-C runners at school today and they “jog” the loop in the winter in around 50 minutes and they both ran over 50 yesterday! Easily a +5 minute day yesterday.

  2. 2 SL 9 June 2008 at 8:25 pm

    No question, it was hot yesterday. Under normal circumstances, I would have wanted to be running myself, but I was baking just standing there. We had “company” on the bridge. A handful of locals congregate there every year. They had floated a kayak and cooler full of beer down the stream in time for the runners to come through.

  3. 3 Wayne 10 June 2008 at 2:59 pm

    That’s not just the bridge, it’s Chickadee Bridge. It’s a famous hangout spot. When the water’s deep enough, you can jump off and then acto cool and brag “I jumped off Chickadee Bridge” to all your friends.

    Hey, doesn’t take much in Litchfield to get those teenagers excited.

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