Mount Toby Trail Run

Yesterday, the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club hosted the Mount Toby Trail Race in Sunderland, Massachusetts. It was my fourth time running the 14 mile Toby out and back course. Deb also ran and has done the race a bunch of times too. The race application says you climb 1900 feet in two sections on the out leg with an equal amount of descending on the back leg. Since it isn’t completely up or down in each direction, total climbing is 2300+ feet, at least that is how I interpreted my GPS results. Even by New England standards, 1269 foot Mount Toby is merely a bump, but it still has a cool fire tower at the summit. 

Toby is about as close to a road race as a trail race can get. That doesn’t mean it is easy, but it is well suited to beginners. You would have to be a lousy navigator to get lost and the trail conditions are tame. This makes the race fast and fun. 

The results aren’t posted yet, but one of the highlights for me was Ruthie Ireland’s win in the women’s race. Between 7 Sisters and  Mount Toby, she must have been feeling snake-bitten with victory eluding her at both races in recent years. It seems that if it is always a different woman outrunning her. Yesterday, she came out on top and nearly caught me. If the race was 15 miles instead of 14, I would have been dead meat. Congratulations Ruthie. I felt OK in the first seven miles on the way up to the fire tower, but not great. I was able to close in on Bob Sharkey by the top (he is running stronger than ever) but he dropped the hammer on me when we turned around to run down the hill. After the first mile of descending, I went into survival mode for the next six miles. Eventually, my nemesis, Todd Brown, caught me to add salt to my wounds. I’ll get him back! I struggled into the finish (smiling) in 1:51:32, nearly eight minutes slower than the last time I did Toby. 

Debbie had a good race after a three week layoff following the 33 mile Ultimate XC: Vermont Edition. She hadn’t run at all until last week, choosing to take a late summer rest in advance of a big fall ultra-marathon schedule. She finished in third place in 1:57:30. 

Weather conditions were great for running yesterday. It wasn’t too hot and the trails were dry. The post race picnic highlight was the fresh corn on the cob. Secretly, I root for Debbie to win every year because division winners get to pick from a variety of prizes. Berkshire Brewing Company always donates a six pack of their 22 ounce Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale. She may not drink…but I do!

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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