2009 New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series

The final New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series standings were calculated and posted this week on the Western Massachusetts Athletic Club website. 2100 runners ran at least one Grand Tree race and 75 runners completed the series by finishing a minimum of six races. Ben Nephew was the men’s champ once again, with a 99.85% average. He beat out Brian Rusiecki by only 0.02%. That is pretty close!

Debbie Livingston’s streak of six titles was snapped this year. The timing of her pregnancy was different from 2006 when she won the series by accumulating enough races early in her term and then again after the birth of our son. This year, she only finished four series races during her pregnancy and hasn’t raced since the birth of our daughter in September. Of course, that shouldn’t take away from the awesome season that this year’s winner, Amy Lane, had. She did 12 races and had a 80.92% average. Lisa Doucett was a distant second place for women. If Amy races the series in 2010, and if Debbie makes a successful comeback, then they should give each other some solid competition.

The Stonehead award goes to the runners who have the most total points. Stanislav Trufanov, who ran 15 races, and Michelle Roy, who ran 17 races, took those titles. Thomas Parker ran 19 of the 22 races, which was the most of any runner. I completed seven races and finished 10th in the series with 86.19% average. I raced at a much higher level than ever before. I only had two bad races. Greylock was slow, but it was the day after the Pat Griskus Olympic Distance Triathlon. My other dog was Wapack, which was painful because it was my first race back after Ironman Lake Placid and a three-month layoff from trail running. I hurt my ankle in that race and I’m still nursing the injury. I had a blast at my other five races: Northern Nipmuck, Seven Sisters, Nipmuck Trail Marathon, Breakneck, and Monroe/Dunbar Brook.

Debbie and I plan to tackle the Grand Tree again in 2010.

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