2009 Soapstone Assault

Our running club, the Shenipsit Striders, hosted the Soapstone Assault today. Held annually at Soapstone Mountain in Shenipsit State Forest (Somers, Connecticut), the race is 5.5 miles of pain. The format for the event, six ascents (five descents) of Soapstone Mountain, was originally a New Year’s joke amongst club members. Eventually, the joke developed into a race. The unique nature of the handicap or “Dipsea start” is based on the Dipsea Race in Mill Valley/Stinson Beach, California.

Shenipsit Trail.

Today’s race was a real family affair. Actually, it was a several families affair! From our family, only Debbie ran, but Shep and I were there for support. The biggest contingent came from the Stoeffler Family. For a brief period of time, three generations of family members occupied the first three spots. Eventually, the patriarch, Dick, faded to fifth; but it was still a great showing with second generation speedster Brett, taking first and third generation speedster Conor taking second.

Dick Stoeffler.

Brett Stoeffler.

It was a good turnout on a beautiful day. The weather couldn’t have been better and the views (for July) were fabulous. You could see Springfield, Massachusetts clearly. The entire Seven Sisters Range, including Mt. Tom and Mt. Holyoke was clearly visible. The post race refreshments included fresh orange juice. We had a lot of friends running the Vermont 100 this weekend. It will be great to see the results when they are posted. Shenipsit Strider webmaster, Clint Morse, paced a friend for the last 30 miles of Vermont, then jumped in his car (on no sleep) and drove to the start of the Assault. He had a good run and then went straight home to bed for some much needed rest. It was a great day on the mountain.

The Tower.

Once again, 79 year old legend, Richard Busa, was the oldest runner. He mostly stayed on course. There were a few first timers (welcome!) and the usual group of repeaters. I saw lots of smiles. We enjoyed the hike to to the top and had a blast taking photos and cheering on the runners. Debbie got a lot of strange looks, but she continues to show how to stay active during pregnancy. The baby got some bouncing, but that just means that he or she will probably come out running (trails).

79 year old Richard Busa and Debbie Livingston.

Race Results will be posted when they are available.

Race Photos

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