2010 Mount Greylock Trail Race

Today’s Mount Greylock Trail Race was only one part of a full Father’s Day of Berkshire activities. The race, in Adams, Massachusetts, is one of the classic races in the New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series. It is also the first part of the Western Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Trilogy. Debbie continued her comeback with a victory on a hot and humid day in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. Her 2:12:40 was several minutes off of her personal best, but the Greylock course changes from year to year. Of course, trail and weather conditions play a huge factor as well. Heavy rain over night had left the trail muddier than we expected, and the footing was difficult in spots.

Last year’s Grand Tree champion, Amy Lane, finished second to Debbie, but she is more focused on the upcoming Vermont 100. Debbie doesn’t have another ultramarathon until the fall, so Greylock was a focus race. The men’s race was a tight battle between Ben Nephew and Brian Rusiecki, with Ben coming out on top by eight seconds. Ross Krause continued his string of top finishes with a third place showing. Ben’s time of 1:41:25 was pretty quick for a hot day, especially when you factor that he was 22nd at yesterday’s 50th anniversary of the Mount Washington Road Race.

We had many friends run Mt. Washington yesterday. Several, like Ben, Nikolas Rogers, and Todd Brown, did the double, and ran up both the high points in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. We did the double a couple of times in the past, but we are saving our White Mountains trip for next month. Apparently, it was a spectacular day at Mt. Washington.

Both of us got to run today because Mr. and Mrs. Schieffer came along for the fun. They watched our kids at Greylock Glen while we motored up and over Moby Dick. The first three miles of Greylock are straight up and believe me when I say that it hurts! This was my first hard effort after 20 days of “rest” following Ironman Brasil. Rest is a relative term. Work has been busy and I’ve had a bunch of travel. I just got back from Chicago yesterday at 5:00 A.M., after a terrible flight delay. Before today, I hadn’t gotten my heart rate above 150 in the three weeks since Brasil, so when I hit the slopes of Greylock and started seeing 180’s, I wasn’t sure what to expect. For the most part, I felt good. I was able to push hard in spots and I didn’t fade like at 7 Sisters in May. Like Sisters, I wore my ankle braces, but the tradeoff was a really bad blister on my right heel. I’ll be hobbling for a few days. I finished in 2:07:44. It took me about 38 minutes to get to the summit. I lost a few places in the last mile when I took a wrong turn and ended up on the short course, which runs in the opposite direction of the 13.5 mile race.

As I approached the finish, I closed in on Jay Kolodzinski. I gave it all I had to catch him, but he heard me and sped up. I noticed that he was carrying a shoe in his right hand and he wasn’t wearing a shoe on his right foot. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed, but he held me off with one shoe! It turns out that he snapped a lace on his Merrill’s and it wouldn’t stay on. The crazy part of the story is that it happened more than three miles from the finish. He had run in his sock the rest of the way and had gotten in front of me when I went off course. Jay definitely gets huge kudos for his effort!

We learned that Jay had this happen last year too, so we encouraged him to try a pair of Vasque’s. Speaking of Vasque, Coral Darby, of Darby Communications, handles marketing for Vasque, which includes Debbie’s team. She made a surprise visit to Greylock to cheer on Debbie and Brian (Rusiecki), who run on the Vasque US Trail Running Team.

When WMAC posts the results, I will add a link. The thunderstorms held off and we had fun mingling with all of our trail running friends in the Glen. The State of Massachusetts has done some nice work cleaning up the Glen and irrigating the notoriously wet field. We washed up in the stream and mingled at the post race party, which was loads of fun. You can’t beat the New England trail running community. It is the best.

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