Today, Debbie won the inaugural Traprock 50K at Penwood State Park in Bloomfield, Connecticut. It was a good day for running, but kind of rough for hanging out and being a spectator. The temperature was in the 40’s (Fahrenheit) and it rained on and off. It was damp the whole time and felt more like early March than mid-April. Nevertheless, this new ultramarathon trail race made a successful debut.
Race Directors Steve Nelson and Kevin Hutt did a fine job at launching a spring ultra to compliment Jerry Turk’s Bimbler’s Bluff 50K, which is in October. Connecticut only had one trail ultra (the Bluff) before today. I’m sure that Steve and Kevin will iron out the kinks and grow the event for 2011. I heard many of the runners share positive feedback.
The aid stations were well stocked, the volunteers were very helpful, and the course markings seemed to be adequate. When you start a new race, you do the best you can with the markings, but until you get a group of runners on it, you don’t know where the trouble spots are. Several runners went off trail, but many found the markings to be good. Debbie didn’t have any major problems, and she liked the rugged and rocky course. The wet trails made the ups and downs even more interesting.
Debbie was the first woman and fifth overall behind winner, Peter Schouw. Matt Estes, Scott Turco, and Nikolas Rogers were two, three, and four. Peter finished in 4:18:50. After one lap of the three loop course, he had about a four-minute lead on Matt. After two, he extended it, but by the finish, he only had a 1:04 gap. Matt finished a strong second in 4:19:54 and just ran out of trail. Given more time, he probably could have won, but it was only 50K. Scott finished in 5:09:31, Nikolas finished in 5:16:55, and Debbie was hot on his heels in 5:17:01. She was happy with the result considering that she hadn’t run this far since November 2008. This will be good training for the Nipmuck Trail Marathon in early June.
Runners had the option of doing one lap, two lap, or the full three laps. The idea was to introduce folks to trail running and entice them to return next year for the full 50K. 52 runners started the event. When full results are available, I will post them. I had my hands full with our two kids, crewing duties, and my photography. We made our way between the finish line aid station 3 and aid station 2, which wasn’t far from the parking lot. Thankfully, we brought our Chariot, so they were able to stay dry and our little one was able to sleep a bit. It was a fun day to watch Debbie do her thing and squeeze off a few shots.
Each runner received a t-shirt and a commemorative beer glass with a colorful Traprock 50K logo. For winning, Debbie got a really nice plaque with a piece of traprock from the Metacomet Trail. She has some mud to clean off of her gear, but a little dirt is well worth it when you get to play on the trails for the good part of a day.