More 7 Sisters: The Day After

The Monday after a Sunday trail running race, especially 7 Sisters, can be a little rough. The legs are normally pretty tender after running over all of those rocks. You tend to want to avoid stairs. The good news is that I’m feeling OK and managed the bike commute alright. Though, on the way home, I was wishing for another gear (I’ve only got one) on my bike. 

I was reflecting on the fun time we had in the woods yesterday. It was great to see so many friends from the trail running community. We even saw Warrior Poet, Stan Tiska. Amazing! 7 Sisters gets people from the backwoods of the Berkshires to come out and run. I thought that we were having flashbacks to 1999…last century. Unfortunately, we missed a lot of friends too. Some of our favorites (Kaniac, Busa, Worshamer) were missing, and that was sad. It is hard to believe that this is the 10th year that Debbie has been running Grand Tree events. I’ve been tagging along for a while now, and it is fun to know so many people. 7 Sisters brings out an eclectic mix. You get the long time runners and lots of newbies all out on the same ridge. I was a rookie at one time, but I’m happy to say that the delayed onset muscle soreness isn’t like it used to be. I actually recover half way decent now. For the roadies who were complaining half way up Bare Mountain yesterday, suck it up, it’s 7 Sisters! A 30 second warm-up on the course would have tipped you off that Sisters is different than other races, even other trail races. If you really want another 5K, come down to the Mother’s Day Dash in Rockville, Connecticut this weekend. Seriously, I know how they were feeling. You just can’t train for Sisters…unless you train on the course. 

The quote of the day goes to Race Director, Scott Hunter, who is probably still working on the results

A moment after Deb crossed the finish line, he greeted her and said with total seriousness, “Your so slow today.”

She couldn’t stop laughing. 


Wow, RD Scott, thanks for the support and motivation. She pointed out “the bump” and he realized that he had opened his mouth a moment too soon. Deb took it all in stride. I’m not sure what she told him in reply, but I assume it had something to do with him taking on the challenge of running pregnant for 12 miles over rocky terrain. 

I love all of the Grand Tree race courses, but I’m partial to the out and back ones like Northern Nipmuck and 7 Sisters. It is so much fun to see everyone coming at you on the return leg. The section before/after the turnaround on the Sisters course is one of the more famous pieces of New England trail. If you aren’t careful, you could end up in a serious collision. Runners are flying down the hill at you while you are climbing back up to the Summit House. I am pleased to say that there were a lot of courteous runners out there yesterday who yielded to the uphill runners up front. I got a lot of cheers when running by and that certainly kept me motivated to press on.

The HR chart proves I was pushing. Don’t mind the distance. I don’t think even the most accurate Garmin can measure all those ups, downs, twists, and turns. I’m actually lucky I have this chart. The same GPS that I wore yesterday fell off during Sisters last year, and I didn’t notice it was gone until I finished. Somehow, Dick Stoeffler picked it up on the course when he was out hiking and returned it to me through his son Brett. It was an amazing stroke of luck. The watch band had snapped in half. Garmin replaced it for free and sent me some extras for the next time it breaks. Ironically, it was Brett who closed in on me on the final descent yesterday and he is the one responsible for pushing me to record my maximum HR for the day.


My final 7 Sisters image of two awfully competitive blokes, shows the intensity of that mad dash final descent to the finish line:


As for the results, I hope they are out soon. The Shenipsit Striders know how it feels to under-perform in that area. We struggled with getting the results posted accurately and quickly at last year at the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race. We have vowed to demonstrate improvements in two weeks when the 25th edition of Soapstone is run. See you there.

Race Results

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